Coinbase Global Inc COIN CEO Brian Armstrong opened up his company's balance sheet on Twitter after Binance CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao sewed some doubt regarding one of its partners.
What Happened: CZ, in a since-deleted tweet, doubted that Grayscale, operator of the biggest bitcoin trust with Coinbase holding the assets, actually holds all the Bitcoin BTC/USD it says it does.
CZ posted figures that, if accurate, would cast doubt on Grayscale and Coinbase's claims. He stated in the tweet, "Just stating 'news reports,' not making any claims."
Armstrong swiftly replied to CZ by subtweet, using the crypto slang for fear, uncertainty, and doubt: "If you see FUD out there - remember, our financials are public (we're a public company)."
“We hold 2 million Bitcoin, worth $39.9 billion as of September, 30,” Armstrong said.
The 2 million Bitcoin is worth $32.8 billion, at Bitcoin’s current price of $16,425.
CZ replied, “Brian Armstrong just told me the numbers in the articles are wrong. Deleted the previous tweet. Let’s work together to improve transparency in the industry.”
Why It Matters: The sector is facing uncertainty following the failure of former billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried's FTX crypto exchange platform. As a result, there are now widespread calls from the cryptocurrency community for exchanges and funds to disclose their financial sheets.
Armstrong cleared the air last week, saying that Coinbase didn't have any material exposure to FTX or Alameda Research, and reminded investors to review its audited financial statements which were handled by Deloitte management and consulting.
Armstrong also said Coinbase has $5 billion of cash on the balance sheet, and it is holding those assets in dollars, so the company isn't exposed to broader crypto volatility.
"Customer funds are segregated," he said via Twitter Spaces last week, "that's an important thing to look at."
Short Seller Responds: Edwin Dorsey, author and founder of “The Bear Cave,” which aims to provide analysis, commentary, and curated links on the short world, responded to Armstrong.
“Any CEO saying 'if you see FUD out there' should be an automatic sell signal,” the short seller said.
COIN Price Action: Shares of Coinbase are trading 5.04% higher Tuesday to $43.31. The stock has a 52-week high of $331.70, and a 52-week low of $40.61, according to data from Benzinga Pro.
Photo: Courtesy of coinbase.com and binance.com
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