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Daily fraud update: 30th March

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Binance carries on with controversial FTX delisting

One of the world’s most famous cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance, has announced that it will take all of its FTX leveraged tokens off its lists due to market volatility related to coronavirus.

Any user who currently has such a trading position open on the exchange’s platform will need to close it by the end of the month – which is tomorrow, or Tuesday, 31st March.

FTX is a cryptocurrency derivatives exchange and trading platform.

This is far from the first time that Binance has been in the news recently.

The large global exchange was a victim of an alleged crypto fraud case last year.

It said that over $40m worth of bitcoin was seized from its exchange services through techniques like phishing.

In total, around 7,000 bitcoins were stolen.

“We must conduct a thorough security review. The security review will include all parts of our systems and data”, said the firm’s CEO, Zhao Changpeng, at the time.

Now, its decision to delist FTX leveraged tokens has caused some further angst among the users of the platform.

According to the crypto press, there have been claims that the decision to delist the tokens in such a fast way is similar to “fraud”.

Some traders also objected to the fast timeframe in which they are now expected to close their positions.

There was also a suggestion that Binance may have cynically used the coronavirus crisis to remove FTX-related trading options because profits for traders can quickly mount up.

However, it is understood that the firm’s leadership believes that such tokens can lead to problems when it comes to volatility – and that they can often plunge in value when problems arise.

The firm released an oddly-worded statement over the weekend which began with what appeared to be a criticism of the exchange’s users.

“Due to lack of understanding of how leveraged tokens work by many of our users, Binance has decided to delist all existing FTX leveraged tokens and corresponding trading pairs, and will stop trading at 2020/03/31 10:00 AM (UTC)”, it said.

“We will close deposits and withdrawals for all FTX leveraged tokens at 2020/03/31 08:00 AM”, it added.

However, it did go on to offer a number of options to affected users – as well as an apology.

“We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience”, it said.

It explained that there were three possible routes for affected traders to go down.

They could “trade out of their existing Leveraged token positions”, for example, or simply withdraw “their Leveraged tokens”.

The other alternative would be to carry on “holding their Leveraged tokens until the trading pairs are delisted”.

“We will credit your Binance account with the equivalent value held in each leveraged token at the time of delisting in BUSD and within 14 days”, Binance explained.