How Much You Got? Binance & DigiByte Feud Reveals Danger of Centralized Exchanges

Back in July when Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin stated that he hoped ‘centralized exchanges burn in hell’, it may have seemed a tad over the top. After all, as 2017 bled into 2018, lots of new hands entered the crypto market, and according to adjusted volume figures, Binance was the exchange where they ended up.

While Binance has proved popular among crypto enthusiasts for its intuitive layout and relative ease of use, the fact remains that it is as centralized as it comes. Binance has a better reputation than most centralized exchanges, but all the power is held in one pair of hands.

The inherent danger of that centralization appears to be making itself apparent once more as DigiByte founder Jared Tate has revealed the inner workings of getting a coin listed on Binance.

Apologize or Else

As reported previously on Hacked, one of the claims made by Jared Tate was that Binance head, CZ (Changpeng Zhao), had specifically requested a public apology before DGB could be added to the exchange.

CZ promptly denied those claims, labelling them FUD in a tweet that now appears to have gone missing from his twitter feed. But then Tate released this screenshot of the exchange between CZ and him in a Twitter direct message, stating:

“For historical purposes: This was the request made directly by CZ to “owning up to ones own mistakes” on Oct. 8th. The “mistake” of refusing to be extorted. The “mistake” of standing up for decentralized blockchain technology like DigiByte. The mistake of calling out P&D’s.”

Unless there’s some expert photoshop at play here, the screenshot proves pretty damning for the CEO of one the biggest crypto companies out there. Why would he choose to lie about an interaction he had mere days ago?

How Much You Got?

Tate also revealed screenshots of an exchange between the DGB team and a representative of the Binance exchange from last year.

When the DGB team asked how about listing fees, the response that came back would be comical if it weren’t so insidious. ‘How much you got?’ was the essence of the response, as the representative queried: “What’s your budget?”

The idea of ‘pay to play’ is one which appears to be entering the culture from all angles. While we may be able to laugh off the ridiculousness of its effect on the world of video games, the crypto space was never meant for this.

Going back to Vitalik Buterin’s comments from earlier this year, it appears he was once again correct in his prognostications:

“We can really take away this stupid king making power that these centralized exchanges have where they have this ability to just decide which tokens become big by deciding to list them and then charging these crazy $10 million to $15 million listing fees. The more we can get away from that world and into something which actually satisfies the blockchain values of openness and transparency the better.”

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Greg Thomson is a freelance writer who contributes to leading cryptocurrency and blockchain publications like CCN, Hacked, and others.