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Did Binance’s CZ predict everything five years ago?

Five years ago, it was not possible to buy cryptocurrencies using fiat money on Binance. However, the exchange quickly gained popularity internationally and recorded some of the highest volumes in the industry. This was no easy feat, especially in 2018 when there were so many well-established exchanges with loyal user bases.

Cointelegraph in June 2018 Founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao interviewed To discuss the rapid growth the stock market has experienced recently. At the time, Binance only supported crypto-to-crypto trading, but there was a 50% fee discount if you used the native token BNB (BNB): This attracted many of the more cost-conscious traders.

Half a decade later, things are drastically different. Binance accepted an offer $4.3 billion deal with the US government following regulatory action against the company. US civil case finds Binance’s policies allow large numbers of criminals to operatestolen funds” through the platform.

The decision also led to Zhao resigning from his position as CEO due to personal accusations made against Binance’s founder. Violated the Bank Secrecy Act. Zhao pleaded guilty and was released on $175 million bail.

During an interview in 2018, Zhao seemed fully aware that Binance, which was quickly becoming the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, would be in the crosshairs of regulators.

At the time, Binance was accused of falsifying trading volumes, but Zhao has always denied such insinuations. Instead, he claimed that Binance was accurately declaring its volumes in an attempt to inflate the numbers and attract more users, unlike rival platforms that record the same transaction multiple times (both buy and sell side):

“Being number one sometimes creates problems, especially with regulators. Regulators like to argue with those at the top, so we specifically try not to be number one. But other exchanges are increasing their volume in an effort to be first.”

Potential regulatory hurdles aside, Zhao’s exchange was quickly gaining traction. A modest $150 million Initial Coin Offering (ICO) laid the foundation for Binance’s rise:

“The ICO definitely helped us a lot, it was very important. It allowed us to grow 10 to 200 times faster.”

Zhao stated that if Binance raised funds through traditional methods, the growth of the stock market would be much slower. Approximately 25,000 users participated in the ICO and simultaneously “investors, coin holders and users.

By the time Zhao had to hand over the reins to new CEO Richard Teng, the $15 million ICO had grown into a company valued at a whopping $60 billion. The outgoing CEO’s words nearly five years ago were prophetic: Binance has indeed faced regulatory scrutiny in many jurisdictions for its aggressive expansion plans.

The issue culminated in a lawsuit filed in the United States and a subsequent multibillion-dollar settlement. Binance has also faced more local difficulties in other countries: for example, the company had to leave the Netherlands because it could not meet regulatory compliance.

The exchange has found greener pastures elsewhere: the UAE has provided a new base to continue operations. CZ currently resides there and will return there in 2024 before returning to the United States to serve his sentence.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong highlighted to X (formerly Twitter) that the exchange’s measured approach to complying with regulatory standards has allowed Binance to avoid the situation it currently finds itself in. “Since Coinbase was founded in 2012, we have taken a long-term perspective.“Armstrong says.”I knew we had to be fully aligned to be a generational company that would stand the test of time. We obtained licenses, hired legal and compliance teams, and emphasized that our brand is built on user trust and compliance. We wanted to increase transparency and raise the bar on trust, and we became a public company in 2021.

This meant we couldn’t always move as fast as others.” added the CEO.”Adopting a responsive approach is more difficult and expensive. You can’t launch all the products customers want because some of them may be illegal. But it is the right approach because we believe in the rule of law.

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