Q&A: Wei Zhou, Chief Financial Officer of crypto exchange Binance

By Staff Writer

Binance is one the fastest-growing firms in the digital assets industry. Recent ventures include the launch of a crypto exchange in the US, a roll-out of a USD stablecoin, an acquisition of a Chinese crypto media company and a planned fiat-to-crypto OTC trading for Chinse yuan, amongst others. Blockchain Asset Review caught up with Wei Zhou of Binance, purportedly the world’s largest crypto exchange, on the sidelines of Coin Desk’s Invest: Asia Summit in Singapore last month. We spoke to him on the number of hot topics in digital assets.

Q: How do you view Libra and its implications on finance in general?

A: I think it is already changing the world. In fact, it has accelerated! In my experience, a lot of companies, co-operations and even countries have been spending a lot of resources examining blockchain. From my conversation with a lot of people, a lot of them already have their internal processes going and they all are waiting a major catalyst to happen.

I think the Libra announcement is the catalyst. It gets a lot of people to say: “If Facebook is doing it then it’s OK for me to do it.” Even if they get negative feedback, they are getting negative feedback not because of what they are doing. May be what they are doing it from the business perspective is great! There are a lot of users of Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram and other smaller apps in the world and how do you activate commerce amongst the users for virtual goods, real goods, services, booking and others? Right now, if you look at Apple, everyone has to pay chunk to Apple, why? Because, they have existing payment platform in place that can collect rent from may be around 180 countries around the world and blockchain is about to disrupt that kind of legacy. So, in my perspective, we see this as a huge important catalyst and we welcome more companies, countries and organizations to explore the same mechanism and to figure out how to improve efficiency and drive revenue to their businesses.

Q: Do you think it is actually going to happen?

A: I think it will get launched! From a business perspective, they have all the licenses already unless new laws come in. Under the existing framework, it’s okay for them to go forward.

Q: What do you think about the Chinese government’s new digital currency coming in?

A: I don’t know what I exactly read about it. All I read is that, they have been preparing it for a long time and they are finally putting it into practice. It’s going to be some form of offshore RMB token that is going to be backed by People’s Bank of China and will be traded outside of China.

Q: Is it for retail use?

A: I’m not sure but the token is refundable and freely traded.

Q: The Binance US Dollar stable coin has been launched recently. Why do you think it is important for you to have it?

A: First of all, the US Dollar fiat for Binance is really important! Secondly, it’s been approved by the New York state, which is probably one of the most sophisticated regulators in the world for crypto and finance in general.  So, they are working towards underlined infrastructure and the compliance and the regulatory level as well as the banking access they have by trust companies in New York. While for us, we are more focused on the adoption and the use cases. I think there is going to be many use cases for a US Dollar stablecoin or for stablecoins in general. For example, payment, any time a dollar used in real world, you can use it in the digital world too! It’s as good as real money as long as you can redeem it. It can also be used as base currency in exchange or to make investments. So, there are a lot of use cases for this one.

Q: Can you use this in countries where cryptocurrency is banned?

A: I don’t know.

Q: If I’m a Binance user, what difference does it makes right now that you have this token?

A: Currently, nothing major. Because, we already have other stablecoins are out there in the market.

Q: There is a lot of talk about stablecoin and some experts call it the “connective tissue” between traditional industry and digital asset industry.

A: We need more and easier ways to convert between fiat and crypto. Stablecoin for this is probably one of the important bridges.

Q: Now we have decentralised exchange in Singapore right? Or just a regular exchange?.

A: We have a decentralised exchange and it is not registered. We also have Binance.sg in Singapore, which is a fiat to crypto exchange. You can open an account and deposit Singapore dollars into the account and buy Bitcoin, Litecoin and a few others. It is one of a few openly regulated fiat exchanges in the Singapore.

Q: Do you think there is any other way of creating a global cryptocurrency?

A: I think the world is moving more towards decentralisation and not towards centralisation. So we will have more decentralised structures rather one giant global infrastructure

Q: How long do you think the crypto industry to be used widely in the world?

A: I think by end of the next year, you will see a lot of corporate tokens and other tokens. For all these tokens, we need a place of exchange. There is going to be thousands of tokens. Some could be backed by network or some by exchange, fiat or fiscal assets. So, all these things need a place of exchange and a market.

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