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A Letter from Our CEO: 5 Years of Protecting Users and Supporting the Global Digital Asset Ecosystem

2022-07-14

Dear Binancians, 

Five years feels like a lifetime. If five years ago you told me what we’d eventually accomplish, I wouldn’t have believed you. Back then, we were a handful of people in a small shared work space with dreams of building a more stable crypto platform for our users. While I wish I could claim that we had a master plan to someday become the largest digital asset platform and help grow the Web3 industry globally, it simply isn’t true. 

We knew that people were looking for a more secure platform and a better user experience — and we always felt that if we took care of our users, our users would take care of us. We may not have gotten everything right along the way, but we were dead right about that one thing.

Since 2017, the team has grown over 200 times, and now there are Binancians from all over the globe. We support 18 different languages, help nurture a blockchain with over 2.4 billion transactions to date, and have served more than 120 million users. Together, we've evolved and established ourselves as the leader in one of the world's fastest-moving industries. This is a great responsibility that has been bestowed upon us and one that we must not take for granted.

Everything we have today is due to the trust of our users that we have earned. But trust is much more easily lost than established, which is why being user-focused rests at the very center of our set of values. Each day we wake up with the resolve to demonstrate to our users why we deserve their continued support. We must make good on our commitment to protect them while spurring industry growth and innovation, sustainably and responsibly.

Our anniversary is a perfect opportunity to reflect on our beginnings and past. It's also a time to look forward and codify our aspirations for the next five years as we continue growing and serving the Binance community.

Building the Foundation of the Binance Ecosystem

On July 14, 2017, Binance.com (virtually) opened its doors to users seeking a new crypto trading experience. The team and I shared the fundamental vision of bringing financial empowerment to the masses with so many other blockchain acolytes — but we knew it could be done better than what was available to users at the time. The public needed a trusted, intuitive, and simple marketplace for trading cryptocurrencies, and that's what we set out to build. 

Today, we have an ecosystem that serves over 120 million users, a number far beyond the wildest expectations that I could have back in 2017. And these aren't just the regular kind of users you see elsewhere — they are Binancians. They champion our ecosystem and have created the welcoming and supportive atmosphere for everyone that we have today. They're at the center of what we do, and for that I am truly grateful.

User demand-driven expansion

For many, Binance is synonymous with our exchange platform. Our trading services remain one of our core offerings, and we still lead the industry in terms of daily trading volume. 

Since 2017, we've significantly expanded our product lines as users clamored for access to new, innovative blockchain-powered offerings. Today, our catalog offers something for everyone. From Trust Wallet to CoinMarketCap, Binance NFT to Binance Earn, we cater to virtually any interest across the broad spectrum of what blockchain and crypto have to offer. The past year also saw the introduction of Auto-Invest, Binance Live, Learn and Earn, and many more new services that we are proud to add to the fold. 

Empowering users through education

The greatest risk we face as an industry is the increasing gap between the total number of new users entering the marketplace and the total number of users with sufficient understanding of blockchain and crypto. Education has, of course, been another rock upon which Binance has built its reputation. Binance Academy, Learn and Earn, and Binance Masterclass are integral to educating our users and helping them make more responsible, informed decisions. 

Just like anywhere else, knowledge in the crypto world is power. It allows Binancians to confidently make decisions and know when they need help or support. If we can imprint this attitude in the minds of the majority of crypto users, responsible and successful mass adoption will become almost a certainty when given enough time.

BNB Chain flourishing into an independent network

One of our most valuable achievements has been the development and growth of BNB Chain. We saw the benefits that an affordable, efficient, community managed EVM-compatible blockchain would bring to the Binancians. In the past year alone, BNB Chain has recorded over 2.4 billion transactions and hosted over 1200 projects. It is the most active layer-1 network, with a thriving life and ecosystem of its own. Like a proud parent, we've seen i grow, blossom, and begin its own journey. 

Our range of products 

BUSD: One of the few fully regulated, licensed, and fiat-backed stablecoins available.

  • Second-largest regulated stablecoin by market cap. 

  • A regulated stablecoin with the highest trading volume.

Binance Card: Over 1.7 million cards issued in the EEA region in two years, signaling strong user demand. 

  • Over the same period, our payment volumes topped $2 billion, highlighting user demand for spending crypto assets with Google Pay and Samsung Pay-supported cards.

Binance Pay: Over $12 billion in total volume spanning 17 million transactions, more than 7,000 merchants, and millions of users. 

  • Recent achievements include partnerships with Splyt, Travala, Al-Futtaim, Primavera Sound festival, and more. These partnerships are part of Binance Pay's efforts to make crypto payments accessible and convenient for all.

Binance NFT: Over 600,000+ weekly active users, one billion total trading volume for IGO drops, and three million gaming NFT listings.

  • In April 2022, Binance NFT introduced the Mini App feature. With a simple and intuitive design, users can access Binance NFT's products and services seamlessly within the Binance app. 

  • Collaborated with over 100 gaming projects, top celebrities, athletes, and influencers.

Binance Earn: A suite of products for users to grow their crypto holdings. 

  • Between January and June 2022, the number of active users has grown from 3.7M to 4.9M. The number of supported assets across Earn products has increased from 183 to 268.

Binance Institutional: Officially launched this June to deliver bespoke trading solutions, secure asset management, and a full suite of industry-grade services to institutional clients.

Binance Charity:

  • 5000+ total donations, 1.8M+ total beneficiaries, 2,880.352 BTC raised.

  • Notable campaigns include Code to Inspire: Women in Afghanistan, Ukraine Relief, Crypto against Covid, and Tree Millions.

Always User-First: Being a Compliant, Safe, and Secure Platform 

Fostering a regulation-focused mindset

Over the past year, I've seen unprecedented levels of engagement in the industry with governments and regulatory bodies across the globe. This happens against the backdrop of a shifting policy environment and marks a substantial step forward toward creating greater regulatory certainty for the industry. It also highlights a broader acceptance of the fact that cryptocurrencies are here to stay and that the industry is gaining steam toward mainstream adoption.  

Binance's role as the responsible industry leader is vital to all of this. Our continued leadership  position relies on our willingness to proactively engage with regulatory bodies wherever we operate. Within the past year alone, we've received regulatory approvals and registrations in Spain, France, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Italy, and Bahrain. The work, of course, doesn't stop here.

I strongly believe that we must continue to work closely with regulators. The digital asset industry is still very much in its nascent stage. Virtually every country has a different perspective on how to best regulate the industry, and these views will continue to evolve over time. It's impossible to predict the future, but our industry’s future position in the global financial system is secured. 

One of the biggest challenges we are working to address is the variance in regulatory standards we must adapt to across the many regions we operate in. The challenge, however, makes Binance stronger. This allows us to see how different regulations impact the industry. We can compare, contrast, and determine what works best in our approach. Sound regulation that protects consumers and encourages innovation will eventually take form, and our vast experience will be useful in helping flesh it out.

Binance is constructively engaging with regulators in many jurisdictions. We actively seek registrations or licenses wherever they are available, with the intent to provide crypto users with the widest selection of compliant products and services. In jurisdictions where there is yet to be a path to licensing, we are fully committed to igniting a conversation on ways for Binance and the broader crypto industry to collaborate meaningfully with the regulators. 

Building the infrastructure of tomorrow

The crypto and blockchain world has entered an incredibly exciting phase. Web3 is bringing together all the technology we've seen developed over the past years: NFTs, digital identities, tokenomics, play-to-earn models, and much more. The industry and Binance are seeing a massive influx of capital and talent due to the emergence of Web3. Throughout history, whenever these two have met, we've seen massive leaps in adoption and product innovation. 

We saw it in the 80s with client-server tech. We saw it in the 90s with the Internet, in the 2000s with mobile, and in the 2010s with social media. The 2020s will be the decade of Web3, where users take back control of their data, decision-making processes, and value they create.

So, where do I see Binance fitting into this? Well, we want to be the gateway to Web3. The set of tools that billions of people use to make their first steps into this new world. Tools that are simple, accessible, compliant, and trustworthy. We will inform, educate, and maybe even entertain as users explore what ownership means in the Web3 universe.

The key to all this is introducing people to this new space. Many still struggle with what Web3 is and how it will affect them. From our side, we're already showcasing Web3’s day-to-day use cases. Partnerships with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Khaby Lame, and The Weeknd are not simple promo activities. They're meant to highlight to the public how crypto and Web3 can enhance their lives. The beauty isn't in bringing in the big names; it's in accessing their audiences and demonstrating that Web3 isn't just a techy dream for the nerdy few.

Creating products fit for the future

Web3 is about connectivity. Our products should be no different either. They need to connect with the user in a simple way, tailored to their language and culture, and, importantly, compliant with their local laws. How can we build a Web3 future without making our products intuitive to use?

Binance is privileged to have the most extensive product portfolio in the space, including advanced trading products like derivatives, margins, and loans. We also offer accessible financial products through Binance Spot, Earn, and Convert as well as exciting new products like Binance Card, Pay, and NFTs. 

To improve the Web3 experience for users, Binance has developed itself as a super app. In essence, this enables users to switch between their Web3 and fiat worlds seamlessly. There's still a lot of work to be done, but I think solid foundations are there for us to build on in the next push. But really, at its core, I see Binance as a single product with a sole focus on bringing financial freedom and inclusion to the world.

Incubating and investing in the most promising blockchain and crypto projects

The most exciting innovations rarely come from large, established players — they come from early-stage founders with a strong vision and the fortitude to try and bring that idea to market. They come from the young, the underdogs, from the places the establishment expects to give rise to big ideas least. Struggling markets present an incredible opportunity to invest in these young visionaries and expedite the market's return to growth. 

The work that Binance Labs does is crucial in this context. The numbers really speak for themselves. Since 2018, Binance Labs has already invested in and incubated over 200 projects worldwide. And recently, Binance Labs closed a $500M investment fund to boost blockchain, Web3, and value-building technologies. The fund would allow Binance Labs to continue its successful run and invest in more promising projects.

Looking back historically, bear markets have often been productive periods for focused and long-term-minded builders. 2018 to 2019 saw us bring on board Polygon, one of Binance Labs' strongest additions to the roster. In essence, we're bullish on our current capacity to support founders looking to build innovative, long-term solutions for our industry.

Moving Beyond 5 Years: Our Future Plans

The current market environment is an opportunity to build a base for the next industry growth phase. Web3 has a massive potential to transform our lives, and we want to improve the existing version of the internet with responsible Web3 inclusion. In the next five years, it will be paramount that Web3 begins to tackle tangible problems that Web2 users continue to face.

We must build products that are secure, user-friendly, accessible, affordable, and bring real, tangible value for people. For the rest of our ecosystem, we'll strive to be a platform of platforms. We'll help other entrepreneurs build their products, fund them, give them liquidity and access to our user base, all the while leading the way as true industry leaders. 

Our future plans rely on the feedback and comments of our users. We are also thankful to regulators, policymakers, and industry players for collaborating to create a safe and secure crypto ecosystem that puts users first. But the work isn't over yet. We must continue cooperating with regulatory bodies that protect our industry and investors while enabling responsible innovation. 

Like any young company, we have made mistakes in our past. However, no organization has grown and matured in the face of infinitely complex challenges like those our industry has. The idea that a five year-old startup could mature and operate at the same level as a financial institution that has been around for 200 years was once impossible to fathom. But we are already nearly there today. And if we remain committed to our values, we will not only be leading the way in the fintech industry, but the global financial industry more broadly. 

Sincerely,

CZ

Binance CEO & Founder