Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, said on Tuesday that it had reached a deal to buy one of its biggest competitors, FTX, as fears swirled that the crypto industry could be entering another meltdown.
The size of the acquisition couldn’t immediately be determined. But if the deal goes through, it would bring together two of the largest companies in the crypto industry and cement the status of Binance’s founder, Changpeng Zhao, as one of the most powerful figures shaping the future of the loosely regulated technology.
“This afternoon, FTX asked for our help,” Mr. Zhao said in a tweet on Tuesday. He said Binance was planning to “fully acquire FTX.com and help cover the liquidity crunch.”
Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX’s chief executive, said that FTX had “come to an agreement on a strategic transaction” with Binance.
FTX had been scrambling to meet a surge of withdrawal requests over the last few days, after the crypto publication CoinDesk reported on a leaked balance sheet that appeared to show FTX’s sister company, Alameda Research, was on shaky foundations.
Many crypto companies have been grappling with financial difficulties since virtual currencies melted down earlier this year. The experimental currencies are highly volatile.
This is a developing news story. Stay tuned for updates.