Binance CEO Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao has penned an open letter addressed to the Binance community, and co-signed by “the Binance team”. It’s called ‘Binance 2020 New Year Message: Building Foundations’ and was published on January 7, 2019.
The letter looks back on the past year of achievements and challenges faced by Binance, before casting an eye to the future (2020 “and beyond”), divided into different sections: including the team’s core values. Two of these foremost values are ‘user-first’ and ‘security’.
Zhao believes that these values, as well as the various acquisitions the company has made over 2019, represent the foundation of the development of Binance (akin to the building of a house). Nine acquisitions were made over the year, however only a handful were announced publicly
He also promises more strategic acquisitions through 2020.
“We want to clarify exactly what our values are and how they guide the decisions we make”Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao
User-First is the initial ‘core value’ described in the article. CZ claims that, from a community comprised of “millions of users spread across six continents and 180 countries” a lot of “product and feature requests” have been demanded. The following requests have been “heard, built and shipped”: Margin Trading, Staking, Lending, Futures, and 125x leverage.
He also boasts the 24/7 availability offered to users through Binance’s support team, being “industry precedents [Binance] set from the beginning”.
Another achievement mentioned by CZ pertaining to Binance’s ‘User-First’ values is a focus towards the continuous improvement of user-focused security options… including protecting and – at times – recompensing customers in the case of hacks / funds loss as a result of security breaches.
“Building an AI system is not easy and not a small project, but at Binance, we believe these investments will truly pay off in the long run.”Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao
That brings us to the second Binance ‘core value’ advertised by Changpeng Zhou: ‘security’. CZ says that 2019 was a year which contained many security-related challenges for Binance, including “a security breach that set us back $40 million”.
Despite this setback, CZ describes the breach as something of a blessing in disguise and a wake-up call as it informed the team of flaws they were not previously aware of – to which they subsequently set to work resolving.
“Through these tough times, we made sure to protect our users. Our users did not lose a penny.
“One thing that is for certain is, we invest the most in security, for any crypto business.”Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao
Further to these core values, CZ continues to describe a handful of key features which are summarized below…
- Launchpad platform was launched in January 2019… one year ago.
- It aims to support projects and help them to “raise money and awareness”.
- The platform also allegedly “started an IEO trend”.
Despite this, CZ continues to warn readers against the various IEO related scams that have arisen since the concept achieved popularity – and says that the perpetrators of such activities take advantage of the concept “scam users… If you invest in IEOs, you should adopt a proper mindset”.
He also states that one key advantage of Binance Launchpad is the “network effects”.
“All projects apply to Binance first, giving Binance effectively the right of first refusal.
This allows Binance to select the best projects before other exchanges.
Admittedly, we don’t have the capacity to work with all the good projects in the world, and often miss good projects too.
But as long as we do our job right, Binance should be able to outperform other exchanges in IEOs, and the results are in line with this expectation”Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao
Additional areas of focus mentioned in the piece include key products and events such as: Binance Labs, Binance X, Hackathons, Conferences, Binance Chain, Binance DEX, Binance Research, Binance Academy, Binance Charity, Live Chat, and BNB.
With regards to acquisitions, Changpeng Zhao describes two in detail: Trust Wallet and TravelbyBit.
The mission of Trust Wallet is to attempt to make cryptocurrency more accessible whilst also widening access to decentralized finance. Whereas TravelbyBit will help to advance Binance’s “crypto adoption push around the world”.
“Blockchain is not going away and only growing, we see many traditional financial institutions coming into crypto as well.
Banks and payment services providers that were once cold are beginning to provide services to crypto businesses. Many smart ones are even jumping head in with their own product offerings in the crypto space.
Again, as much as some of the hardcore crypto guys don’t like banks, we believe working with banks and traditional financial institutions is essential to bringing more people into crypto.”Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao (CEO of Binance)
“As the saying goes, when you can’t beat them, buy them. And this is definitely true for all of our acquisitions.
When we identify top talent with a top product that we can’t beat, and the teams share common values, a merger makes sense in most cases.”Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao (CEO of Binance)
“Our experiences have taught us that grand plans change faster than we can announce them. So, we typically don’t announce grand plans ahead of time, we will announce them when they are ready to be launched. As mentioned throughout the article, we have many projects underway.”Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao (CEO of Binance)