Binance’s CZ dispels FUD, speculates on next big crypto trend in new interview

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Binance CEO Chang­peng Zhao com­ment­ed on the state of the cryp­to indus­try and mar­ket dur­ing an inter­view with Ban­k­less on May 29.

Zhao dispels FUD

First, Zhao dis­cussed recent con­tro­ver­sies around his com­pa­ny. Binance has recent­ly attempt­ed to refute reports from Forbes, the Finan­cial Times, and Reuters con­cern­ing mat­ters such as its alleged mis­use of funds and sup­posed ties to China.

Zhao sug­gest­ed that main­stream news sources tend to cov­er cryp­tocur­ren­cy neg­a­tive­ly and that Binance specif­i­cal­ly attracts FUD because of its large size. He said:

“If you write a neg­a­tive arti­cle about a small­er exchange nobody cares … but if … you put Binance’s name in the title, and hope­ful­ly some­thing neg­a­tive, peo­ple click more.”

Zhao also posit­ed that his eth­nic­i­ty makes him a tar­get. Zhao, though born in Chi­na, is a Cana­di­an cit­i­zen. Though Binance itself was found­ed in Chi­na, it no longer oper­ates in the coun­try due to reg­u­la­tions and insists it has relo­cat­ed Chi­nese staff.

Zhao said that Binance aims to be trans­par­ent “as trans­par­ent as pos­si­ble” in spite of FUD and said that Binance cur­rent­ly pro­vides proof-of-reserve reports.

He acknowl­edged that there are lim­its to trans­paren­cy. He argued that if Binance were to dis­close all of its own wal­let address­es, it would reveal Binance’s ven­dors and part­ners, there­by com­pro­mis­ing pri­va­cy and secu­ri­ty and affect­ing competition.

CZ on global regulations

Zhao said that Binance engages with glob­al reg­u­la­tions. He once again said that reg­u­la­tors put Binance “under the micro­scope” to a greater degree because of its size.

How­ev­er, he also sug­gest­ed that the cryp­to sec­tor is becom­ing less com­pet­i­tive and more coop­er­a­tive when it comes to reg­u­la­tions. He said that com­pa­nies like Coin­base and Krak­en are work­ing togeth­er with reg­u­la­tors, and he said that col­lec­tive engage­ment can redis­trib­ute Binance’s need to engage with reg­u­la­tors to oth­er companies.

More broad­ly, Zhao said that the Mid­dle East and Europe are cur­rent­ly imple­ment­ing the most promis­ing cryp­to reg­u­la­tions. Zhao said in a pre­vi­ous AMA dis­cus­sion that his com­pa­ny has a grow­ing pres­ence in the Mid­dle East and North Africa (MENA).

Zhao also not­ed that Binance at one point con­sid­ered acquir­ing a bank but found that this would require exten­sive com­pli­ance with local reg­u­la­tions. He also said that banks are very expen­sive, car­ry high risk, and often are not very profitable.

Zhao on the state of the market

Zhao also com­ment­ed on the cur­rent state of the cryp­tocur­ren­cy mar­ket. He said that the mar­ket is recov­er­ing from 2022’s bear mar­ket. Zhao said that this gives the mar­ket a “mixed mood” as it is unclear what will dri­ve “explo­sive growth” in the future:

What’s going to dri­ve the next [cycle]? … everyone’s look­ing for that right now … and when we’re not sure, this is prob­a­bly why a lot of peo­ple pile into meme­coins … it shows that there are funds  that are ready to be deployed.

Zhao acknowl­edged that he could be wrong about pos­i­tive trends and lat­er pro­vid­ed advice to investors who began to invest in cryp­to dur­ing a mar­ket downturn.

He said that those who are invest­ing dur­ing a bull mar­ket should only invest in what they feel com­fort­able los­ing and should not seek out over­hyped invest­ments. Zhao said that he “learned this les­son the hard way” when he first began to invest in stocks and crypto.

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