by Zero Hedge
Just days after suggesting that the United Arab Emirates could anchor a crypto bailout fund, billionaire Changpeng “CZ” Zhao further outlined his plans to backstop the stricken industry, pledging to amass at least $1 billion for buying distressed assets and saying Binance will make another bid for bankrupt lender Voyager Digital.
Zhao himself moved to Dubai last year and has built close ties with the UAE leadership. After FTX’s bankruptcy, Zhao tweeted that Binance would form a recovery fund “to help projects who are otherwise strong, but in a liquidity crisis.”
“There are still players with very strong financials and we should band together to try to help the projects in need, especially if it’s only financial need,” he said on the sidelines of Abu Dhabi Finance Week last Wednesday.
And now, in an interview Thursday with Bloomberg Television’s Haslinda Amin, Zhao provided the most detailed overview yet of the various deals Binance is examining in the wake of rival FTX’s messy collapse. The centerpiece of Zhao’s plan is gathering partners for a fund aimed at backing promising but cash-strapped crypto projects.
“We are going with a loose approach where different industry players will contribute as they wish,” he said, adding that “the industry needs saving now, not in 2023.”
Given that many claim CZ was responsible for pushing over the first domino in the downfall of Sam Bankman-Fried, it is ironic that the Binance boss is now planning to look at FTX’s assets as they come through bankruptcy proceedings.
“They invested in a number of different projects, some of them are OK, some of them are bad but I think there are certain assets that are salvageable,” Zhao said.
As Bloomberg reports, this year’s deep crypto rout has lopped about $80 billion off Zhao’s personal fortune, but at $15 billion it still far exceeds that of anyone else in crypto, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
“There will be pain whenever one player goes down,” he said, noting that he was planning to revive its bid for the assets of Voyager and is also in talks with Genesis Global, the US-based cryptocurrency broker which is seeking emergency funding to stay afloa.
A blog post outlining his partnership plans and the size of the potential fund.
“Roughly, we’re thinking of setting up $1 billion first, and if that’s not enough we’ll allocate more. If after six months there’s unused funds and there’s not that many projects–hopefully the industry will have recovered by then–we can withdraw it back.”
Zhao also suggested that the fund could grow to as much as $2 billion “if the need arises.”
Finally we note that the irony of CZ’s new role as ‘savior’, given his previous veiled criticism of Bankman-Fried’s “rescues”: “Don’t perpetuate bad companies,” he wrote at the time. “Let them fail.”
Watch the full interview here: