Elon Musk, the Tesla billionaire who has this year adopted the meme-based bitcoin rival dogecoin as something of a pet project, has challenged Binance chief executive Changpeng “CZ” Zhao over the exchange’s ongoing dogecoin withdrawal issues.
Dogecoin, which earlier this year rocketed into the crypto top ten by value in part thanks to social media support from the likes of Musk, has added a blistering 6,000% to its value since this time last year.
Earlier this month, Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, suspended dogecoin withdrawals following an upgrade that users had claimed resulted in dogecoin being erroneously credited to their account.
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“Hey [CZ] , what’s going on with your doge customers? Sounds shady,” Musk said via Twitter, responding to a Coindesk report about a Financial Times interview in which CZ said he’s aiming to improve the perception of Binance by regulators.
“Doge holders using Binance should be protected from errors that are not their fault,” Musk added.
Following the upgrade glitch, Binance said mistakenly sent dogecoin must be returned by the users or they will be unable to withdraw or use funds on their balances. Users have claimed they don’t have the dogecoin in their Binance accounts, according to media reports.
“Elon, we are pretty certain it is an issue with the latest doge wallet,” CZ replied. “We are in communications with the devs. Apologies for any inconvenience that may have caused you.”
Following Musk’s tweet, Binance posted a thread explaining the situation and the issue it’s having with dogecoin withdrawals.
“The root cause is a technical issue during the recent upgrade process that caused old transactions to be resent to 1,674 users,” the exchange posted to Twitter. “The issue occurred on Binance—and not other platforms—because we have a different technical wallet set-up for doge. Since the incident occurred, Doge Network has been providing us with support, but we have to rebuild the wallet entirely, which is causing a delay that we expect may last another week or so.”
Binance added it’s aware users “are upset—and rightly so.” The exchange first reported the issue almost two weeks ago and has previously updated a blog post saying it expects “doge network withdrawals to be suspended for the next 10 to 14 days from 2021-11-15.”
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Meanwhile, CZ has said he doesn’t “get” dogecoin or other memecoins but wants Binance to be “a marketplace for all the relatively valuable cryptocurrencies in the world.”
“To be honest, I don’t get dogecoin. But this shows the power of decentralization. What I think may or may not matter,” CZ said in an interview with the Associated Press last week. “If a large enough number of people in the community values it because it’s cute because they like the meme, then it has value.”
In October, Musk called on dogecoin miners—who secure the network in return for freshly-minted coins—to update their software in order to lower dogecoin transaction fees and speed up transactions.
Musk has repeatedly backed dogecoin as an alternative to bitcoin this year despite his electric car company Tesla holding billions of dollars worth of bitcoin. Musk has said he thinks dogecoin could work with ethereum to “beat bitcoin hands down.”