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Apr 03
2020
AMA with CZ, April 3: The Highlights


All bullet points are quotes from CZ. His quotes have been edited and condensed for clarity.

On the Binance-CoinMarketCap deal

* CoinMarketCap is a super valuable platform. I think it's probably the most valuable platform out there because it has the highest number of users. It’s the most visited website in our industry. 

* My perspective is not to acquire CoinMarketCap so that we can redirect all the traffic to Binance.com. I think that would destroy a lot of value. We acquired it, hoping that we can grow the platform bigger. We want to make the platform to be worth more than 10x or 100x in a few years. 

* My philosophy of running projects or businesses or products is that each product needs to be able to compete on its own. So one business should not need a subsidy or unfair help from another business unit to survive. I think for any product that requires an unfair advantage, as soon as that advantage goes away, the product fails. 

* Binance will continue to compete independently. CoinMarketCap will also compete independently. Both platforms need to be able to grow and compete on their own. There would certainly be collaborations and business relationships.

* I've been wooing Brandon, the founder of CoinMarketCap, for some time. I’ve used CoinMarketCap longer than Binance. I've watched CoinMarketCap grow. I know how neutral they are, and their missions, visions, etc. 

* The deal was very simple. We reached a verbal agreement on the deal structure a few months ago. It was a very simple talk, to be honest. It's very quick. We just took a couple of months to execute the deal.

* [On the question about some people being unhappy about the deal]: I don't think we need to respond to everybody who's unhappy. Some people are just born unhappy and we can't do anything about it. The thing we want to focus on is to provide more value. To build more value, to make both products more successful. Both products are very user-centric. They're user-first.

* I think CoinMarketCap is the most valuable platform in this industry. So that's basically it. It's the number of users. We just want to make the ecosystem bigger, to get the industry bigger. We want to be able to have a platform where people can very simply access information about crypto.

* We want CoinMarketCap to continue to be the most authoritative source of information of data for the industry. I would suggest expanding the product offerings to, add futures, derivatives, options, lending, dApps, anything that revolves around data, news updates, et cetera. I would recommend further improving the mobile product, which they launched recently. 

CoinMarketCap is already a profitable business, and if they need more funds to grow and expand more quickly, we're more than happy to provide it. So we view this as a very long-term play. 

* [On the question about alleged fake volumes on CoinMarketCap data]  There's a misconception that CoinMarketCap reports wrong data, that's not quite true. CoinMarketCap is very neutral. They just report data as it was being reported to them. The debate about fake data and fake trading volumes is always going to be there. They've done a lot of things reasonably, like real volume metrics and a number of initiatives that the team is doing. I'm pretty confident they will come up with innovative solutions to solve those problems.

* CoinMarketCap will be run relatively independently as most of our other acquisitions. If you look at Trust Wallet, it’s a team that we acquired and we funded. I talk to [Trust Wallet CEO] Viktor [Radchenko] once in a blue moon to be honest, he's a very capable entrepreneur and he's leading the team. 

On the Binance Mining Pool team

I actually don't have a lot of details about mining. The Binance Mining Pool team is also a very independent team. They operate on their own. We funded the initial development and platforms, etc. I do think mining is an important business that we want to support. Um, and um, um, right mining for BTC is a little bit centralized and we want to have more players to participate and we want to provide a better service for people who are mining out there.

* Anybody can participate in the mining pool. If you have mining equipment to use or a mining farm, you can connect to the mining pool when it's available. There's a couple of overlapping areas. There’s POW mining and POS mining, and we want to support more. 

On Binance Futures

* Due to the very volatile times recently, Binance Futures have seen 3x to 10x more volume growth than normal. Binance Futures also reached the No. 1 rank by volume on BTC contracts. 

* We’re hosting a trading tournament with over $1 million USD worth of BNB in prizes. 

On BUSD

* BUSD has surpassed $200 billion in market cap and circulating supply and is one of the fastest-growing stablecoins in the industry. The market cap actually doubled in the last 21 days. It goes to show that when you have a more transparent stablecoin, the demand is quite high. I think we'll continue to see more stablecoin adoption in the near future. 

* BUSD is fully audited and regulated by the NYDFS, one of the strictest regulators in this space. So that's 100% guarantee that there's a 100% reserve, which is uncertain in some of the other stablecoins.

On Binance Card

* The Binance Card actually generated a lot of interest, but we are excited to launch the Binance Card very soon. This allows you to spend crypto directly from your perspective and the merchants continue to receive fiat. This way, you don't have to sell your crypto into fiat and then withdraw and then spend it. You choose to pay you whatever currency you want to pay in. We act as a bridge. 

* This will be released country by country. If you're interested in that, do sign up on our website, and this will help us judge the relative demand of each country so that we can prioritize accordingly.

On Binance Korea

* We launched Binance Korea yesterday, and we're seeing a lot of signups already. We also launched the BKRW, a Binance-branded, South Korean won-backed stablecoin. 

* Binance Korea is the first deployment of Binance Cloud. Binance Korea shares liquidity with Binance.com.

On fiat gateway in South Africa

* We have a new gateway in Africa. We now support the South African rand. That's another region that I'm super excited about. 

On the new OTC portal

We just launched an online OTC portal yesterday. It's a very simple interface, but you can put very large trades in there. You get a quote back and you have 30 seconds with a timer coming down. If it’s accepted, then the transaction's done, if you're not [accepting], then you don't have to take it. This way, the larger trades are off the order books and will have less market impact. 

* We are supporting 25 different coins initially for OTC trading and we'll continue to add more.

On the partnership with Brave and Binance Widget

* Brave Browser is one of my favorite browsers. It's very clean, with no ads, high privacy, all of those things I value in a browser. So we’re excited to have a partnership with Brave. 

* On the default blank page, you can see a Binance widget that allows you to trade directly from the browser. Right now, it takes you to Binance.com, but in the future, we want to push the Open Platform initiative so that trades can happen on other websites, including in your browser directly, and that we can act as the back-end. 

* The widget also works with any website, so if you own or operate a website that has traffic, you can put those in and then you get a commission fee.

On Binance Loans

* This is a way that you could use your existing collateral to take loans with a very low-interest rate. This is one of the financial products that we are adding to what we call a Binance Finance suite of products. And currently, if you do a borrower loan, there's a 20% interest rate promotion right now. 

On the BCF Crypto Against COVID campaign: 

* So far, there’s been $2.4 million USD worth of crypto donated by Binance. Coronavirus is a big deal. We want to do our best to help those in need. We are donating physical supplies, masks, and other medical supplies, like ventilators, etc. 

* We've done a lot of donations in China, and I think there's a shipment that goes to Italy this week. Hopefully, we'll be able to cover the US, Germany, and some of the other countries that are severely impacted. 

* We also collected more than $200,000 of crypto donations from our community. We also have a commitment to match $1 million of a retweet campaign. we pledge to donate up to $2 million more from Binance directly. The total among new pledges is somewhere around $5 million. We do want to contribute our part amid this pandemic.

On the delisting of FTX leverage tokens

* We make some really hard decisions at different times. The reason, very simply, is to protect users. 

* For a lot of the users who were complaining they think that because we're delisting, their unrealized loss becomes a realized loss. That's psychological. There's a couple of things most users don't understand. 

* The leverage tokens, the way they work is that there's a lot of balancing. 

*The guys were complaining the most about the delisting, who wished that there's a chance for the price to go up so they can recover some of their own realized losses. Those are exactly the guys who will be hurt even more if we don’t delist it. 

* Those tokens are actually very actively traded on Binance, so they generate very good revenues for the platform. So from a business perspective, we should keep them. But I think from the perspective of protecting a user, so the decision is very clear.

On other topics

* A number of people asked about IEOs, and yes, it’s still happening. We’re still reviewing projects. We are working with multiple projects at the same time. Typically, each project goes through a six- to nine-month review period with the Binance team. We understand how much reputational backing we’re giving to these projects and we want them to succeed in the long term. As soon as one of those projects is ready, we do that, and when they're not, then we don't.

* From the time we announced the Venus project to now, there are multiple stablecoin projects that have been released. We launched BUSD, which is now a top-four stablecoin by market cap, and it's growing really quickly and we're seeing adoption everywhere. We launched BKRW, which is a very recent one. We launched BGBP, the British pound stablecoin, and we'll continue to grow that. The Venus project overall is progressing.