16 Jan 2019 · 2 min read

Binance CEO Draws Fire on Himself With a Controversial Tweet

Everyone knows you should keep your private keys to your cryptocurrency as safe as possible, since your funds don’t belong to you unless you have those keys. But where? Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the CEO of major cryptocurrency exchange Binance, thinks you should keep them on an exchange. However, others are warning - do not listen to this “absolutely horrible advice.”

Source: a video screenshot.

Following the hack of the New Zealand cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia, Zhao tweeted, “Store coins yourself. You fight hackers yourself, and guard from losing wallet yourself. Computer breaks, USBs gets lost. Store on an exchange. Only use the most reputable, proven secure, exchanges. Or move to DEX [Decentralized exchange], disrupt ourselves.” Many flocked to the statement to tell people why this was such a bad idea.

Other major players are warning against this, too. Jesse Powell, co-founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, tweeted:

Others cut straight to the chase: “When Binance gets hacked, this tweet will become a meme. PS: Not if... when,” wrote Twitter user @ArminVanBitcoin. Others are warning against too much confidence, like @RNR_0: “Do not challenge/motivate hackers to accept this challenge. It's a bad idea.”

Others are pointing out that DEX isn’t such a great idea either. “But if you're using a DEX you're still technically the one who is keeping the keys, so all the dangers of storing the coins yourself are still present,” writes Reddit user u/newphonewhodizz.

After all the backlash, Changpeng Zhao had to backtrack, and do it quickly. “Some people seems to misread this tweet. It lists 3 options. It does not say which option is better than another, as that depends on each person’s security skill, preference, fund allocation, etc. Most importantly, it is an ad for the [Binance DEX]. My bad for not making it clear,” he wrote in a follow up.

But of course, since this is the crypto community we’re talking about, the whole thing could not have passed without someone making a meme out of it. #FundsAreSafu

Because hackers would never dare attacking the Keeper of the Safu Keys. from r/CryptoCurrency

Meanwhile, ahead of the Proof of Keys event in January, when crypto users where encouraged to withdraw their bitcoins from exchanges in order to prove ownership over them, CZ said he doesn't have an opinion about this initiative and that the exchange " will provide what the market needs. Feel free to do whatever you wish."