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Aug 28
2019
AMA With CZ: Highlights | August 28

Here are the highlights from the recently concluded AMA with CZ on Binance’s Twitter account. He talked about the new referral program, the future Futures, the Venus initiative, and more.

The past few days have been a whirlwind of activity for Binance. Our CEO CZ (Changpeng Zhao) has encapsulated it with this passage:  

“Last Friday, we added more assets to Margin [Trading]. On Sunday, we finished the Launchpad lottery draw. On Monday, we launched Lending, which is a big feature. Yesterday, we released Referral 2.0, so now you can allocate a portion of your referral fees to the people you refer [to Binance]. Today, Lending is going to start.”

To help make more sense of the constant activity within the Binance ecosystem, CZ hosted an AMA today to address several questions from our community. Here are some of the highlights.

CLICK HERE to listen to the full AMA with CZ.

This transcript has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Staking

“We’ve recently added staking for five additional tokens... Right now we’re seeing a lot of increase in the number of people who are staking with us. I do believe that staking will be a necessary feature for exchanges in the near future.

We will provide that [staking] service by default. It does cost us a little bit of effort, but it’s relatively controllable, so we will provide it for free. And we will give 100% and sometimes even more for users who do staking with us. Right now we support about 11 tokens, and we will add more.”

Let me talk about staking from a coin design perspective. There are a number of coins which require you to keep your coins on the node that’s online 24/7 for staking. That doesn’t work for exchanges. Given the amount of coins we hold, 98% of the coins have to be in cold wallets, which by default cannot be online. A number of blockchains have that design, and we’re basically convincing the projects to get away from that design. Some of the coins that we don’t support when it comes to staking have that design.”

New Referral Program

“You can now earn up to 40% for referring somebody when they trade. And now, you can allocate however much you want back to them... This gives more incentives and flexibility for people to invite other people. You can share some of your rebates with your friends. We think that’s gonna be a fairly interesting feature. That actually took quite a bit of programming to get done, it’s not as simple as you think, because we actually do the rebates relatively quickly.”

Futures

“We actually invested in two Futures platforms. There’s one which is more of an acquisition. There’s one we developed together with the team ourselves. So we actually have two, and both of them are kinda ready, so we’re deciding which one to release. Or we may release both, which is very likely because they are slightly different products. Futures is coming very, very soon, probably/definitely sometime in September. Both products are very competitive in terms of features. I’m looking forward to that quite a lot.

I know I first talked about it in July, in Taiwan, and it took a couple of months to polish.” 

Venus

“We are talking with a number of partners and we are still looking for more partners to join us. Venus is more of an open initiative to increase the adoption of cryptocurrencies, especially on the stablecoin side. Our view is that stablecoins do serve a relatively important purpose in the cryptosphere, because it serves as a middle ground between fiat currencies and cryptocurrency. If you would like to partner with us, do talk to us [at venus@binance.com].”

Binance X

“Binance X is a separate branch of Binance Labs. There are a couple of initiatives within Binance Labs. There’s Binance Labs direct investments, then the Incubation programs, which is a 10-week program with select projects... 

Then there’s Binance X, which evolved from the Binance Fellowship program, where we just give developers between USD5,000 or USD15,000 worth of cryptocurrency to help them fund or develop early-stage ideas. Most of those ideas have something to do with or are related to Binance Chain, Binance Launchpad, or Binance APIs, so it helps foster a developer community around our ecosystem. Binance X is a new initiative in that regard.”

Binance Lending

“When we first release Margin Trading, [users] were basically borrowing from Binance. There’s a limited amount of coins that we wish to lend out. There’s limited participation we want to do in that sense. We want to provide a marketplace for users to loan to other users. Now, the Lending feature is out, and you can lend people your coins. We’ve started with BNB and USDT, but very soon, we’ll continue to add more coins.

One of the issues with cryptocurrencies is that there’s no interest when you store your coins anywhere. So now there is an interest rate. Our Lending platform is different from other independent lending platforms where they take your coins, take them off the platform, and invest them somewhere else. Those investments may or may not work out, so there’s a risk. Our Lending works directly with Margin, so you know exactly where the money is going, and as long as the risk management protocol works, it will be fine. And we have relatively sophisticated liquidation processes in place to make sure that the margin risk management works fine.

The BNB you lend out still counts towards your Launchpad allocation. The guys who borrow those coins don’t get those [allocations.]

The 15% interest [for BNB lending products] is guaranteed, but this guarantee is gonna be different from some of the guarantees in other products. Initially, it’s a very short term product, I believe it’s two weeks, and each term has different interest rates, determined by how willing people are to borrow for margin. The 15% is more of a high number we put out to attract the initial user base. It is guaranteed but for a relatively short period of time. Eventually, the interest rate will be market-driven.

There are risks in every business model, including banks and fiat. We do want to explain to people what Lending is for, and what risks are associated. Right now, our Margin provides 3x leverage, and with the current market volatility, we’re comfortable managing the risk on that part.

All crypto in Binance.com is covered by the SAFU program. At the end of the day, if SAFU can’t cover, we will cover it.”

Binance DEX / Chain

“You can trade directly on Biance DEX directly from a number mobile services, including Trust Wallet via WalletConnect. There are about 20-30 mobile wallets that support Binance DEX. The Binance.org website is being optimized for the mobile experience.

There are also a number of mobile app initiatives that specifically target Binance DEX. In addition, there is mobile support for Binance DEX, as well as for Binance.com and all our services.

There are some discussions for smart contracts on Binance Chain, but none of the development has started yet, as far as I see it. We plan to completely open-source Binance Chain, but we want other blockchains to do their own experiment and not copy our codes.”

Binance Launchpad

Can you return to the old lottery model in the next IEO?

“We have experimented with lots of different models in different times, and some models work for a certain set of users and some models work for a different set of users. For example, in developing countries, they really like the model in which each ticket has a small amount, whereas, in more developed countries, people have more disposable income and want a higher amount per ticket. This way they feel that is worthwhile trouble to go through investment. So it’s a tough balance. We will continue to iterate through our model, Before, we made big adjustments, but now we are making final smaller adjustments over time. We do believe the current model is relatively logical and sensible. So we will see how it goes and we’re always open to suggestions.”

Can you force the next IEO project to not list in other places before Binace?

“Unfortunately in the cryptocurrency world, you can not prevent other exchanges to do anything. Any exchange can list any token that they want. Sometimes, they will even list air. If they don't have a token, they can issue a contract or something that represents the token for the future. 

When is it start for the next Launchpad?

I believe that Launchpad team is still discussing with other projects for the next token sale. I don’t have an exact time but wait for the next announcement to come out very soon.”

Binance US

“The exact time of launch for Binance US heavily depends on our partner BAM Trading in the US. Binance US CEO Catherine Coley will release news from time to time. We’re engaged on the technical side, and things are progressing relatively well, so there will be a number of new features to be developed for the US market. The concept is very simple, but in reality, there is a lot of different work involved. But I do know the process has progressed quickly. There are a number of updates will be very soon.

BNB and Launchpad Token Price Questions
“BNB’s price versus USD dropped in the past month or so. There’s not a whole lot we can do other than working really hard on our product. We’re building very aggressively. We work very hard. Most of the team are working 16 hours a day, myself included. In my mind, that’s the best thing we can do to help BNB growth.

We’re increasing adoption, we are rolling out features like crazy, we’re also iterating through our existing platforms, we are encouraging our ecosystem partners to adopt BNB at a high pace. 

Price is market-driven. So the small dip was probably because, at the finish of each Launchpad project, there are some small fluctuations in the price. It’s small fluctuations that we don’t really control.

I do have a very positive outlook for BNB and for the things we’re doing. Looking across the industry, we are one of the most hardworking teams in the industry.

Binance Launchpad Schedule

“Previously, about 1½ months ago, I said we’ll launch about 5 projects in the next 3 months or so. We are still very much on track with that. We are seeing a number of very strong projects. I strongly believe that fundraising on the blockchain is still a killer app. I will continue to support it.

When OTC?

OTC is available on Binance Trading. Email them at tradedesk1@binance.com.  Binance Trading is there to facilitate large crypto trades in a way that doesn’t impact the market

Cloud Token is NOT a Binance Partner

“We’re not working with Cloud Token at all. Some of their founders may be traders on Binance, but that’s pretty much it. Other than that, there’s no other relationship. In general, everyone can claim to be a Binance partner, so be careful.”

What do you like to eat?

“I eat everything and I am an international eater. If I eat sushi or burgers or German sausages straight for a month, I’ll be fine.

I’ve tried different diet schemes. I tried the keto diet and got sick; it must be the keto flu. I may try three-day fasting soon, but I do things like that randomly. I don’t have a strict diet plan.”