In brief

  • CZ thinks the US needs to redraft its crypto regulations. 
  • He also said that Binance just surpassed 11 billion trades per day.
  • Regarding the delisting of BSV, it was a "tricky decision," CZ said.

The CEO of Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges by trading volume, thinks that the US needs to loosen up on its crypto regulations because they are stifling innovation in the space.

“It would be good if someone actively loosens or drafts a new set of regulations for cryptocurrencies,” Changpeng Zhao, who generally goes by “CZ,” said during a fireside chat at Virtual Blockchain Week last night. “That would encourage more innovation.”  

He went on to add more cautiously that regulators in the US do have a lot of power. “We don’t want to step on the wrong guy’s toes,” he said.

That is understandable, given that Binance was one of nearly a dozen cryptocurrency firms recently named in a series of class-action lawsuits. The suits targeted companies that sold tokens deemed to be illegal securities as well as the exchanges that listed those tokens. In both instances, the plaintiff’s lawyers claim the tokens were made available to US citizens.

Binance.com is not registered to operate in the US. (Unlike, Binance.US, its American outpost, which launched in September. However, Binance.US only offers about 30 digital tokens, compared to the 196 that Binance.com lists.)

In fact, since it was founded in 2017, the company has changed jurisdiction several times to sidestep regulators. It is currently headquartered in the Cayman Islands and the Seychelles.

CZ said Binance has handed the issue of the class-action lawsuit over to its lawyers, who advised him not to comment. But still, he said, “We do live in a free world in that sense, everybody can sue anybody else.” 

The problem with lawsuits is they can still taint your business, he added. Suddenly, “everyone is worried about you,” he said.

Big numbers 

During the chat, CZ also said that in the early days of the business, in January 2018, when bitcoin was coming off its all-time peak of $20,000, there were days when Binance was handling 11 billion trades per day. “Last night, we were back at that volume,” he said.  

He also fielded questions regarding his thoughts on self-professed Bitcoin creator Craig Wright. In a controversial move last year, Binance delisted BSV (which stands for Bitcoin Satoshi's Vision), a bitcoin fork promoted by Wright. 

“The delisting of BSV was a tricky decision,” he said. But given that Wright was so heavily associated with the coin, he felt it was better to take it off the exchange.

“I think Craig Wright is absolutely a fraud,” said CZ. “He is not Satoshi Nakamoto. Anybody who understands crypto knows that.” But he added that despite that, BSV still has a following somehow, especially in Chinese communities. 

But the move still had an impact on the coin’s liquidity, making it less attractive to traders.

“What is interesting, after we delisted, some of the other exchanges feel that there is no other liquidity. Large traders probably think it is easier to manipulate the prices of that coin. So that is probably the easiest coin of the top 10 to manipulate prices right now,” he said.  

Binance recently acquired CoinMarketCap, a popular data aggregator and cryptocurrency rating site. Is that an issue with a large exchange taking ownership of a crypto rating site?

“We plan to remain neutral,” CZ said, adding that all Binance teams operate independently “Binance does not get special favors,” he said. “If Binance wants to buy an ad on CoinMarketCap, Binance pays for it.”

But what about BSV? Any plans to remove that coin from CoinMarketCap? “No,” said CZ. “Not just yet.” That brought some hesitation from the hosts, who asked, “What do you mean, not just yet?” 

“Nothing is permanent,” said CZ. “Anything can change at any minute.”

 

(Updated on April 30 at 9 p.m. ET to note that Binance.US lists 30 tokens and Binance.com lists 196. A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Binance.US lists 7 tokens and Binance.com lists 600.)