CZ also discussed Binance Academy’s work with Chinese government institutions on blockchain projects and revealed that he hopes Binance can influence the shape of the country’s regulatory strategy
Speaking at Virtual Blockchain Week (VBW), Binance founder and chief executive Changpeng Zhao (CZ) argued that stablecoins and charity initiatives can drive meaningful cryptocurrency adoption.
Crypto charity programs drive adoption
During his ‘fireside chat’ with VBW’s hosts, CZ asserted that crypto-based charity programs are driving meaningful cryptocurrency adoption worldwide.
“If I’m going to give you some donation in crypto, you are more likely to go and get a wallet or register an account on an exchange to accept it,” he stated. “That type of adoption is a positive first-contact for a lot of people. So it does increase adoption.”
“We also see that it also helps the Binance reputation […] We have been much better received in a lot of […] countries due to the charity initiative. So there [is] some selfishness to it.”
Stablecoins drive adoption for merchants
Speaking with Cointelegraph afterwards, CZ said he believes that stablecoins will help to drive adoption among merchants and retailers.
“Before [stablecoins] it was like two extremes – you either stay in USD or Fiat, [or] you’re either BTC or Ethereum or BMB, and the price fluctuates against fiat,” he said, adding that crypto can be “really troublesome for a shop owner because their expenses are in fiat”.
CZ describes stablecoins as an “intermediate step,” asserting fiat-denominated tokens solve the problem for individuals and merchants who want to be in crypto but still need their expenses to be covered using fiat.
Binance looks to partner with Chinese government on DLT
When asked about Binance’s plans for its recently launched Blockchain Research Institute in Shanghai, CZ stated that the institute will focus on exploring applications for distributed ledger technologies (DLT) alongside China’s central government.
“There’s a very big push by Chinese government agencies to all learn about blockchain,” he said. “They are very smart in the sense that they said ‘Well if we’re going to understand this thing let’s understand it, let’s not be outsiders trying to regulate an expert area.”
“We are working closely with the governments there and they are very receptive,” he stated, emphasizing: “We want to be influential in that process.”
Circle Pivots to Stablecoin Platform as More Execs, Teams Depart
Payments startup Circle is pivoting its business to solely offering stablecoin services with the sale of its over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk. As part of the move, the firm confirmed the departure of additional executives, just weeks after co-CEO Sean Neville announced he would be stepping down.
In a lengthy blog post Tuesday, Neville and CEO Jeremy Allaire announced that the company would be focusing on its stablecoin business through 2020, with a suite of services built around the dollar-pegged USDC.
As part of the transition, Circle announced that chief financial officer Naeem Ishaq and chief legal officer Gus Coldebella would be stepping down from their roles, though Coldebella will continue to advise the company.
In an announcement of its own, Kraken said its OTC desk would now see more than 20 employees, and allow the company to serve new trading partners in Asia and other parts of the world. Kraken said the move would also bring deeper liquidity and more automated tools.
As a result of this latest sale, Circle will focus on its “core strength,” Allaire and Neville wrote, citing its “platform services infrastructure.”
This infrastructure supported the USDC stablecoin and “financial use cases worldwide,” the post said. Next year, it will support global payment, custody and stablecoin wallet APIs.
“These APIs will be offered as services to businesses and developers everywhere who will be able to take advantage of the innovation and efficiency of stablecoins without the cost, complexity and risk of implementing this infrastructure themselves,” Circle wrote.