Binance had said in September that fiat payments were coming for over-the-counter OTC trading – effectively, bulk deals – this month. However, his comments today appear to indicate that general trading on the exchange will also support the new options.

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance is soon to launch its first fiat-to-cryptocurrency trading pairs.

Speaking at the Open Innovations 2019 conference in Moscow on Monday, CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao confirmed that fiat options are on the way, kicking off with the Russian ruble:

“We’re adding support for fiat trading. In about two weeks or so, we should have support for Russian ruble trading, direct.”

Until now, the company’s primary service, binance.com, has only supported crypto-to-crypto trading. However, it has launched local fiat gateways in Uganda, Singapore, Jersey and, most recently, the U.S.

Also announced by the exchange on Monday, a new token pegged to the value of the bitcoin cash (BCH) cryptocurrency has been listed on its decentralized exchange, Binance DEX. Binance said its “BCH-1FD” token would bring more options for DEX users.

Binance Adds Support for Fee-Free P2P Trading With Russian Rubles

Binance’s peer-to-peer trading facility has added support for the Russian ruble as the exchange continues to build out its business in the major market.

The Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange announced Tuesday that users would be able to trade rubles directly with bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), tether (USDT) and binance coin (BNB) without any transaction fees. This is the third fiat currency – after the Chinese yuan and Vietnamese dong – Binance has integrated into its peer-to-peer platform.

“Russia is a vibrant market for blockchain and crypto advancement. We strive to provide our Russian users with easy fiat-to-crypto access,” said Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao. “P2P trading provides an open marketplace and more flexible access for users to trade multiple cryptocurrencies with other users or merchants in the payment methods they prefer.”

Despite skeptical regulators, Russia has an outsized presence in the cryptocurrency space. The country has one of the largest software developer communities in the world and Moscow was the most popular base for ICO projects in 2018, according to a report by Quartz.

Russia’s central bank announced it was developing its own “CryptoRuble” in November 2018, although there have been no updates since. The government has also been deliberating on a new cryptocurrency bill over the past two years. Details remain scant, but there are concerns the bill could prohibit, or severely hamper, cryptocurrency trading.

Hinting about possible concerns with the country’s regulators, CZ has made overtures to the Russian cryptocurrency sector in the past, describing Russia as a “key market” for Binance during a visit in October last year.

He added that he wanted Binance to increase its Russian presence by opening an office in the country: “There is a very strong programmer talent here”, CZ said. “On this trip, it is very clear to me that we should look into setting up the developers’ office.”

CZ also announced back in October that the ruble would be used in the first fiat-to-crypto trading pair on the main Binance exchange.

Binance Donated $2.4M in Coronavirus Medical Supplies; CZ Pledges More

Binance says it’s pouring millions into the global fight against the coronavirus.

In an ask-me-anything (AMA) Friday, CEO Changpeng Zhao said his exchange has committed at least $2.4 million in crypto to buy sorely needed COVID-19 medical supplies and plans to donate up to $2 million more through its philanthropic arm, the Binance Charity Foundation (BCF).

“We are donating physical supplies, masks, other medical supplies, hopefully, eventually, ventilators.” Zhao said. He estimated Binance’s total contributions will add up to “somewhere around $5 million.”

While Zhao said Binance had already donated the $2.4 million, BCF’s website only noted $1 million donated so far.

Zhao said these supplies are shipping directly to hospitals in need. BCF’s early efforts focused on China: it has delivered hundreds of thousands of personal protective equipment (PPE) items to 300 Chinese hospitals as of March 20, according to BCF’s website.

PPE will now flow to other sickened countries.

“I think there’s a shipment going to Italy this week”, Zhao said, “and then hopefully we will be able to cover the U.S., Germany and some of the other countries that are really severely impacted.”

BCF has also raised about $200,000 in crypto from the public, according to Zhao.

Many observers questioned whether CMC would remain independent after first hearing about the acquisition.

Binance also opened its Korean exchange for account registration on April 2. That exchange shares liquidity with Binance though the Binance Cloud platform.

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