Binance CEO Sues Bloomberg Publisher Over ‘Sh*tcoin Casino’ Article

  • Zhao claims that he believed the article would paint himself and Binance positively
  • An unnamed trader is quoted in the article labeling Binance as a “sh*tcoin casino”
  • The defamation-focused lawsuit claims that there is no basis behind the allegation
  • The publisher attempted to recall print editions and remove relevant online posts
Binance logo on phone
The CEO of Binance is suing a Bloomberg publisher over an article that deemed the cryptocurrency exchange a “sh*tcoin casino.” [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Not what was expected

The CEO of Binance is not happy with a Chinese-language Bloomberg article including quotes from a trader that deemed his cryptocurrency exchange a “sh*itcoin casino.” Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao has decided to take his grievances to court, suing Bloomberg Businessweek’s Hong Kong publisher over the offending article.

altered the tone and scope of the piece before publication

Zhao took to Twitter to express his anger at the piece, claiming that Bloomberg altered the tone and scope of the piece before publication. He was under the impression that the article would paint him and his company in a positive light. This ultimately did not turn out to be the case, as Zhao tweeted:

Strong accusations

The Bloomberg article’s English version includes quotes from an unnamed trader who labeled Binance a “massive sh*tcoin casino.” The article also features quotes from someone in the sports media space who speculated that cryptocurrencies could actually be a type of Ponzi scheme.

In relation to Zhao, the article acknowledges that he has built the biggest digital currency exchange in the world today, but that he is now facing a significant regulatory headwind during “a brutal crypto winter.”

Zhao’s court filing argues that the article’s “massive sh*tcoin casino” claim is without basis, and that “no attempts were made in the Original Article to identify and verify the identity of this supposed ‘trader’” who made the comments.

lawsuit is making defamation-related claims

He filed the legal action against an affiliate of Bloomberg – Modern Media CL. The lawsuit is making defamation-related claims, alleging that the article misleads its readers into thinking that Zhao and Binance break the law.

Protecting Binance

In advance of filing the lawsuit, Zhao urged Bloomberg to make a retraction of the article, as well as remove all relevant social media postings and online copies of the piece. Lawyers for the publisher agreed to delete relevant posts without making any admission of wrongdoing. The publisher also recalled any copies of the physical magazine released in Hong Kong.

However, Zhao was unhappy that certain websites continued to sell physical copies of the magazine.

Through a Southern District of New York court filing, Zhao’s legal team is seeking to ascertain certain evidence from Bloomberg. They could then use any resulting information in the pending litigation in Hong Kong’s Court of First Instance.

Zhao has a history of filing lawsuits against media outlets, suing Forbes in 2020, and venture capital firm Sequoia in 2019.