SafeMoon Chases Binance Listing, AMA Teases 'Operation Pheonix' Amid Criticism

The cryptocurrency SafeMoon is still pushing for a listing on major crypto exchanges after Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, suggested any coin could be listed if it had enough interest.

A SafeMoon enthusiast recently tweeted an interview clip of Zhao, in which he said: "If a coin has a large number of users, then we'll list it.

"If you have a coin that's popular and everyone's chasing it, the exchange has no choice but to list it. So it's not like we decide what to list."

SafeMoon's development team last week announced listings on the Mandala and MXC cryptocurrency exchanges, but so far the token has not been listed on any of the top three major exchanges. By trading volume, these are Binance, Huobi Global, and Coinbase.

Meanwhile, the token's CEO John Karony referred to the team's cryptic and deliberately misspelled "Project Pheonix" in a weekend Q&A session, but gave little detail: "So SafeMoon is going to be the fuel for the freedom of the unbanked."

SafeMoon is still a new token that has fans excited and critics wary. It works by penalizing sellers with a 10 percent transaction fee; five percent of which gets redistributed to those who still hold the cryptocurrency.

Experts spoke to Newsweek last week about the risks associated with cryptocurrency trading including their price volatility.

Lark Davis, a cryptocurrency investor, analyst, and YouTuber, is critical of SafeMoon and has likened it to the Bitconnect scam that left its investors stranded with worthless cryptocurrency tokens.

Davis said on Twitter: "Bitconnect was for a brief moment a top 10 crypto. The people making money did not want to accept it was a ponzi, they made every excuse to justify it, and attacked anyone who stated the obvious. Then it rug-pulled and everyone lost big time. SafeMoon is no different."

Bitconnect was a cryptocurrency token and organization that guaranteed investors a return on their investment of up to 10 percent every month. For most of the token's life the only place to buy it was on an exchange operated by Bitconnect itself.

It crashed in 2018 after U.S. securities regulators issued a warning to investors "of the Ponzi-type nature of Bitconnect," the FBI later wrote. "This led to Bitconnect completely shutting down its exchange for BCC, eliminating the market for the cryptocurrency and stranding investors with near-worthless cryptocurrency."

Meanwhile, Laith Khalaf, financial analyst at the AJ Bell investment platform, told the Daily Express of SafeMoon "You're simply reliant on someone further down the line being willing to pay more than you did to turn a profit, which is a risky bet indeed."

Newsweek has contacted SafeMoon for comment.

Crypto security organization the Certik Foundation is conducting an audit of SafeMoon and "working closely" with the cryptocurrency to improve its security.

This article has been updated to include a link detailing the risks of cryptocurrency trading.

Correction 04/26 5:21 a.m. ET 2021: This article has been updated to correct the headline, which previously said Safemoon is chasing a Coinbase listing.

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A stock image shows an asset price graph changing over time. SafeMoon is not yet listed on the major exchanges Binance or Coinbase. solarseven/iStock