Recap: Product AMA With CZ and Mayur
CZ, Binance’s CEO, and Mayur Kamat, Head of Product at Binance, hosted an AMA on Binance Live on January 14th, 2023, during which they reflected on advances made in 2022, and discussed their plans for 2023.
In 2022, Binance focused on numerous improvements, including the addition of Apple and Google login and enhanced biometric systems. We also improved local KYC processes, created more fiat channels, and launched Binance Feed.
For 2023, the product team wants to provide higher user transparency with Proof of Solvency, optimize systems for collecting and incorporating user feedback, and improve internal operational efficiency.
There is no adoption without a product. Binance aims to keep on building useful products and increasing user trust in the ecosystem through education.
CZ, Binance’s CEO, and Mayur Kamat, Head of Product at Binance, hosted an AMA on Binance Live on January 14th, 2023. In this session, CZ and Mayur looked back at the changes made in 2022, discussed their plans for Binance products in 2023, and answered questions from the community.
What Was Done in 2022
2022 was a year of extensive growth for our product team and Binance as a whole. CZ and Mayur reflected on the range of product developments made over the year, such as their collaboration on improving Know Your Customer (KYC) processes. Prior to 2022, Binance had a global KYC program, using the same vendor and process in almost every country. But the Binance verification process was greatly improved in 2022. KYC is now country- and region-specific with the help of local vendors. Binance Feed was an exciting addition to the ecosystem, allowing users to engage with Web3 in a more meaningful way. Other small changes included the addition of Google and Apple login and improved biometrics.
Looking Forward Into 2023
The discussion shifted to 2023 and what the product team would be focusing on. Mayur stated that one of the biggest themes of this year would be trust and transparency in user protection. There is a team working closely on providing a new zk-SNARK-based solution for Proof of Solvency to follow up on the Proof of Reserves launched at the end of last year. Furthermore, if the team can make it work as a brand-new concept, then Binance will most likely open-source it for the industry.
Compliance will remain one of Binance’s top priorities in 2023. Mayur said that the product team will continue cooperating with regulators across the board. CZ supported this, adding that optimizing the user journey will also remain a priority in the product team.
Community Feedback and User-Centric Products
When approaching the topic of how Binance listens to the community to build user-centric products, Mayur joked that CZ often hears about customer issues before the product managers, because he is so connected to the community.
“Listening to the community has been the cornerstone of how Binance has built its products since day one.” - Mayur Kamat.
What differentiates Binance from other players in Web3, who have gone a more traditional way of acquiring users, is that our product team assumes that users already know what they want very early in their crypto journey. Therefore, the team incorporates user feedback into Binance’s products so as to not miss the next big thing.
Responding to the Community
The Binance Live session wrapped up with questions from the community.
1. When are you bringing Binance Card to [insert country]?
The launch of Binance Card is relatively unpredictable for users in local markets because it depends on the readiness of the card issuing partners, Mastercard and Visa, to enter a particular market. This process is unlike Binance’s regular products, where Mayur builds it with his tech team and pushes a button. In fact, it takes a lot of work from Binance, compliance regulators, and governments in each region. The aim is still to get the Binance Card to every country out there, but it takes time.
2. How is product development going to help with real-world adoption?
There are already many users who are in countries with high levels of inflation and economic instability, who lack access to their regular money and have real-world use cases for crypto. In these countries, we see cryptocurrency adoption at multiple-double digit percentages already, whereas the global one is still in single-digit percentages. Current use cases are already working, but not mainstream yet. The key is to ensure education, introduce relevant partners, and make sure that the platforms and products built by Binance can reach out to various types of users.
“Look, there's no adoption without products. You can have a great technology or concept, but you've got to have people using products. And when people use products, they don't think of them as products. They just use a tool to help them solve a problem.” - Changpeng (CZ) Zhao.
3. What is Binance’s next big product?
Binance’s next big products aim to solve the aforementioned trust and transparency issues. There will be multiple product releases around Binance’s Proof of Reserves and Proof of Solvency to provide more transparency and a roadmap to be released publicly. On the topic of DeFi, Binance will continue investing in making DeFi more accessible and easier to use. Finally, the product team aims to achieve 1 billion verified Binance users by streamlining the KYC process even more.
4. How does Binance ensure scalability among its products?
CZ stated that his solution to technical challenges in scalability is to hire the best people from the largest traditional, internet and finance applications to tackle these challenges – and this has worked reasonably well so far.
5. Any plans to build a Binance Metaverse? Would that be powered by BNB?
To this, CZ says that if Binance builds one, then it’s definitely going to be powered by BNB, but since we are not game builders (yet) and don’t have a game building team, he is more open to just investing in other virtual reality or Metaverse games.
“Nobody really knows what metaverse means. Everybody has a different concept of it.” - Changpeng (CZ) Zhao.
This year may bring more on the side of “a Metaverse powered by Binance,” claimed Mayur.
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