Changpeng Zhao, known as CZ, is a serial entrepreneur with an impressive track record of successful startups. He launched Binance in July 2017 and within 180 days, grew Binance into the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world.
CZ is a Chinese-Canadian coder who spent his youth flipping burgers before studying at McGill University Montreal. He then spent time in Tokyo and New York, first building systems for matching trade orders, then developing software for Bloomberg’s futures trading on Wall Street.
In 2005, CZ quit his role as head of the Bloomberg Tradebook Futures Research & Development team and moved to Shanghai to start Fusion Systems. Soon thereafter, he learned about Bitcoin and joined Blockchain.info as Head of Technology. An expert in blockchain and trading systems, CZ has built Binance into the leading blockchain ecosystem, comprised of Exchange, Labs, Launchpad, Info, Academy, Research, Trust Wallet, and Charity Foundation.
CryptoNewsZ: Hello CZ! It’s absolutely a pleasure to interview one of the most dynamic & successful entrepreneurs in a highly competitive crypto market. According to you, what drives Binance’s astounding success to remain the biggest exchange volume in the world constantly?
We are humbled by the fast success we’ve achieved in the past two years. It is driven by great teamwork, the user-oriented values and constant support of our users.
We have a great team that is hardworking and dedicated to delivering the best work results. Internally we named the spirit “hardcore.” In the past two years, the Binance team has grown into a team of over 400 employees across the world, and all Binance employees are committed to carrying out the best product and service in the industry.
At Binance, we put users as our key priority. Holding the user-oriented value, we were the first team to provide 24*7 customer service; we started the SAFU fund a year ago, which covered the loss from the security breach two months ago; we launched Binance DEX and some fiat exchanges, providing more options for the users and constantly improved the user experience. We believe doing the right things will drive greater success.
Lastly, we are blessed with massive support from users across the world. We recently rolled out a “BinanceTurns2” campaign on social media and lots of users shared their Binance stories — a great number of them has kept trading with Binance since 2017. Today our online community are very active, and users are willing to give us their feedback anytime. We really appreciate this and will keep delivering the best service to the users.
CryptoNewsZ: You have phenomenal experience about the work dynamics of traditional exchanges as well as crypto exchanges. What do you think are the notable advantages and disadvantages of crypto exchanges over their age-old counterparts?
Here are a few major differences on top of my head:
● From the system perspective, traditional exchanges only operate a few hours a day; you can do a lot of processing, upgrades, etc. during the non-trading hours. With crypto, even when exchanges stop for a few minutes, it’s a big issue.
● Traditional exchanges only allow a few hundred brokers to connect, usually using dedicated lines. In effect, the exchange system is only servicing a couple of hundred large clients. With crypto, we have 10,000,000+ users connecting from 180 different countries, using the unreliable internet, or cell networks.
● Crypto is much more demanding from a system perspective. From the business perspective, in traditional markets, you have brokers and many layers of middle man, and the easy asset is only tradable on a small number of exchanges, with specialists (or market makers) providing liquidity. With crypto, each asset is often traded on hundreds or even thousands of exchanges; price is much fairer and much harder to manipulate on crypto exchanges.
● In terms of fancy features or order types, the traditional exchanges are more evolved than the crypto exchanges. This also matches the user segment where traditional exchanges are mostly dominated by a small number of large institutional traders, whereas crypto is still predominantly retail traders.
These can be advantages or disadvantages, varying from the perspectives. Personally, I think cryptocurrency exchanges bring more freedom and ease of use to traders across the world.
CryptoNewsZ: In one of your previous interviews, you mentioned that 2018 was more or less a correction year for the crypto space; being the leading crypto exchange do you think Binance too had its share of shortcomings? Do you think the said shortcomings have now been resolved?
Binance has been profiting since its establishment, even during the bear market. The quarterly BNB burn also proves our profitability. In terms of shortcomings, I think everyone has room to grow and Binance is no exception. We are constantly adding more features and more products, such as the recently released Margin trading, and soon Futures trading. More exciting times are ahead of us.
CryptoNewsZ: The Binance blockchain ecosystem is empowered by Binance Chain, DEX, and Binance Labs. Please tell us more about these innovative projects. How are users benefitting from them?
Binance blockchain ecosystem is comprised of cryptocurrency exchanges (Binance.com), fiat-to-crypto exchanges (Binance Uganda, Binance Jersey, and Binance Singapore), Binance Chain and Binance DEX, Binance Labs, Binance Info, Binance Academy, Trust Wallet, Binance Research and Binance Charity Foundation. Each part of the ecosystem is integrating with one another, and eventually, we hope they’ll empower and resonate with one another.
The Binance exchange (centralized, fiat and decentralized exchanges) and Binance Chain are the blockchain infrastructure, while Binance Labs is our VC and incubation arm which cultivates promising blockchain startups. Users can directly access Binance Chain and DEX, and launch/trade digital assets with full control of their funds. For retail users, currently they are not directly benefiting from Binance Labs’ investment since it focuses on incubating startups and servicing entrepreneurs; but retail users can enjoy using some of its portfolios, for example, SafePal, which is a hardware crypto wallet; and Contentos, a video entertaining platform built on the blockchain.
CryptoNewsZ: Q1-2019 saw the fall of ICOs by 61% compared to Q4-2018, what factors do you think contributed to the considerable decline of the same? With the current dynamic market trends, where do you think the future of ICOs lies?
The ICO hypes cooled down as the crypto market turned more bearish. Investors became more rational and selective towards ICO investment. That’s also part of the crypto correction.
ICO is a good way for fundraising, but many investors lost their trust in ICO to some frauds at the last market cycle.
Since 2019, we’ve seen an increasing number of IEOs, and at Binance, we have Launchpad as a fundraising platform for promising blockchain startups. Exchanges are playing an important part to evaluate and filter projects for retail investors, and this may be a more sustainable model for crypto fundraising.
CryptoNewsZ: One of the beliefs in the market is that the price action in Bitcoin does not matter for the bulls, your thoughts?
Bitcoin is still regarded as a benchmark of the whole cryptocurrency market. It’s also a crucial indicator of bulls and bears. When Bitcoin’s price constantly rises, the market’s confidence will increase, and it also attracts attention outside the market, and incentivize more people to invest in cryptocurrency. Bitcoin’s price action still affects other cryptocurrencies’ price action, although the correlations seem weaker at this market cycle. So price action in Bitcoin matters for the bulls.
CryptoNewsZ: Binance introduced margin trading in Beta, what makes your product offering more complete and comprehensive than the other platforms in the market?
As a user-oriented company, we would like to offer the products that are of users’ interest, giving more options for users. Margin and derivatives trading has become increasingly popular in the crypto market, so after a period of development and testing, we’ve launched margin trading and soon will launch futures trading. These offer users more options and reduces the capital requirements for trading, which fits many of the users better. There will be more product offerings coming out in the next 6 months. It’s all for the users.
CryptoNewsZ: Being at the forefront of keeping your “user’s interests above all,” you have set an example by deciding to refund the investors affected by the 6th largest exchange hack in the industry. How does Binance plan to safeguard itself from such security incidents in the future?
Security is an all-time priority for us. After the hack, we have thoroughly enhanced our security system and our risk management system is at least 10 times stronger than that before the hack. We will continue to increase investment in security development.
Security education is another thing we’re committed to. Binance Academy has created some quality content on asset security. Besides, we just initiated a Yubikey distribution campaign to help with asset storage.
CryptoNewsZ: You have applauded Malta’s forward-thinking approach and support towards the blockchain industry. How can Binance contribute towards the development of Malta’s ecosystem in the coming future?
We are working closely with Malta on a number of initiatives. We invested in a number of projects in Malta. And we also actively introduce projects to Malta. We like to encourage every blockchain project to at least explore Malta as an option for establishment.
CryptoNewsZ: Apart from being at the forefront of the crypto revolution, Binance held its first Annual Binance Charity Poker Tournament. Could you please tell us about Binance Charity? Does the charity plan on supporting different causes annually?
The Charity Poker Cup was actually hosted by TronBet, and we don’t know about the next plan yet. I really appreciate their initiatives and support for BCF. I was happy to attend the Poker Cup with Justin Sun, Charlie Lee, Spencer Dinwiddie and other guys to raise money for BCF’s solar panel project, although I am apparently not a good poker player. Finished 2nd last, haha.
CryptoNewsZ: You have mentioned about the need for a transparent technology using blockchain technology in your previous interview. Do you think BCF’s goal to ‘make the process traceable, immutable and reliable’ will globally push the need for a positive change in attitudes of markets who have not yet warmed up to the advantages of blockchain technology?
BCF’s vision is to empower the billions of people at the bottom the human society using blockchain technology. In fact, blockchain solves the transparency issue of charity, making the whole donation process traceable, immutable, and reliable. With our blockchain-based donation platform, BCF has raised $5.27M-worth of cryptocurrency and directly benefited 36206 end beneficiaries in one year. I think it’s a powerful use case of blockchain technology and we hope to make a positive impact on the world (not just in the market attitudes) with our constant efforts.
CryptoNewsZ: CZ, one last question, you were on the cover of FORBES last year for the issue covering the Forbes Crypto Rich List, and at that time it estimated your net worth was between one and two billion; but you don’t own real estate, cars and you have favored a staple wardrobe of black Binance t-shirts and hoodies. Amassing so much wealth and yet being so grounded, how does it feel?
I don’t feel that I am different from others; except that more people want to talk to me with their requests, my life doesn’t change much materially. I devote almost 100% of my energy to work; I believe that a person’s success level is not measured by their net worth, or how much money they have, rather, it’s measured by the positive impact they bring to this world. That’s their legacy. I feel very lucky that I have the opportunity to do the things I feel will make a lasting impact in the world. For that, I am thankful.
CryptoNewsZ: Would you like to give any parting advice to novices planning to invest in crypto and specifically BNB ?
Here are my suggestions for those planning to invest in crypto and specifically BNB:
1. Do you own research, don’t just follow others’ advice. Cryptocurrencies are one of the most volatile asset classes, so make sure you have a good understanding of the coins and the risks before you make your investment decisions.
2. Keep your private keys safe. Whichever wallets you are using, store your private keys properly to protect your assets.
3. For potential BNB investors, BNB is one of the best performing crypto assets in the past 2 years. I can’t make any predictions about the future, but it’s a crypto asset that you probably don’t want to miss. :)
We at CryptoNewsZ thank you for sharing the most valuable resources- your time, experience, and knowledge with us. We look forward to gaining more insights into the dynamic world of Blockchain from you in the future.