CEO of Binance
What’s an exchange?
In what’s become a recurring theme of 2018, Singapore is leading an effort to clamp down on digital currency trading.
On Sept. 5, Singapore’s central bank announced that it was investigating several unnamed digital token exchanges in its jurisdiction over concerns related to money laundering and terrorism financing.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued a statement that said it was working with relevant domestic agencies and overseas counterparts, including cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the city-state.
Binance responded quickly saying it welcomed government oversight as long as regulations are applied equally to all businesses in their industry.
CEO Changpeng Zhao told Bloomberg TV that he had been working closely with Singapore regulators for some time. We were very open about our discussions, so I think we have been quite proactive there, he said. I am happy to see more companies joining us in Singapore because we do believe there should be more regulation around cryptocurrencies because there are so many people involved and I don't think anyone can stop progress.
He added: So if you want to stop something like that you need good regulation. As one of the world's largest crypto exchanges by volume traded,
Binance has made a significant investment in setting up shop in Asia's most developed economy.
The company opened an office in Singapore earlier this year and plans to hire up to 200 staff members for its new base. According to reports, Binance is looking at additional locations across Southeast Asia. Binance CEO Continues To Work Closely With Singapore Regulators
How does an exchange make money?
Many exchanges, such as Coinbase and Binance, now provide users with tools to make money on their platform by placing buy and sell orders.
When a user’s order gets filled they take a percentage of that trade. Trading pairs range from currencies to assets like stocks and commodities.
Users can also create automated bots to make trades for them.
For example, if you wanted to quickly buy Bitcoin when it dipped below $4,000 you could set up an algorithm to do so.
These bots need a financial incentive so some platforms give them trade fees rather than fiat currency.
Other types of cryptocurrency businesses don’t just operate as exchanges but instead offer services like staking (staking coins in return for income) or mining (selling computing power for coins).
It’s hard to predict how much revenue different platforms will bring in each year because it largely depends on how popular they are.
In 2017, both coinbase and binance saw huge growth which meant their revenue would grow along with them.
Based off last years numbers we would expect binance to generate around $90 million dollars compared to coinbases around $1 billion dollars .
This is still impressive considering coinbase is only operating legally since March of 2017 while binance has been trading for over 5 years.
It will be interesting see how these numbers compare next year after all major regulation is lifted across other jurisdictions in 2019 .
Acknowledging regulations are coming
In an interview with Bloomberg, Changpeng Zhao, or CZ as he is more commonly known in crypto circles, said that Singapore regulators have been very receptive to our approach. Singapore has been aggressive in positioning itself as a key destination for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
The country recently passed three laws targeting blockchain technology development and usage. These new regulations will cover areas such as payments and securities transactions. We are now talking to them about licensing Binance to do banking like other financial institutions do here. It’s going very well, Mr. Zhao added.
He went on to say that Singapore was one of their first choices because it has very open-minded and forward-thinking government agencies. Singapore also happens to be home to many leading cryptocurrency exchanges including Huobi, Digifinex, KuCoin, OKEx and others.
This makes it easier for Binance to work closely with local authorities while setting up shop there. Singapore's position as a regional hub for finance means that these partnerships should help facilitate growth in Asia. Singapore's central bank has already expressed interest in developing its own digital currency based on blockchain technology.
This could lead to major innovations down the road and make Singapore an even bigger player in global finance.
Binance continues to expand globally despite recent setbacks from regulatory crackdowns by governments around the world.
By working closely with local authorities, they hope to avoid similar issues when moving into different markets around Asia and beyond.
Working with regulators to develop a solution
I am pleased to note that Binance has had productive discussions with representatives from [the Monetary Authority of Singapore] and have mutually agreed on a way forward.
We believe that constructive dialog is key in finding a solution and look forward to active collaboration with MAS and other regulators on such matters. – Changpeng Zhao, co-founder & CEO of Binance, wrote on his official Twitter account. We hope our discussion can contribute to establishing a better framework for virtual assets and blockchain projects in general. – He added.
The company was ordered by Singapore’s central bank to halt its operations in July 2018 after it failed to register with local authorities as a money services operator (MSO). Later, they were given two months to comply with regulatory requirements or face criminal charges.
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Binance resumed trading services for users in Singapore back in October after receiving approval from local authorities to do so.
According to Bloomberg’s report at that time, CZ said: We are glad we are able to resume trading services for Singaporeans again and we thank you all for your patience during these difficult times.
Singapore is an important market for us and we are committed to building sustainable, long-term relationships as part of our global expansion strategy.
Earlier today, Binance announced that it would be launching a fiat-to-crypto exchange in Uganda next month in partnership with local investment firm Silverback Capital. The new platform will offer Ugandan Shillings (UGX) trading pairs against major cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH),
Litecoin (LTC) and Tether (USDT). A few days ago, CZ revealed that he wants to move Binance out of China following an order from Chinese regulators banning cryptocurrency exchanges from operating within the country.
Advantages of working with regulators early on
Changpeng Zhao, also known as CZ, is well aware of how disruptive his company can be to traditional financial services companies.
In fact, he said a chief advantage of being in Singapore is that it’s a bridge between China and other countries.
After Binance was forced to relocate from Japan and Taiwan because of unfavorable regulations for crypto exchanges, it landed in Asia’s financial hub.
Changpeng Zhao told Bloomberg: Singapore is one country that has very progressive policies and thinking about blockchain technology and crypto asset in general. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has taken an open-minded approach toward regulation and sees potential in cryptocurrencies.
It released guidelines on virtual currencies earlier last year, and recently issued new ones focused on ICOs.
The MAS believes that the distributed ledger technology underlying [virtual currencies] has significant potential to improve efficiency and security across payments systems and financial markets.
The central bank also wants to encourage innovative solutions while preventing risks at their inception so as to ensure a safe and sound financial system.
This positive attitude towards innovation could help make Singapore an ideal location for cryptocurrency businesses like Binance.