Regardless of how many new users it could attract, Binance isn’t interested in offering users the ability to trade stocks.
CEO Changpeng Zhao told Decrypt on the latest gm podcast that cryptocurrency exchanges offering the feature are neither right nor wrong, but he emphasized that swapping equities doesn’t align with his company’s philosophy.
As crypto firms endure a broad market slump, some have turned their focus to adding users with new features. In May, FTX began offering clients the ability to trade stocks in accounts funded with stablecoins.
"Some exchanges want to go back to stock trading," CZ said in an obvious reference to FTX. "We don’t have any plans on doing stock trading,” said CZ. "We’re not running a fiscal broker store anytime soon.”
And while stock trading has proven a lucrative market for many retail investment platforms, such as Robinhood and Webull, CZ said he’d rather see Binance focus on building more Web3 tools.
“We are a pure Web3 company,” CZ said. “We’re not going back, we’re moving forward.”
The CEO added that Binance is eyeing a few companies as potential acquisition targets during the bear market, but that none of those would revolve around the exchange of traditional equities. CZ also suggested the potential deals would be more “simple” than a complicated loan structure or bailout.
“That is not to say that complex deals are bad,” CZ said. “But my preference is always keep everything very simple, very straightforward, boil everything down to very basic core principles, and go from there.”
He also commented directly on the $500 million line of credit extended to bankrupt crypto broker Voyager Digital by Sam Bankman-Fried's Alameda Research: "I would never do that type of deal."
In May, Bankman-Fried bought a 7.6% stake in Robinhood, and Bloomberg reported last month that he was interested in buying the stock and crypto trading app outright, but he dismissed the rumor, stating that there were “no active M&A conversations about Robinhood currently taking place.”