Tolu is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Lagos. He likes to demystify crypto stories to the bare basics so that anyone anywhere can understand without too much background knowledge. When he's not neck-deep in crypto stories, Tolu enjoys music, loves to sing and is an avid movie lover.
Changpeng Zhao, the Binance CEO, believes Facebook’s Libra will easily achieve mass adoption whether or not people hate it. He also said that Binance would soon make a special focus on the European market.
Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, CEO of Binance, has confirmed that the firm is beginning specific efforts which will eventually see more emphasis placed on the European market and will possibly open an office in London. Binance is one of the largest crypto exchange firms in the world and has been operating out of its Malta base with its attention on Asia.
He also mentioned that opening a London office seems a lot more attractive now when the Financial Conduct Authority in the U.K. has finalized and released supportive guidance on the regulation of crypto assets. He stated:
“I hope we can open an office in London very soon. There is more regulatory certainty now which is good. I thought the U.K. regulation was very neutral and very positive; they were a little bit strict on the derivatives part which I hope they will be more flexible about.”
CZ said this during a recent interview where he also gave his opinion on the Libra, touching on the possibility of Binance working with Facebook.
CZ on Brexit and Europe
Regardless of the possible problems that could come with Brexit, CZ says Binance would be going forward with plans, adding that he believes the United Kingdom’s withdrawal might be good for crypto adoption if a by-result of Brexit means reduced access to foreign exchange.
“I don’t think it will affect things here very much. The U.K. has a very old and very strong economy. And if anything, [Brexit] is likely to make people adopt crypto more, which is good for us,” noted he.
Binance has been operating quite strongly in Europe and CZ’s latest pronouncement is by no way a pointer to reduced activity in the continent. Binance has been doing a lot for the blockchain community in Malta where it is based and also has activity on the Isle of Jersey.
Nevertheless, CZ still believes that a London office would be very pivotal to the Europe-focused cause.
“I think there’s a psychological factor; a psychological closeness factor in people’s heads. It still matters a little bit,” said he.
Is Binance Joining the Libra Association?
It has previously been reported that there are ongoing talks between Binance and Facebook on the possibility of the former being an official part of the Libra project. CZ has, however, downplayed the talks, stating that Binance has not joined the Libra Association and is primarily focused only on listing assets that are in wide circulation.
Nevertheless, he added that if and when there’s an official launch for the Libra and it is tradeable with other coins, then there’s a good chance for listing since he believes the Libra would be widely accepted regardless of the current backlash. CZ explained:
“As an exchange, we should stay neutral. So we don’t really comment on coins; we don’t like or dislike coins. We just provide liquidity. It’s most likely Libra will get a large number of users, no matter how much people hate it.”
The CEO further suggested that even though there are no specific moves regarding Binance being an official part of the Libra Association, there’s a good enough chance. He said:
“We are not against working together with them in deeper ways to promote collaborations. As far as I know, there are no concrete plans or agreements to do anything just yet. But we are not against it.”
CZ then waved off the regulatory setbacks Libra is currently facing. According to him, the backlash simply shows that Libra is a serious threat to the status quo.
This is a little different from comments made by Binance CSO, Gin Chao. Back in June, Chao suggested that there were ongoing discussions with Facebook, adding that Binance could very well act as a permissioned node for validating transactions on the Libra blockchain.