Every industry has its strong personalities that occasionally share their opinions on the pressing matters of the day. The crypto industry is no different, and one of its most outspoken individuals is Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the CEO for Binance, the largest crypto exchange in the world. Recent reports are that his exchange profited to the tune of nearly $450 million in 2018. CZ has recently reiterated his firm’s plan to open several new exchanges across the globe and enhance its current product and service offerings, as well.
There has been a lot of news lately related to the need for a Bitcoin Exchange-traded Fund (ETF), but that the SEC continues to deny all application requests. Over the past year, nearly a dozen applications have been turned down. The SEC is uncomfortable with such things as the level of fraud, potential for price manipulation, liquidity and price volatility, inadequate security measures, and the lack of protective custodial arrangements. The CBOE has also recently withdrawn an ETF application, but it, along with investment firm VanEck and financial services company SolidX, has resubmitted it.
In a recent interview, CZ was asked for his opinion as to how important a Bitcoin ETF would be for the crypto industry. Frank and to the crux of the matter, CZ replied that he did not believe that ETFs “are core to our industry’s growth”. He quickly expanded on this theme by saying that, “I think for our industry to grow we need more entrepreneurs to build real projects.”
The interviewer’s curiosity prompted him to delve into other crypto matters with CZ, the first one being the missing CA$190 million of customer deposits at the beleaguered QuadrigaCX Canadian exchange. The firm has sought bankruptcy protection after announcing the mysterious death of its founder, Gerald Cotten, who supposedly was the only one that had knowledge of the whereabouts of the password to the exchange’s cold storage. Conspiracy theories abound, suggesting that the death was faked, there never was “cold storage”, and that an elaborate “exit scam” was in play. CZ’s simple take on the fiasco was: “There’s something fishy going on.”
CZ has also been quoted widely over his recent remarks related to Amazon. He expressed consternation that Amazon has not accepted Bitcoin or other cryptos as a payment option on its platform. His next response went viral: “Amazon will have to issue a currency sooner or later.” His inference suggests that Amazon may well be considering a stablecoin issuance as a way to mitigate payment risk related to crypto price volatility issues. This payment risk issue has been viewed as the stumbling block for wider acceptance of cryptos as an additional payment vehicle in the retail trade.
Lastly, CZ was asked if there was anything new at Binance. After jokingly saying that, “There’s nothing going on right now,” he admitted that his exchange is interested in the xRapid system employed by Ripple “XRP” and a potential partnership down the line.
Ripple does not use “proof-of-work” mining to confirm international transactions on its blockchain. It utilizes what it calls an “iterative consensus ledger and validating servers network” process, which can yield on average transaction speeds of 1,500 items per second. It can also scale up to match major payment services like Visa and MasterCard. BTC and ETH languish around 8 to 15 transactions per second, a major challenge that must be addressed in future. Ripple, Tron, and several other crypto startups have achieved promising results in the “speed” contest with new technological developments.