User demand-driven expansion
Since 2017, the platform has significantly expanded its product lines and offers something for everyone. From Trust Wallet to CoinMarketCap, Binance NFT to Binance Earn, they 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 newer services. To mark such an iconic anniversary
- What have been some of the most important achievements of Binance over the past five years?
Over the past 5 years, Binance’s growth has been tremendous. Becoming the world’s largest crypto exchange shortly after our launch and sustaining it hasn’t been the smoothest ride but our commitment to users as well as maintaining high standards has been integral. Binance has become the world’s leading blockchain ecosystem and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider and has become the leader in one of the world’s fastest-moving industries. Since 2017, the team has grown over 200 times, and now there are Binancians from all over the globe.
The growth and impact of our education initiatives have also been a major achievement. Binance Academy, Learn and Earn, and Binance Masterclass are integral to educating our users and helping them make more responsible, informed decisions.
Over the past year, we have made great strides in engaging with governments and regulatory bodies across the globe. Within the past year alone, we’ve received regulatory approvals and registrations in Spain, France, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Italy, and Bahrain & generally take a collaborative approach in working with all regulators across the world.
- What informed the decision to diversify your offerings and from your perspective, how has it impacted Binance’s operations amidst the bearish stance on the market?
With a mission to increase the freedom of money globally, Binance continuously iterates and builds infrastructure and products that enhance the industry. When we launched Binance, we decided that it would be our unwavering commitment to users that would differentiate us in the market. As a result of that commitment, we constantly ensure our users have access to new technologies, ideas, and use cases.
Our diverse offerings is one of the reasons our users across the world continue to use and love us. As such, even during bearish markets, Binance remains strong and continues to diversify its portfolio – prioritizing users, ensuring safety and investing in the ecosystem.
- Recent developments in the crypto market space have left some investors burned and others at the edge of their seats. How are you navigating this period?
For us at Binance, our first focus is always to protect users and so, we’re focused on education, ensuring the highest standards of security and collaborations across the industry. The industry is still relatively nascent and I believe it will continue to grow stronger. Additionally, we will always inform our users that with any investment or asset, proper research needs to be done to understand the risks and benefits. Although some cryptocurrencies can be highly volatile, cryptocurrencies and their underlying blockchain technology can be utilised in almost every area of life and as such, many will continue to have utility.
- What has been the impact of Binance’s education drive so far? Kindly share numbers, if available.
Binance Academy, Learn and Earn and Binance Masterclass is a testament to Binance’s commitment to equipping crypto beginners with resources for lifelong financial and career development.
In Africa for example, we have hosted multiple events to educate people in the region about the opportunities within the crypto space and how to make a living from them. Our education initiatives have been instrumental in deepening cryptocurrency adoption in Africa. Since the launch of the Binance Masterclass programmes, Binance has educated over 600,000 Africans on the fundamentals of cryptocurrencies, how to identify scams and safeguard their crypto journey.
BNB Chain flourishing into an independent network
Another valuable achievement has been the development and the growth of BNB Chain. In the past year, 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.
- Kindly elaborate, in simple terms, on what the BNB Chain is?
BNB Chain is a community-driven, open-sourced and decentralized ecosystem. The support of its community of users, developers, validators and delegators is vital to its health. BNB (Build N Build), is the native token that “fuels” transactions on BNB Chain. BNB also empowers users in the decentralized on-chain governance of BNB Chain.
BNB Chain’s mission is to build the infrastructure powering the world’s parallel virtual ecosystem, and BNB Chain’s commitment to the community is that it is open, multi-chain, for creators and inventors, permissionless, forever decentralized, and bigger than Binance. Holding BNB gives you the right to make your voice heard and is necessary to participate in BNB Chain’s decentralized on-chain governance.
- What has been the performance of BNB Chain so far this year, with specific evaluation in Ghana?
BNB Chain was born in time for the DeFi revolution, as the public showed increased interest in alternative financial solutions and use cases powered by blockchain. Today, BNB has its own living, breathing ecosystem with over 183 million unique chain addresses. It has continued to grow due to the growing utility, affordable fees, supportive community and lots more.
Fostering a regulation-focused mindset
Over the past year, there have been 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.
- In Ghana, financial sector regulators have remained publicly opposed to crypto. Has there been any form of engagement at the back end?
Many regulators across the world are now beginning to learn about crypto, understand its impact and look towards regulating in order to protect users while encouraging innovations. At Binance, we welcome this and take a collaborative approach in working with regulators and we take our compliance obligations very seriously. While I cannot mention what regulators we are currently in communication with, we are fully committed to a safe and secure experience for crypto users across all regions.
- Some high-profile incidents within the crypto space have not helped engender confidence in the hearts of skeptics. How do you seek to address this?
Let’s look at the internet, something which is more commonplace and trusted today – there was a time where the majority of the world wasn’t using the internet and there was minimal adoption as well as skeptics. Now, imagining a world without the internet is unfathomable. I believe that this will also be the case for cryptocurrencies as these digital currencies are transforming the way people interact, trade and have autonomy of their assets.
People can only be confident in what they know and understand. As mentioned earlier, education is necessary to encourage a better understanding of crypto and help newbies/skeptics learn, understand and engage in the space. Additionally, we take active steps in ensuring that all bad actors are eliminated from the system as much as possible and also teach users how to avoid scams through the wider ecosystem.
- What major regulatory hurdles would you say persist and if there was a way to address them, what would be Binance’s approach?
At present, many countries actually have differing perspectives on the future of crypto. Crypto and even the regulation of crypto are still relatively new concepts and so some hurdles include lack of clarity and limited understanding.
Now, as regulators have shown an interest in the space, we believe regulatory collaboration with key stakeholders in the blockchain ecosystem is essential. Around the world, we are collaborating with regulators and industry players, hosting blockchain workshops for law enforcement personnel generally committed to supporting the development of regulatory frameworks as it will help give confidence to new users and new people wishing to innovate in this area.
Incubating and investing in the most promising blockchain and crypto projects
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.
- The figure mentioned in relation to promise projects is quite impressive. Doyou mind sharing what some of these projects are and how it will enhance the ecosystem?
To us, the overarching goal is driving blockchain adoption and so, the different components of the Binance ecosystem champion this mission. Binance Labs’ portfolio projects are enhancing the ecosystem in several ways and we think every way matters. We are committed to supporting fast-executing, technical teams who are shaping the future of Web3.
- What is the success rate of projects from the Binance Lab?
Just like VCs across the world, Binance Labs sees both success and failure. However, we currently have 2100% of the return rate and pride ourselves on investing in solid projects with a long-term mission.
- How much has been invested so far for Africa-based projects and Ghana specifically?
Binance Labs invests in global blockchain projects across various regions, sometimes with undisclosed amounts so I don’t have the figures currently for how much has been invested so far for Africa-based projects.
Moving Beyond 5 Years: 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 lives. In the next five years, it will be paramount that Web3 begins to tackle tangible problems that Web2 users continue to face.
- What developments should we expect from the wider blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem over the course of the next five years, and what is in the pipeline for Binance, in particular?
Across the wider ecosystem, I think we can expect continued conversations on regulation as well as more institutional adoption. We’ll also continue to see wider applications of blockchain being explored beyond exchanges. For Binance, we’ll generally remain focused on driving the mainstream adoption of crypto through investments in the ecosystem, infrastructure building and education. We will not just be focused on the growth of binance.com, we will also be focused on driving people to build on the blockchain.