CZ Denies He Owns CommEX, Binance Russia's New Owner

Binance’s CEO sought to quell speculation about the mysterious, day-old, crypto company found as part of a hasty Russian exit

AccessTimeIconSep 28, 2023 at 9:07 a.m. UTC

Changpeng “CZ” Zhao on Thursday denied that he is the owner of CommEX, the mysterious company that has bought Binance’s business in Russia.

Binance, of which CZ is founder and chief executive officer, this week announced it was quitting Russia after reports of a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into sanctions violations.

That led to questions around the identity of CommEX – a company with similar user look and feel to Binance, and which appears to just be a few days old.

“I am not their UBO [ultimate beneficial owner], nor do I own any shares there,” CZ said of CommEx in a post on X, formerly Twitter, adding that a few former Binance staff from the region have gone to work for CommEX, or may do so in future.

Historic transactions between the two companies related to the “testing phase” of integration, and Binance had asked for CommEX to have a similar design and technical features to smooth the transition, CZ added.

In its Wednesday press release, Binance confirmed it had no revenue split or option to buy back shares from the new company, and that it was “fully” exiting Russia with a transition period of a few months.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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Jack Schickler

Jack Schickler was a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.