A Letter From Our CEO: My First 100 Days Leading Binance

2024-03-01

In politics, a newly elected leader’s first 100 days in office has come to be seen as a yardstick for their ability to govern effectively, enact reforms, and deliver on campaign promises. The analogy between leading a nation and the world’s largest digital-asset ecosystem is, of course, an imperfect one. Still, one can argue that crypto moves faster than most legacy systems, meaning that the first 100 days of leadership here could be even more telling than the same period in politics. Be that as it may, the early weeks and months following a leadership change are critical for a system or organization, and my first hundred days have certainly brought enough developments and progress to make it worth taking stock of them.

Since stepping in as CEO, I have made it a priority to ensure and maintain the user-focused principles of Binance across the business, with the main emphasis on ensuring stability. In this sense, no radical reforms were needed, as in many ways our organization had already been set on the right course. Indeed, our user-focused DNA continues to be the driving force behind people’s trust in Binance and the corresponding growth of our user base, with more than 178 million registered users as of today.

Moreover, since our resolutions with US regulators, we continue to demonstrate a very strong financial performance. As reported by Bloomberg based on the data from DefiLlama, we recorded net inflows of more than $3 billion between late November and late February, outpacing what our biggest competitors took in over the same period. In January alone, our platform pulled in the largest estimated inflow since at least November 2022. Certainly, we have favorable external conditions to thank – the approval of spot BTC exchange-traded products in the United States has contributed to the crypto market’s strong momentum – but even against this backdrop, Binance’s excellent performance over the past 3 months stands out conspicuously.

What made these early successes possible is the combination of the hard work of our dynamic team, our deep bench of global leaders who have positioned the organization for long-term growth, and the continued trust and support of our fantastic global community.

Products That Deliver Value

I see driving product innovation to generate value for our users as the essence of Binance’s work. I am happy to say that during my first 100 days, we rolled out a number of exciting features for both retail and institutional users. 

Continuing to focus on simplifying access to the exciting world of Web3, we introduced an array of new features to Binance Web3 Wallet. This includes support of new chains, enhanced swap options, and access to more DEXs and bridges. Responding to popular demand, we also launched the Binance Inscriptions Marketplace, integrated with our Web3 wallet, to offer the crypto community a user-friendly way to trade and mint a range of inscription tokens.

Further doubling down on making crypto trading more social, we made improvements to Binance’s copy trading functionalities, specifically, introducing the Mock Copy Trading feature. This educational tool lets users practice and learn using virtual test funds in a risk-free environment.

On the institutional side, Binance has successfully initiated and executed the first-of-its-kind banking tri-party arrangement in the crypto industry, where an institutional investor’s trading collateral is held in fiat with a third-party banking partner. This is an innovative risk management solution that addresses counterparty risks, which institutional investors in the industry take extremely seriously. Replicating a framework common in traditional financial markets, it allows investors to better manage risk and scale their crypto-asset allocation. We also made strides in institutional lending business, and are increasing our ability to source and provide liquidity for fixed-duration loans.

As the digital-asset space welcomes more and more institutional investors, including those that are new to this asset class, our goal remains to facilitate their onboarding and offer the range and quality of services that would make them stick around for the long haul.

Our latest move designed to demonstrate this commitment is the extension of our VIP Program’s entry requirements to include trading volume on traditional platforms – another industry first. Historically, high-volume investors have been able to apply for Binance VIP status based on their trading volume on other crypto exchanges. The recent changes in Binance’s VIP Invitation Program mean that investors can now use their aggregate spot or futures volume on both crypto and traditional venues to apply for VIP status with Binance, making it even easier for institutional customers to kickstart their crypto journey with us.

Regulation That Fosters Innovation

While many of the earliest crypto adherents were decidedly anti-regulation, as the industry has grown, it’s important to acknowledge that regulation is an indispensable part of the lifecycle of all innovative sectors. The foundation of a robust regulatory framework must be built on basic principles of maximizing protections for users while fostering a safe and sustainable ecosystem that can grow responsibly. I believe that users are the ultimate beneficiaries of the hard regulatory compliance work that we do as they get to enjoy the security and stability of a well-regulated digital-asset ecosystem. 

Over the past three months, we have made significant headway in negotiating licenses and authorizations. We also furthered dialogue with regulators and industry stakeholders around the world to bolster cooperation and coordination on the pathway of the crypto industry’s sustainable growth. One of the results this work yielded was that, in January, Gulf Binance – an exchange and brokerage platform in Thailand, the joint venture between Binance and Gulf Innova – successfully launched its full operations, extending access to digital assets to potentially millions of Thai crypto users and crypto-curious.

Furthermore, in line with our user-focused principles, we intensified our efforts on fortifying data security and management practices. Completing the comprehensive and independent SOC 2 Type II compliance audit affirms that Binance's global platform runs effectively designed and implemented controls in systems protection and data security. We also launched our dedicated Binance Privacy Portal to better communicate to users their data rights and give them tools to exercise them. 

We saw crypto crime indicators going down considerably in 2023, and I am certain that Binance’s consistent efforts to strengthen our compliance program and bolster cooperation with global crime fighters have contributed to this industry-wide trend. Forging robust partnerships with law enforcement agencies remained our priority during my first 100 days, reflecting Binance’s collaborative and proactive approach to enhancing the security of the crypto ecosystem. Notable engagements over this period include a training session with INTERPOL officers and contributing to the Commercial Crime Advanced Course by the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF). As ever, we continued assisting relevant authorities with crucial intelligence in ongoing investigations.

To further bolster our compliance capabilities, we've welcomed back Steve Christie, a world-class compliance expert, as our new Deputy Chief Compliance Officer. We continue to grow the capacity of our compliance teams by hiring leading professionals in their respective disciplines.

Personal Journey

Since I became CEO, one thing I started to do much more of is meeting Binance community members face-to-face. This is perhaps the most rewarding part of the job – talking to the people whose lives got tangibly better thanks to our efforts, as in the many firsthand experiences shared with me by those who had previously had virtually no access to financial services and only got a taste of financial freedom with Binance. These personal stories, and the invariable outpouring of support that comes with them, are heartwarming and deeply inspirational.

As a new CEO, I also got to meet hundreds of incredible professionals across our organization. Talking to them and getting to know them convinced me even more of the strength of our distributed, horizontally structured team. In these first three months, I observed in granular detail how the robustness and depth of our talent pool translates into the success of the entire organization via a concerted team effort.

Finally, as we ramped up the work of building partnerships and horizontal connections in the industry, I connected with numerous colleagues from all corners of the Web3 space. I was excited to hear that both investors and project teams had a lot of good things to say about Binance Launchpad and how it connects new promising blockchain ventures with crypto-savvy investors. All in all, one of the most pleasing discoveries of the first 100 days was that the role of Binance’s CEO comes with so many opportunities to build new personal and professional connections.

Not Taking Success For Granted

Undoubtedly, my first 100 days in charge of Binance took place during an exciting new period of the crypto industry’s history. What we have achieved during this time is the result of the hard work of all Binancians, from co-founders to customer service agents, as well as the support and trust of our dynamic and passionate community.

Still, we are very early into the new era of the crypto industry, and there will be many more ups and downs on the road to financial freedom that we are committed to advance. I am determined to continue building an organization that will thrive through the periods of fast growth and remain robust and resilient in less favorable conditions – for the next 100 weeks, 100 months, and 100 years. The only way to achieve it I know is by focusing on users, prioritizing their needs, and continuing to improve for them. That’s Binance’s plan for the future.

Further Reading