We will be suing them. — CZ Binance (@cz_binance) November 23, 2019
However, the offending piece originally surfaced on Friday (November 22) and was part of multiple reports of a fresh crypto clampdown by China. At the same time, Bitcoin (BTC) slid to below $7,000.
Sources said that ‘The Block’ initially made its claims under the headline “Binance’s Shanghai office shut down following visit by authorities.”
After a wide backlash over the factual accuracy of the article, during which CZ demanded the publication “apologize” but ruled out court action, ‘The Block‘ released a follow-up piece defending its stance.
Likewise, this appeared to inflame tensions further, leading CZ to change his mind on the issue, which he originally said would be “a bit too much trouble for now.”
Many suggested us to sue the Block, and find out who this source is… A bit too much trouble for now, but not ruling that option out if this continues. — CZ Binance (@cz_binance) November 22, 2019
“Instead of apologizing to the community for the fake headline news of the non-existent ‘police raid’, which damaged our reputation, and $btc price, theBlock now tries to argue if there was an office, if CZ had a meeting… who cares? Own up & apologize for your mistake.” CZ
Specifically, CZ took ‘The Block’ to task over its claims Binance encountered a police raid, and that it even had a Shanghai office at all. The latter issue remains unclear, the publication citing “witnesses” and previous media coverage, which CZ rejected.
Nonetheless, staff changed the headline of the original article to remove reference to a “police raid,” instead of claiming Binance received a “visit from authorities.”
However, the URL of the article, which is still online, remains in its original form, including the “police raid” phrase.
During the Twitter storm, responses suggested ‘The Block’, which implicated Binance in a crackdown by Chinese authorities in Shenzhen, but that this was erroneous.
Boxmining, the Content Creator, countered:
“Raided Chinese Exchanges are based in Shenzhen who explicitly dealt with CHINESE customers & involved ponzies. Binance and Bithumb were NOT raided.”
On the other hand, Mike Dudas, the Co-founder of ‘The Block’, had joined in the quarrel with CZ after he (CZ) suggested creating a dedicated fund to combat the practice of spreading so-called “fear, uncertainty and doubt,” or “FUD.”
Two of the wealthiest men in cryptocurrency plan to raise a "FUD fighting fund" worth more than $1 million, presumably to wield as an implicit threat against journalists who report facts that run contrary to their business interests. pic.twitter.com/wv8LMOlziq — Mike Dudas (@mdudas) November 22, 2019
Thus, on Twitter, CZ had seen interest from Justin Sun, the CEO of Tron (the blockchain platform) and matched his pledge to donate 100 BTC ($716,000) to the fund. For Dudas, this was an attempt at stifling press freedom.