“the industry won’t go away,” Binance boss assures

The boss of Binance, which claims 120 million customers, spoke at VivaTech about the current shock in the cryptocurrency market.

Despite the collapse of the cryptocurrency market, “the sector will not disappear,” assured AFP Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the boss of Binance, the world’s leading crypto asset exchange, at a conference on Thursday. from the VivaTech show in Paris.

The current crisis “worries, but we expected it, it’s not uncommon,” assured crypto billionaire CZ, one of the most listened-to voices in the area, at the head of a group that claims 120 million customers.

“Financial markets go up and down. When you go public, you can’t expect it to go up forever,” said the 44-year-old entrepreneur, who has the Binance logo tattooed on his right arm.

After a good run during the pandemic, cryptocurrencies, which are known for their volatility, have fallen sharply in recent weeks, resulting in lower investor risk appetite.

The market briefly fell below $1 trillion on Tuesday, as bitcoin, the queen of virtual “currencies”, fell about 70% from its all-time high of last November.

Despite these headwinds, Binance, with nearly 6,000 employees, has just opened 2,000 job openings that the company expects to fill by the end of the year.

“We were very frugal” when the market was booming, declared the one known only by his initials, CZ. “We didn’t spend a lot on advertising, we didn’t name stadiums and we weren’t Super Bowl partners,” he said, referring to the picks of some of his rivals.

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Despite their popularity in recent years, the use of cryptocurrencies is still associated by some politicians with fraudulent practices such as money laundering, a discourse that CZ calls a “total myth”. The leader, who grew up in China before moving to Canada and taking Canadian citizenship, insists that blockchain technology, which secures cryptocurrency transactions, guarantees transparency and traceability.

“With a large amount of data, it is possible to know with a high degree of reliability who has this and that address,” he emphasizes. For this reason, “most criminals do not use blockchain” to commit their misdeeds, as it is a “very bad tool” for them, he continues.

According to a study by Chainanalysis, in 2021 only 0.15% of cryptocurrency transactions were linked to illegal addresses, a figure significantly lower than traditional bank transfers.

However, the regulation of crypto assets is a central topic both in the United States and in Europe, where authorities are tightening the screws to better regulate an even more recent market. “In my view, this is going to be a multi-stage process that will take decades,” noted CZ, recalling that Binance employed former heads of regulatory agencies.

Ambitions in France

The platform is ambitious, especially in France. At the beginning of May, she obtained her registration from the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AMF) to be able to practice, according to CZ “a crucial step”. “France wants to attract this industry. It sends a very strong message internationally,” the entrepreneur insisted.

The license “as a provider of digital asset services” is the first in Europe for the group, where authorities in the United Kingdom last year ruled that Binance’s activities could not be properly controlled and posed a risk to consumers.

In France, which employs 100 people, the platform is headquartered in Montrouge, in the Paris region, and has recently moved to the Station F start-up campus in Paris.

The group also recently recruited the former Deputy Director of Legal Affairs at the AMF Stéphanie Cabossioras. Asked by AFP, the Authority confirmed that Ms. Cabossioras had not had to manage the registration process for Binance in France, and rejected any suspicion of a conflict of interest.

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