Binance has garnered almost a cult following, as well as a huge and deserved following in the cryptocurrency space. It is one of the most recognizable brands in crypto, and one of the largest exchanges out there.
Part of its success can be attributed to its personable CEO, Changpeng Zhao, who has been the face of Binance, but also an important cog in the adoption and growth of cryptocurrency. Zhao sat down with Forklog recently to give a broad interview about his life, and how Binance is positioned in the ecosystem.
Some interesting facts that come out of the interview are that Zhao holds 99 percent of his wealth in crypto, and most of it in BNB; he sold his house in 2014 and bought Bitcoin with the proceedings; Binance is attacked by hackers up to 5-10 times a day; and he is worth about $2 billion.
Getting to know CZ
In starting, Zhao explains how his upbringing has impacted his views and become part of how Binance is run.
“I was born in a small town in China. When I was under 5 or 6 years old, I moved to a village and when I was like nine or ten I moved to a bigger city. Then, at the age of 12, I left China for Canada following my parents.
“I’ve constantly changed cities every five years on average. I’ve lived in a lot of places – China, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. I guess it would be right to say that I’m a typical world’s citizen, so it has an impact on my views, the way of thinking and my business style, especially in Binance,” he said.
Interestingly, as the CEO, Zhao is not overbearing and all-conquering leader. He admits that there is a lot of decentralization in Binance’s decision making.
“Binance differs a lot from a traditional organization. We’re very decentralized among 40 countries. People are working around the clock. I’m personally involved only at the product side and marketing. Other things that my team handles include listings and regulatory compliance.
Big in Russia
Binance, while trying to branch into China, has become well established in Russia and the surrounding countries, but Zhao does not put this down to anything odd.
“I guess there is a strong demand for a good exchange product. We’re not doing anything special in any of the regions, but we do customize our apps to provide local language support. In Russia, you could speak with our support service in Russia as well,” he added.
“Russia is in TOP-10. Our user base is very similar to Bitcoin holders’ geographical distribution.”
Zhao also took to addressing the issue of fake volume trading, stating that he did not think it was happening with Binance and that they were perhaps the 5% exempt from the recent reports.
“I believe no,” Zhao said when asked if there were fake volumes on Binance. “In the real world nothing is black or white. It depends on the definition of fake volumes. If a user trades against himself, is it fake or real volume? If a user buys in the morning and sells in the afternoon, is it a fake volume?”
“I could assure you that Binance doesn’t conduct any wash trading or manipulation whatsoever. We try to detect and fight any wash trading on Binance. Again – sometimes it’s very hard to judge what wash trading is. If a guy buys and sells and hе is losing money, is it a fake volume?”