Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, is calling on governments, companies, and entrepreneurs around the globe to develop “localised stablecoins” on its proprietary Binance Chain network, a project it has dubbed “Venus.”
Binance chain, launched earlier this year, already supports a range of stablecoins, including “BGBP,” a pound-backed token. By issuing more of these, Binance claims, it will “empower developed and developing countries to spur new currencies.”
The announcement comes as major companies including Facebook and Walmart announce plans to launch their own stablecoins. But Binance’s project appears vastly different from that of Facebook, which hopes to deploy its own currency, Libra, from a Swiss bank vault governed by a smattering of like-minded business, finance and tech giants. (You can read all our coverage on Libra, here.)
Binance, on the other hand, will be encouraging collaborators to build directly on its proprietary chain, Binance Chain, which uses a “distributed proof of stake” consensus model, with transactions validated by a handful of entities close and “affiliated” with Binance. And unlike Facebook’s highly speculative Libra, Binance’s entrenchment within the cryptocurrency space and prior success with developing and launching tokens could give it a leg up.
Also unlike Facebook, Binance has a limited presence in the US—though it plans to soon relaunch its trading platform there—and is perhaps better positioned to mobilize communities in Asia and Africa, where it has already established a foothold.
Indeed, in a release issued today, Binance called openly for the support of “government partners, companies and organizations with a strong interest and influence on a global scale to collaborate with us to build a new open alliance and sustainable community.".
Why exactly Binance has chosen to announce this project and the exact granularities of how it will work remain unclear. We have reached out to Binance and will update with any response.
Update: Binance has announced the project, not launched it, contrary to our previous headline.