Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, recently turned down an offer to acquire Tron blockchain founder Justin Sun’s ownership stake in rival exchange Huobi, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Binance wasn’t interested because of rumors that Huobi has ties to mainland China, which Binance wants nothing to do with, according to the person, who requested anonymity. In an interview last month with CoinDesk TV, Sun said Huobi wants to attain a license in Hong Kong and launch a new exchange there called Huobi Hong Kong.
The scope of Sun’s involvement with Huobi has been cloaked in secrecy. A company called About Capital purchased Huobi in October of last year. Sun’s representatives have said he’s not involved with About, though Huobi confirmed in January that he’s a leader of the company. Last week, following a Bloomberg report that Sun was trying to sell his Huobi stake, he compared such speculation to an April Fool’s joke.
Binance has been led to believe that Sun owns a majority stake in Huobi, the person said.
Sun’s overture was made directly to Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao in the last week or so, the person said.
“I must point out that in the past week or so, I have not proposed any offer to [CZ] regarding the purchase of [Huobi], nor have we even discussed Huobi in the past week or so,“ Sun tweeted after this story came out.
“We don’t have any comment to share,“ a Binance spokesperson said.
The price of Tron’s TRX token fell to its lowest price of the past 24 hours after this story was initially published, according to CoinDesk data.
UPDATE (April 5, 2023, 16:32 UTC): Adds that the price of Tron's TRX fell after this story was published.
UPDATE (April 5, 2023, 16:43 UTC): Adds Sun's tweet.