Is There Any Truth To BNB Price Manipulation?

There are persistent rumors of BNB price manipulation, but little hard evidence - not that it will necessarily matter.

Opinion image: A brain with a Ruby logo

There aren't many crypto exchanges that have escaped accusations of wrongdoing of one kind or another. Misappropriation of customer funds (aka "theft"), covering up hacks and data leaks, hosting P&Ds, trading against their customers—the list goes on. And, in fairness, for good reason. In this unregulated space, exchanges have at one time or another been guilty of all of these and more. The collapse of FTX last year has sharpened the crypto community's Spidey senses to any form of shady behavior.

Binance, as the world's largest crypto exchange, is next in line for scrutiny. They are systemically important to the crypto ecosystem. What's more, there have undeniably been problems at the organization, which is now the subject of multiple ongoing lawsuits and other investigations by the SEC, CFTC, and likely the DoJ, for a range of civil and criminal offences. In fact, Binance's list of misfortunes is impressive, for all the wrong reasons.

The crypto community, though, is less concerned with securities offences and even sanctions violations. It's the prospect of market manipulation that has really got them up in arms.

The Importance Of BNB Token

Binance's native token, BNB, is closely integrated with the exchange and plays an important role across the Binance ecosystem—a little like FTX's FTT token once did. For various reasons, BNB losing value could have significant implications for the exchange and the wider crypto ecosystem. And yet BNB has so far managed to avoid crashing through the key technical level (a little above $200) that would lead to more market carnage—even if it's very, very close.

BNB/USDT chart, TradingView
BNB is hovering right on support.

This, along with other snippets of "evidence", has prompted speculation that Binance and its founder CZ are artificially propping up the price of the token, and that Binance's days are numbered.

Speculation first began months ago, with critics wondering whether a huge BNB-collateralized loan was the culprit.

Since then, analysts have watched BNB carefully, waiting for what they believe is an inevitable technical pattern to play out. With the recent crypto crash, that apocalyptic scenario comes back into focus.

Blockchain analyst and commentator Adam Cochran is a frequent critic of Binance and CZ, but he's by no means the only one. Numerous high-profile figures from the blockchain space have drawn attention to Binance, claiming the rot goes to the heart of the organization.

There's circumstantial evidence, but nothing conclusive, and nothing that points specifically to CZ and Binance (rather than, for example, BNB whales). Despite Binance's long, long list of transgressions and problems, there's very little hard evidence of market manipulation, as CZ himself has drawn attention to.

The "4" at the beginning of that tweet is, of course, a reference to CZ's "4" meme, which originates in his list of priorities for the year. Posting a "4" has become a popular way for the Binance community to draw attention to unsubstantiated attacks.

Regardless of whether it's Binance, a large trader, or just the aggregate whims of the market keeping BNB above that critical $200 line, there is a long-term technical pattern that will—on the balance of probability—break to the downside. If that happens, there's a long way for the price to fall before support, and things could get very messy. Should any of the numerous lawsuits underway hit home, we could find out what that would look like.

TL;DR: There's enough going wrong at Binance without needing to invent anything new.

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