comscore World's richest crypto billionaire takes legal action against Bloomberg for defamation

World's richest crypto billionaire takes legal action against Bloomberg for defamation

Binance's CEO has filed a defamation case against Bloomberg Inc, accusing it over an article that portrayed him as running a Ponzi scheme.


Binance CEO has sued different firms previously, too.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao on Monday took legal action against Modern Media CL., Bloomberg Businessweek’s Hong Kong publisher, accusing it of defaming him. In his suit, Zhao — who is the world’s richest crypto billionaire — said the publisher portrayed him as someone who is running a “Ponzi scheme.” The article was a translated Chinese language version, which, according to the suit, had a misconstrued headline. Also Read - WazirX to stop support for off-chain fund transfers with Binance: Details here

Bloomberg Businessweek published an article titled “Can Crypto’s Richest Man Stand the Cold?” on June 23. Hong Kong-based Modern Media, which is an independent licensee of Bloomberg content, picked it up and translated it into Chinese. However, in doing so, it ran a different headline. Zhao’s representative said the headline was in such a way as to spur “hatred, contempt, and ridicule” for the crypto exchange chief. The Chinese title when translated to English reads: “Zhao Changpeng’s Ponzi Scheme.” Also Read - WazirX reacts to ED probe, denies affiliation with users under investigation

A team representing Zhao asked Modern Media to retract the headline and recall all the printed copies from newsstands. Zhao also sought a restraining order to stop the publisher from spreading the negative portrayal any further. Modern Media has agreed to his demands partly. But Zhao did not stop there. He filed a motion for discovery against Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Inc. in the US separately over “defamatory allegations” in the article. Also Read - India gets its first crypto index, IC15: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance Coin take top positions

In the formal request filed in the US, Zhao has cited the negative depiction of Binance as “sketchy”, accredited to an anonymous quote from a trader that referred Binance to as a “massive shitcoin casino.” He alleged that these lines in the profile piece “were obviously designed to mislead readers into believing” that he was violating the law.

This is, however, not the first time for Binance. In 2020, Binance sued Forbes over allegedly defamatory remarks in an article. While it dropped the charges made in a suit last year, the crypto exchange made a strategic investment in Forbes sometime later. Zhao has also previously moved the court against venture capital firm Sequoia over alleged defamation.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article implied that Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao sued Bloomberg and its Hong Kong publisher. Zhao has not filed a lawsuit, but just a motion for discovery. The article has been updated to reflect the changes.

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  • Published Date: July 26, 2022 8:23 PM IST
  • Updated Date: July 27, 2022 7:29 PM IST

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