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Binance – Read about the journey from ICO to market leader

Binance has grown from ICO to over 10 million users in a single year. How did it get there and what does the future hold for Binance?

Binance

 

Binance Introduction

 

Binance, so ably led by Changpeng Zhao is one of the biggest brands in cryptocurrency. The Chinese cryptocurrency exchange has now got over 10 million users. This is remarkable growth for a platform that launched in July 2017. Long term it is reasonable to expect Binance to become decentralised. However this may not be in the immediate future with Zhao on record as saying “no decentralized exchange today can handle our volume, and none are as secure as we are.” The platform also issued it’s own token BNB which has grown in price from $0.10 to $13.50.
In 2013, Zhao learned about Bitcoin from a poker playing venture capitalist chum. He bounced around a number of prominent crypto projects. Zhao joined Blockchain.info as the third member of the cryptocurrency wallet’s team. He also worked at OKCoin as chief technology officer for less than a year, a platform for spot trading between fiat and digital assets. The idea of running his own exchange was on his mind throughout these years. 
Binanace ICO & Early Growth

 

Zhao bootstrapped an early stage Binance through ICO. The ICO was successful and closed with $15 million raised in July 2017. This raise was perfectly timed for the swelling Bitcoin price in the following months. The early userbase was predominantly Chinese. This led to their first major challenge, China’s Sept 2017 ban on crpytocurrency exchanges. Binance had to ban a large proportion of it’s users overnight.
Despite plenty of competition from other newly formed exchanges Binance outgrew them all. Their aggressive referral programme which offered 20% commission on referral trades certainly helped. One user netted 76 BTC through referring others to the platform!
Their marketing has tended to be highly effective. One giveaway in December 2017/January 2018 was particularly eye catching. Showing a hint of humour the Binance team offered to give away a 2018 Lamborghini Huracan RWD Coupe in a competition for users. 
Market Leader

 

When the market exploded in December 2017, Binance was overflown with new users. They had to close new user registrations. On the 10th of January, Binance opened new user registations for an hour, 240’000 people managed to sign up in that hour. “We have a guy whose full-time job is just requesting servers,” Zhao said.  “We did not expect this kind of growth, to be honest,” 
9 million different people visited the Binance platform in the month of January. The average visit time was an impressive 22 minutes. The revenue picture was equally impressive with Binance banking $300 million in the first 6 months of 2018. They are now projecting a total profit of between $500 million and $1 billion for the year of 2018.
There are now over 10 million registered users, there were 2 million registered users at the start of 2018. The company moved it’s headquarters to Japan  in the wake of the Chinese exchange ban. In March this year they moved again to Malta. Regulatory pressures from the Japenese are largely understood to be the reason behind the move. 
Why I love it

 

When I first started using Binance I wasn’t overly fussed about it. The UI was and remains rather simplistic. I didn’t really understand BNB at first. With time I’ve noticed that the simplistic UI contains all the info I need within easy reach. It has quite a few alt trading pairs with Tether which makes trading alts a lot simpler. They even addressed the long time absence of a stop-limit order!
Excepting the mad trading period in Dec/Jan I have not had any issues with delays withdrawing coins from Binance. It is now the exchange I use most regularly. I use Cobinhood, KuCoin and Coinexchange to access various altcoins not available on Binance.
What does the future hold for Binance?

 

Binance now intends to set up a direct fiat to crypto exchange in Malta. This would position Binance as a direct competitor to Coinbase. A July announcement indicated the first such exchange is launching in Uganda. They have also entered into an agreement with the government of Bermuda. There they will establish a global compliance center and invest in local blockchain companies and projects. Bermuda is a good place to meet big players in the world of corporate finance of course!
These two items are breadcrumbs on the trail toward Binance establishing a decentralised financial system. Zhao seems to hold a longer term vision on how blockchain will succeed. He suspects a lot of today’s developed projects like Ethereum will fade into oblivion. His reasoning being they are simply too slow and general. He has cited newer tools like Komodo and Tendermint that make it possible to write blockchains for specific purposes, suggesting the future will consist of numerous bespoke ledgers. The remaining questions is where will Binance sit in this new world?
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