Could “branded” stablecoins turn out to be crypto’s “killer app”?

The forthcoming launch of Binance Venus, a project which aims to help businesses build their own stablecoins all over the world, has some onlookers wondering whether Binance—the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume—could be unlocking the key to mass crypto adoption.

Just weeks ago, Binance announced its intention to build an “independent, regional version” of Facebook’s Libra. Binance Venus, however, could be viewed as even more ambitious than Libra, since the project intends to “develop localized stablecoins and digital assets pegged to fiat currencies across the globe”—all built on its native Binance Chain network.

And, according to Kory Hoang, CEO of Stably—the company behind the USDS stablecoin—the platform could be the first step in generating a massive wave of branded stablecoins from major corporations.

"In the future, you're going to have a digital wallet where not only will there be U.S. dollars, you will see Walmart Dollars, Facebook Dollars, Amazon Dollars, Costco Dollars, Starbucks, whatever,” Hoang told Decrypt. “All of your favorite brands will have their own brand of money."

Despite cryptocurrency’s uncomfortable relationship with fiat, providing access through a global platform of on and off ramps to facilitate their exchange may be just what the industry’s been missing to inspire mainstream adoption, Hoang explained. And developing infrastructure for a global ecosystem of stablecoins could allow organizations to use stablecoins as a replacement for their existing banking and payment processing solutions.

"A stablecoin is basically a virtual bank account,” he said. It’s “a very fast, cheap way to transfer money or make payments. So with all of these properties, it doesn't make sense for banks or payment processors to exist in the future anymore.”

Building a stablecoin ecosystem

Binance itself has made no bones about its intentions with Venus. The Chinese version of its announcement made clear that Venus is designed to undo the world’s “financial hegemony and reshape the world financial system.” In an interview with The Block, Binance cofounder Yi He elaborated and said he believes “stablecoins will progressively replace traditional fiat currencies in countries around the world, and bring a new and balanced standard of the digital economy.”

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The crypto exchange has already issued stablecoins pegged to bitcoin (BTCB) and the British Pound (BGBP) on its own distributed ledger called Binance Chain. While Stably’s USDS has no official affiliation with Venus specifically, it was one of the first stablecoin trading pairs to be listed on Binance DEX, the company’s decentralized exchange.

According to Hoang, Binance will likely allow governments, corporations, and anyone else interested in creating stablecoins to mint their own “branded” coins on the Venus platform. In addition to facilitating the creation of new stablecoins, Hoang believes that Binance will ultimately create an exchange where different stablecoins can trade against each other—a type of decentralized FOREX exchange for corporate and fiat-backed stablecoins.

If so, and things go according to plan for Binance Venus, big businesses like Walmart, Amazon, or even Facebook, could effectively become their own banks.