Facing accusations that Binance, currently the second largest exchange in the world by trading volume, was asking smaller coins for fees in order to list them on its platform, CEO Changpeng Zhao was having none of it.
Almost immediately after a purportedly leaked email from Binance by Cristopher Franko, co-founder of Expanse, where Binance was asking for 400 BTC (~$2.5 million) in exchange for a listing, Changpeng said that the company does not list “shitcoins” regardless whether they pay an exorbitant fee to enter.
“Also, the email Franko showed is a spoofed/scam email, not from Binance. Binance never quotes fees in email, and not in BTC. Project owners should be able to spot email spoofing. Those who can’t should not issue a coin. The communication process/method tells a lot about a coin,” he added in the thread.
It is not uncommon to see many in the cryptocurrency community crying foul about exchanges that do not list certain coins, suspecting that their reason for doing so is that a coin’s lead developers did not accept some kind of backroom deal that would have it listed if they would pay an exorbitant sum of money.
A recent investigation into the matter revealed that several cryptocurrency exchanges charge between $50,000 to $1 million for listings.
As far as Binance is concerned, we have no evidence that it is doing this kind of thing. All of this started when Franko posted a message on Twitter saying he was quoted by Binance for 400 BTC to list Expanse.
This tweet took the cryptocurrency community by storm, with surprisingly little skepticism about the claim. Nonetheless, Franko diligently followed up his previous tweet with another one showing a partial screenshot of an email appearing to come from a binance.com address.
He said that it could not be a spoof because it came from Binance’s domain name. However, it is deceptively easy to exploit the SMTP protocol, which is used to send emails, using a simple PHP script and some less-than-reputable mailer services.
This isn’t to say that Franko is being naive. However, we cannot really know the truth unless we gain access to the full email header, a special piece of code that reveals several crucial pieces of information including what server was used to send the email and, possibly, the IP address of the sender.
We could then compare the server IP address to those that appear on emails normally sent by Binance. The sender’s IP subnet could also be analyzed for geolocation, helping identify where the person sent the email from.
Right now, it is just a battle of words with people taking multiple sides, but no concrete evidence that an IT engineer can look through to get to the bottom of everything.