Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the founder and CEO of crypto exchange Binance, expects that the company’s American spin-off will soon announce a "couple hundred million" dollars in funding.
“I think that’ll come in about a month or two,” Zhao said at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore on Friday.
With over $1.2 billion traded in the last 24 hours, Binance.US is currently the third-largest crypto exchange in the U.S. after Coinbase and Kraken, according to CoinGecko.
The prospective funding round also follows the resignation of Binace.US CEO Brian Brooks in August. Brian Shroder, a former executive at Uber and Ant Group, was appointed as the exchange’s president in September.
According to Zhao, Binance.US may file for an IPO at a later stage, with Coinbase laying the groundwork for what that could look like. However, “it's probably best to have a few rounds of financing before that,” he said.
Previously, Zhao revealed that Binance.US. plans to go public within the next three years.
Binance to announce HQ
In recent months, Binance has been mired in regulatory controversies as well as questions around the location of the firm’s headquarters.
While Zhao previously suggested that Binance may well survive without a physical office, there’s an obvious turnaround in his approach to the matter.
He admitted that Binance will need “a centralized entity to work well with regulators” in September, and reiterated this once again today, adding that an announcement will be made soon.
“There are a few countries that are very pro-crypto, and we do have a headquarters setup already devised, but I can’t announce it today. We’ll be able to publicize that in a very short period,” he said at the event.
Detailing the company’s most strategic priorities, Zhao said Binance must pay close attention to regulatory concerns in the short term as the firm is pivoting from a technology company to a financial services company.
“In the long term, we want Binance to be a platform for other platforms, an infrastructure platform for other teams to build their platforms,” said Zhao.
No quick road for crypto
Zhao also discussed how crypto is finally gaining traction in the world of high finance.
One example he pointed to is the ability for entrepreneurs to raise money globally for their projects, while artists and content creators can monetize their work through NFTs.
Still, Zhao admitted that it’s a bit too early to say that crypto will replace fiat money, and that “we haven’t seen anything of that yet” in earnest.
When asked whether crypto will eventually replace traditional finance, or whether traditional finance and crypto could merge together, the Binance chief said that he doesn’t believe any of this will happen any time soon.
“That’s going to take time, and in the long term some things may be replaced,” he said.
Zhao was further pressed with the question of whether he indeed wants to see crypto—be it Bitcoin, another cryptocurrency, or even something that the world hasn’t yet seen—replace the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency, and whether this would be a good thing.
“I’m actually not sure, it depends on how it is done,” said Zhao. “I think that direct replacement will probably not be good. I think we should evolve the world in small implemental steps. Gradual changes would be better, and maybe we could build something around the U.S. dollar first.”