Bitcoin Below $28K As Rumors of Interpol Search for CZ Engulf Internet
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Bitcoin Below $28K As Rumors of Interpol Search for CZ Engulf Internet

The rumor that Interpol is looking for Changpeng Zhao caused multiple cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and BNB to drop sharply.
Neither the author, Tim Fries, nor this website, The Tokenist, provide financial advice. Please consult our website policy prior to making financial decisions.

Several major cryptocurrencies experienced a significant drop in price on Monday, April 3rd, after unverified rumors of an Interpol red notice after Changpeng Zhao started circulating. Zhao, as well as his company—Binance—was sued by the CFTC last week in what is currently the latest major regulatory action against a big player in the digital assets industry.

Bitcoin and BNB Fall As Rumors of a Red Notice For CZ Spread

This Monday, a well-known user on crypto Twitter shared an encrypted message which, once deciphered, reads “Interpol Red Notice for CZ” referring to the CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange Binance. While there has been no confirmation or denial of the statement, it soon spawned multiple memes and spread around the internet. 

As a result, Bitcoin sharply dropped and fell below $28,000 after almost a week of relative stability above the price. By the time of writing, it was down nearly 3% and stood just above $27,400. Similarly, Binance’s own BNB fell by more than 4% to a low not seen in nearly a month—$300.69.

The rumor comes in a volatile period for the digital assets industry as the last two months saw multiple enforcement actions—and warnings of enforcement actions—against major players in the sector. Changpeng Zhao and Binance were sued by the CFTC last week. Additionally, a now-debunked rumor that Binance is planning a departure from the US due to regulatory scrutiny was also circulating.

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Are the Authorities Going After the Entire Crypto Industry?

Both in the US and internationally, the authorities and the regulators have seemingly become more antagonistic towards cryptocurrencies over the previous months. Two major catastrophes, the collapse of LUNA, and the downfall of FTX have done much to discredit digital assets for the time being, and the recent enforcement actions against companies like Kraken have only ramped up the pressure. 

While the main critique for the lawmakers in the United States has, so far, been that they aren’t doing enough to offer a clear framework to the digital assets industry, other countries have been tightening regulations. Canada’s recent changes to the rulebook have, for example, caused a great deal of speculation on whether some major companies will leave the market. Both Coinbase and Kraken have so far reaffirmed their commitment to Canada, despite the new rules.

Recent weeks have also seen an international, months-long search for a crypto fugitive come to an end. Do Kwon, who is sought after by South Korea, the US, and Interpol, has been arrested in Montenegro on March 23rd. On the other hand, several countries have eased their restrictions on digital assets with Hong Kong in particular ramping up its efforts to become an important digital hub.

Editorial note (April 4th, 2023, 12:20 PM EST): Several typing errors were corrected.

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Do you there really is an Interpol red notice for Binance’s CEO? Let us know in the comments below.