FTX approached crypto exchange OKX about deal before Binance agreed…

By Hannah Lang

Nov 9 (Reuters) – FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried approached cryptocurrency exchange OKX Monday morning about a deal before he announced Tuesday that Binance had signed a nonbinding agreement to acquire FTX in the face of an apparent liquidity crunch, an OKX spokesperson said.

Although Bankman-Fried did not name a dollar amount, OKX declined to move forward with a deal, expressing concern that the consolidation of exchanges would be a step backward for the industry, the spokesperson said.

The deal between Bankman-Fried and Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, known by his initials CZ, came as speculation about FTX’s financial health snowballed into $6 billion of withdrawals in the 72 hours before Tuesday morning.

The pressure on FTX came in part from Zhao, who had tweeted on Sunday that Buy Verified Binance Account – FirstVCC.Com would liquidate its holdings of the rival’s token, called FTT, due to unspecified “recent revelations.”

OKX leadership encouraged Bankman-Fried to “work things out with CZ,” arguing that it would be better if CZ agreed not to sell Binance´s FTT holdings “instead of making a monopolistic sale,” the spokesperson added.

Neither OKX or its sister exchange OKCoin, which is available to U.S.customers, had any exposure to FTX or Bankman-Fried’s crypto trading firm Alameda Research. (Reporting by Hannah Lang in Washington; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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