Binance

Binance
Founded2017
Founders
Headquarters
Area served
Global, except for the United States[1]
Key people
Changpeng Zhao (CEO)
ProductsCryptocurrency exchange, cryptocurrencies
Websitewww.binance.com

Binance is a Cayman Islands-domiciled cryptocurrency exchange that provides a platform for trading various cryptocurrencies founded in 2017. As of April 2021, Binance was the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world in terms of trading volume.[3]

Binance was founded by Changpeng Zhao, commonly known as "CZ", a developer who had previously created high frequency trading software. Binance was initially based in China, but later moved its headquarters out of China due to China's increasing regulation of cryptocurrency.

History

Exchange

CEO Changpeng Zhao had previously founded Fusion Systems in 2005 in Shanghai; the company built high-frequency trading systems for stockbrokers. In 2013, he joined Blockchain.info as the third member of the cryptocurrency wallet's team. He also worked at OKCoin as CTO for less than a year, a platform for spot trading between fiat and digital assets.[4]

The company was founded in China but moved its servers and headquarters out of China and into Japan in advance of the Chinese government ban on cryptocurrency trading in September 2017.[5] By March 2018 the company had moved once again, this time to Taiwan.[4]

In January 2018 it was the largest cryptocurrency exchange with a market capitalization of $1.3 billion,[6] a title it has retained as of April 2021, despite competition from Coinbase, among others.[7]

In March 2018, Binance announced its intentions to open an office in Malta after stricter regulations in Japan and China.[8] In April 2018, Binance signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Bermuda.[9] Months later, a similar memorandum was signed with the Malta Stock Exchange to develop a platform for trading security tokens.[10] In 2019, company announced Binance Jersey, an independent entity from its parent Binance.com exchange, with the aim to expand its European influence. Jersey based exchange offers fiat-to-cryptocurrency pairs, including the Euro and the British pound.[11]

In August 2018, Binance along with three other big exchanges raised $32 million for a stable coin project. The idea of stable coins is to provide a cryptocurrency without the notorious volatility of Bitcoin and other popular digital assets.[12]

In January 2019, Binance announced that it had partnered with Israel-based payment processor Simplex to enable cryptocurrency purchases with debit and credit cards, including Visa and Mastercard. The purchases are subject to Simplex’s local bank policies and are limited to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple’s XRP.[13]

On 7 May 2019, Binance revealed that it had been the victim of a “large scale security breach” in which hackers had stolen 7,000 Bitcoin worth around U.S.$40 million at the time.[14] Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said the hackers “used a variety of techniques, including phishing, viruses and other attacks” and structured their transaction “in a way that passed our existing security checks.”[15] Binance halted further withdrawals and deposits but allowed trading to continue. The site pledged to reimburse customers through its "Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU)".[16][17][18] Withdrawals resumed by 19 May.[19]

In September 2019, the exchange began offering perpetual futures contracts, allowing leverage as high as 125 times the value of the contracts.[20] In November 2019, Binance acquired Indian bitcoin exchange WazirX.[21]

On 21 February 2020, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) issued a public statement responding to media reports referring to Binance as a 'Malta-based' cryptocurrency company. The statement noted that Binance "is not authorized by the MFSA to operate in the cryptocurrency sphere and is therefore not subject to regulatory oversight by the MFSA." The MFSA added that it was "assessing if Binance has any activities in Malta which may not fall within the realm of regulatory oversight."[22]

When questioned about his frequently moving the headquarters of Binance, CZ stated that "[a] HQ [is an] old concept like SMS and MMS."[2]

On 28 October 2020, Forbes staff released leaked documents alleging that Binance and Changpeng Zhao created an elaborate corporate structure designed to intentionally deceive United States regulators and secretly profit from cryptocurrency investors located in the country.[1] Binance officially blocks access from IP addresses located in the United States, but "potential customers would be taught how to evade geographic restrictions", Forbes claimed.[1]

In May 2021 it was reported that Binance was under investigation by both the Internal Revenue Service and the United States Department of Justice on claims of money laundering and tax offenses.[23][24][25]

Cryptocurrencies

Throughout its history, the company has launched two cryptocurrencies which it developed itself: Binance Coin (BNB),[26] launched June 2017,[27] and Binance Smart Chain (BSC),[28] launched September 2020.[29] As of 2021, Binance Coin was the cryptocurrency with the third highest market capitalization.[26] Binance allows its users to pay fees on its exchange with Binance Coin,[26][30] and uses its profits to buy back and destroy Binance Coin tokens; thus, in theory, increasing the value of the undestroyed coins by restricting their supply.[31]

In April 2021 the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority in Germany warned that the company risked fines for offering its securities-tracking digital tokens without publishing an investor prospectus.[32]

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Leaked 'Tai Chi' Document Reveals Binance's Elaborate Scheme To Evade Bitcoin Regulators". Forbes. 28 October 2020. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  2. ^ a b Copeland, Tim (13 February 2020). "Binance's real headquarters are in the Cayman Islands". Decrypt.co.
  3. ^ "Top Cryptocurrency Exchanges Ranked By Volume". CoinMarketCap. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  4. ^ a b Ambler, Pamela (7 February 2018). "From Zero To Crypto Billionaire In Under A Year: Meet The Founder Of Binance". Forbes.
  5. ^ Xiao, Eva (30 November 2017). "Three months after launch, this unbanked crypto exchange made $7.5m in profit". Tech in Asia.
  6. ^ Nakamura, Yuji; Lun, Haidi (11 January 2018). "World's Top-Ranked Crypto Exchange Adds 240,000 Users in One Hour". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  7. ^ de la Merced, Michael J.; Karaian, Jason (15 April 2021). "What's next for Coinbase?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  8. ^ Nakamura, Yuji (23 March 2018). "World's Biggest Cryptocurrency Exchange Is Heading to Malta". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  9. ^ "The Continuing Development Of A Fintech Ecosystem For Bermuda" (PDF). Ber News. 27 April 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 January 2019. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  10. ^ plc, Malta Stock Exchange. "MSE and Binance sign MoU". Malta Stock Exchange. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Crypto Giant Binance to Offer Euro Trading Pairs This Year". Bloomberg.com. 11 June 2018. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Binance and Other Crypto Exchanges Back $32 Million Stable Coin Project". Fortune. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  13. ^ Russell, Jon. "Binance now lets users buy crypto with a credit card". TechCrunch. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  14. ^ Kharpal, Arjun (8 May 2019). "Binance bitcoin hack: Over $40 million of cryptocurrency stolen". www.cnbc.com. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  15. ^ Valinsky, Jordan. "Hackers steal $40 million worth of bitcoin in massive security breach". CNN. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  16. ^ Stewart, Emily (8 May 2019). "If bitcoin is so safe, why does it keep getting hacked?". Vox. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  17. ^ De, Nikhilesh (7 May 2019). "Hackers Steal $40.7 Million in Bitcoin From Crypto Exchange Binance". CoinDesk. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  18. ^ Thompson, Luke (8 May 2019). "Binance offers full refund after $40m hack". Asia Times. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  19. ^ "Security Incident Recap". Binance Blog. 19 May 2019. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  20. ^ "Bitcoin Speculators Gain Upper Hand as Derivative Trading Surges". Bloomberg.com. 22 October 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  21. ^ Kharif, Olga (7 December 2019). "Best-Performing Cryptocurrency Powers Controversial Exchange". Bloomberg. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  22. ^ "Public Statement". Malta Financial Services Authority. 21 February 2020. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  23. ^ "Crypto Exchange Binance Under IRS and DOJ Investigation". Daily Newsbrief.
  24. ^ "Binance Faces Probe by U.S. Money-Laundering and Tax Sleuths". Bloomberg.com. 13 May 2021. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  25. ^ "Binance under investigation by Justice Department, IRS - Bloomberg News". Reuters. 13 May 2021. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  26. ^ a b c Anneken, Tappe (22 April 2021). "Bitcoin? Ethereum? Dogecoin? Your guide to the biggest names in crypto". CNN. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  27. ^ "The Evolution of BNB: From Fees to Global DeFi Infrastructure". Binance Blog. 11 April 2021. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  28. ^ Vigna, Paul (3 May 2021). "Ethereum Is Booming in the NFT Frenzy—So Is Network Congestion". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  29. ^ "Binance Smart Chain Launches Today". Binance Blog. 1 September 2020. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  30. ^ Kolhatkar, Sakshat (3 May 2021). "Binance Coin price prediction in INR: How high will the price of BNB go in 2021?". Republic World. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  31. ^ Lesser, Jonathan (11 May 2021). "Top cryptocurrency 2021 by value: Bitcoin, Ether, Dogecoin, BinanceCoin and more". Tom's Guide. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  32. ^ "UPDATE 2-Germany's financial watchdog warns crypto exchange Binance over "stock tokens"". finance.yahoo.com. Retrieved 13 May 2021.

External links