Category Archives: Changpeng Zhao

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Brexit, Binance and Bitcoin: A New Era for Crypto in the UK?

Brexit, Binance and Bitcoin: A New Era for Crypto in the UK?

With the clock ticking on Britain’s much-debated exit from membership of the EU and all that means if a decision is finally agreed by September, where will this leave the UK in European Crypto Space? In a position of strength, or cut-off from its legislative support on the other side of the channel?

Well, no man is an island according to English metaphysical poet John Donne, but at this moment in time, it appears that the UK is digging its own hole in the sand as each week passes towards the latest agreed date of departure, when Great Britain and Northern Ireland hopefully get its rules back from the longtime European partners; the leaver’s much heralded and acclaimed  “taking back control.”

Does this even matter when it comes to cryptocurrency trading? In the UK the banks are aware of it, the Bank of England is monitoring it, and the man on the street pretty much knows about it. Bitcoin continues to be classified as private money, with VAT applied and also subject to capital gains tax, where profits and losses are involved.

However-and Britain has illustrated with great clarity to a dumbfounded Europe with its Brexit machinations-it is often slow to make decisions and enforce regulations; in fact, the UK now risks falling behind its European partners regarding cryptocurrency regulations unless it acts with more clarity and decisiveness, and guess who has taken up the leading role in this regard? The French…that must hurt.

Yes, the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) did release a recent update of its progress which is currently in the hands of the specially selected Cryptoassets Taskforce.  However, a series of final guidelines or policy guidelines are still awaited from the FSA after the release of this consultation paper as far as regulatory dynamics go. With France now happy to lead Europe on a regulatory charge, Britain could be left counting its fingers after Brexit.

There are those in the UK however who like what they see in terms of crypto’s future after Brexit. Mike Romanov chief executive of Digital Securities Exchange (DSX) feels it can continue its dominance in the financial markets and crypto could come under the UK rather than EU legislative control. Others see an opportunity too, with a dent left in the Euro cryptocurrency market as Britain goes into its own crypto shell, out of reach from the EU’s legislative grasp, opening the door for new smaller players outside of the EU to leap in and plug some holes.

This is the Bitcoin bull’s stance, Britain hopes for friendlier digital currency regulations than it has at present. Another consideration is what might happen to the price of BTC with the impact of a final departure or possible vote to remain (the usual suspects) this year. There is a general feeling that it is simply the Brexit debate which is pinning the economy down and any kind of departure from this pain will be a release for both traditional and digital financial markets. According to the Bank of England, the economy has been shedding about £800M every week since they made the verdict in 2016.

There is one man who is just happy at what he sees, and if it continues, well then long may it do so. Enter Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao who, having now set up in Jersey is in the right place at the right time; well located for Europeans and Brits alike, whatever the outcome. With the existing offshore legal and regulatory framework for cryptocurrency, it is made to measure, given that there is now more than just a hint that Brits could turn to cryptocurrency come the predicted economic fallout given a no deal Brexit this year, and for this event, Zhao sees himself in the front line.

When it comes to crypto, the front line is always the place to be.

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OKEx Stick with Bitcoin SV After Major Exchanges Dump It in Unison

OKEx Stick with Bitcoin SV After Major Exchanges Dump It in Unison

With Binance and Shapeshift dumping Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (Bitcoin SV) and Kraken going to its clients for advice, things don’t look too promising for the controversial crypto moving forward.

Poloniex is as yet uncommitted as to continuing to list BSV, but one exchange has definitely come out in favor; OKEx, currently ranked first on CoinMarketCap of exchanges by adjusted trading volume has said that it has no intention of delisting the currency, with the statement:

“As a neutral platform, OKEx respects the efforts of all dedicated teams in advancing the technology of Bitcoin and has no inclination to certain technical directions.”

The alternative crypto’s popularity nosedived after pseudonymous cartoon space-cat “hodlonaut” was threatened with legal action for disputing the legitimacy of the self-professed and much-refuted founder of Bitcoin, Craig Wright, BSV’s brains.

Since Bitcoin SV forked from Bitcoin Cash in November of last year its been on a downward spiral. Although the network is operating, it is diminutive by comparison to BTC, with 500 nodes compared to Bitcoin’s 9,000 plus. Roughly 60% of BSV’s hash rate is by Craig Wright-supported CoinGeek and nChain.

Things haven’t gone well for Craig Wright recently since Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano joined Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao in their condemnation of BSV. Pompliano has even called upon all exchanges to delist BSV on 1 May 2019 to protest their founders’ claims that BSV is the “real Bitcoin”.

It is now thought that OKEx is continuing to run against popular opinion and may be forming a BitcoinSV-centric cryptocurrency exchange called Float SV, with a launch planned for later this month.

 

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Binance, Morgan Creek Bosses Call for Bitcoin SV Boycott

Binance, Morgan Creek Bosses Call for Bitcoin SV Boycott

Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano has joined Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao in their condemnation of alternative crypto project Bitcoin SV (BSV). Pompliano has even called upon all exchanges to delist BSV on 1 May 2019 to protest their founders’ claims that BSV is the “real Bitcoin”.

Pompliano did so through a series of Tweets yesterday, asking all crypto users and exchanges to show their solidarity with Bitcoin as the “only Bitcoin that ever mattered”:

Every exchange should delist BSV simultaneously on May 1st in a sign of solidarity behind the only Bitcoin that ever mattered.

This community is the responsibility of the people. Sometimes we must do the hard thing, not because it is easy, but because it is right.#DelistBSV

— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) April 12, 2019

Zhao had also thrown his support behind the movement, posting on his own Twitter the same day:

Craig Wright is not Satoshi.

Anymore of this sh!t, we delist! https://t.co/hrnt3fDACq

— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) April 12, 2019

Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre, the figures behind BSV, have repeatedly insisted that their project, which forked from Bitcoin Cash (itself a fork of Bitcoin) follows the original principles of Bitcoin; hence the name “Satoshi’s Vision” in BSV.

Wright himself has caused much controversy in the past by claiming that he was himself Satoshi Nakamoto, a claim that has been thoroughly refuted.

In the eye of the storm is now deleted user Hodlonaut, who had referred to Wright and BSV as a fraud on several occasions, after gaining fame for creating the Lightning Torch Bitcoin transaction relay with Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. Things took a bad turn when Ayre offered a bounty of 70 BSV (currently under USD 5,000) to successful “doxing” (a process to reveal the identity of someone anonymous) of Hodlonaut.

Apparently, cryptocurrency supporters have joined hands to launch a legal fund for Holdonaut, in the event BSV pursues litigation. The fund has already reached almost 75% of its USD 20,000 goal at the time of writing.

 

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Crypto Exchanges Cast IEO Spell, Global FOMO in Effect

Crypto Exchanges Cast IEO Spell, Global FOMO in Effect

After months of research and development, global crypto exchanges finally revealed a new magical weapon in their spellbook with the successful casting of the “Initial Exchange Offering” (IEO) spell earlier this year.

Mages from the various exchanges and crypto launchpads caused a highly potent global FOMO effect to take hold on cryptocurrency investors, with analysts now expecting the incantation to last for at least 20 more weeks. Head of Crypto Magickery at Acme Exchange, Lightning “SegWit” Wraithlanda, thought to be the first to mutter the correct words correctly, refused to take credit for the latest buzzword in crypto. She said that the idea of an ICO launched by trusted entities was not new:

“IEOs are really just ICOs, except, as the name suggests, it’s a magical offering spell cast via an exchange. Everyone trusts us exchanges, you see, so if we say BitTorrent‘s the shizzle, it becomes the shizzle. Of course, getting the spell right was the key all along.”

A basic offering spell, when cast, results in the creation of digital tokens, wealth and Lambos out of thin air. If successful, it also results in a FOMO effect that convinces its victims to part with recognized cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, in exchange for some new magic tokens. The ICO was the most popular enchantment learned by crypto wizards and enjoyed great success for many years.

Since late 2017, however, resistance and, in some cases, complete immunity, from ICOs meant that spellcasters had to keep researching new charms. This, along with efforts by governments around the world to stamp out the use of occult money and arcane finance, forced exchanges to recruit students of the mystic arts and fund their research.

Security token offerings (STOs) and IEOs are the latest results of such research into the dark arts of crypto magick but detractors say that these new spells come at a steep price to the environment.

“It used to be eye of newt, an infant’s tear, and a white paper, and you could put together a decent ICO. But these new IEOs also require dragonscale, cod’s breath and smart contract audits just to get off the ground. It’s a serious threat of extinction for dragons and cods alike, not to mention the effect on Fiverr Solidity programmers,” remarked a crypto investor, who shall not be named.

CEOs of exchanges have so far declined to comment on the continued use of offering spells by their exchanges, but many have made subtle references to an obscure prophecy that believes the second coming of Satoshi will only be brought on when the institutional investors have entered “full FOMO mode”.

 

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Binance CEO Says Bitcoin FOMO is Back

Binance CEO Says Bitcoin FOMO is Back

As Bitcoin enjoys a surge in the market +15.8 in the last 24 hours, the CEO of popular cryptocurrency exchange Binance has said the long-awaited Bitcoin FOMO is back. The same ‘fear of missing out’ is said to have played a major role in Bitcoin’s 2017 price surge.

CEO Changpeng Zhao has said he believes ”there is more money parked in pseudo fiat than most tokens”, using this latest price surge to back up his argument. ”Plenty of money to jump in, and in full FOMO mode”, he wrote on Twitter today.

I guess this was true. Plenty of money ready to jump in, and in full FOMO mode.

Everyone will be in Crypto. Don’t get left behind! https://t.co/rfvRS7uhGK

— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) April 2, 2019

It has been speculated that the jump in price was sparked by one Bitcoin whale in Asia who triggered an order totaling around USD 100 million between three exchanges, Coinbase, Kraken, and Bitstamp. The order was algorithmically managed, although analysts cannot point to what exactly influenced the buyer’s decision for such a large, synchronized investment across the platform.

As usually is the case in the cryptocurrency market, Bitcoin’s surge influenced many altcoins into higher trading prices.”Today, Bitcoin is in the driving seat,” e-Toro Israel analyst, Mati Greenspan, said.

 

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Binance: ETFs Not Core to Crypto Growth

ETFs Are Not Core to Crypto Industry’s Growth, Binance CEO Weighs In

A popular trend as the cryptocurrency industry develops is the introduction of the analogous derivative instruments of the traditional financial market, aimed at luring in institutional investors into the crypto world. One such instrument is the exchange-traded fund (ETF).

CEO of leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance, Changpeng Zhao, has, however, downplayed the role of ETFs in the growth of the crypto industry. He said: “If it [a Bitcoin ETF] is listed on a big traditional exchange… that does bring in a lot of attention from people outside our industry.”

In a live stream via Periscope on 6 February, Zhao attempted to draw the attention of crypto enthusiasts to a very important piece in blockchain development – entrepreneurs building real, and usable products.

Blame it on the bear

The bear market which started at the cusp of the last all-time high of Bitcoin hasn’t made it easy for crypto projects. Many startups last year faced developmental challenges and were either forced to abandon their projects or get absorbed by another. Now, lots of players in the industry have become highly dependent on these market derivatives being introduced.

First, it was Bitcoin futures introduced by CME Group and CBOE in late 2017, which helped drive the price of Bitcoin to a new high of USD 20,000. However, it didn’t last long. Suffice to say, it was an opportunistic glitch in the price dynamics of Bitcoin.

Secondly, speculations about another bull-run propelled by ETFs run deep in the crypto community. Perhaps similar trends are bound to occur with more derivatives being introduced into the sphere, however, without an established value-based blockchain ecosystem in place, the market could get dire once more.

ETFs or no ETFs

As of the time of writing, the US securities regulator, Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has rejected nine ETF applications. Each was laden with similar bull run expectations from the members of the crypto community as many have speculated on the prices increase should the SEC give the green light.

Recently,CBOE, along with investment firm VanEck and financial services company SolidX, reapplied for a rule change to list Bitcoin ETFs after withdrawing it a week earlier.

With the ongoing fuss about Bitcoin ETFs, Zhao seems to think that with or without the ETFs, the industry will grow. A sentiment probably sparsely shared as focus on the real development of blockchain and its applications are fairly the driving motif for latter blockchain adopters.

Other derivatives are coming

Bitcoin News recently reported a new class of derivative instrument being introduced by US-regulated derivative platform LedgerX, which is essentially a binary wager on the next Bitcoin’s block-reward halving.

While derivatives may be an economic milestone for the crypto industry, the overall utility of blockchain applications and their gradual adoption by legacy systems adequately offset the economic benefits of derivate crypto markets.

 

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Is 2019 the Year of the Crypto Bull Market?

Is 2019 the Year of the Crypto Bull Market?

How Long Will the Crypto Market Bull Sleep?

Speculations about the cryptocurrency market continue to weigh heavily on the hearts of crypto enthusiasts as the market is yet to improve from the slump of 2018. The space is now left with dashed hopes, closed crypto exchanges, layoffs, hacks and a whole lot of constructive partnerships by the very few who truly understand what the blockchain is all about.

Reality has become grim for investors who hopped in at the all-time-high, especially shattering the expectations fueled by crypto influencers – the claims of Bitcoin reaching a high of USD 100,000 at the end of 2018. The ‘lambo’ songs that once reigned in many social communities have lost its savor as the lingo is being replaced with more realistic expectations such as measurable development goals and expected platform launch date.

Where are the 1000x’s promises?

Tough times greeted the new year, though still at the beginning of the year, many investors, as well as spectators, are wondering why the market still hasn’t had a bull run even though interest in blockchain has spiked. Some blame it on the delay in the entry of institutional investments.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse provided his personal opinion in a Blockchain Summit in Europe held at Brussels, saying that he estimates a 5 to 10 years waiting time for mainstream crypto payments.

This may be heartbreaking, as 5 years is indeed a long time to wait before hitting those 1000x’s again. More so, one would wonder if Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin was right about his earlier predictions on the end of 1000x’s in crypto space. However, in just under a decade, cryptocurrency has evolved many times over.

The flagship cryptocurrency Bitcoin started its dramatic steep decline in the wake of 2018 and dragged the whole market with it after grazing an all-time-high of USD 20,000 the previous year. The cryptocurrency market with a cap of over USD 813 billion in November 2017 has now dropped to USD 114 billion according to data from CoinMarketCap as at press time. Surely, this drop in market value is enough to make investors wary.

The previous 3 years had seen a steady rise of activity in ICO markets, with 2016 recording an approximate fund collection of USD 93,922,741; USD 6,576,372,746 in 2017;  a reportedly recorded USD 21,576,147,596 in 2018 and now, in 2019 ICOs have raised over USD  126 million and still counting, according to data from CoinSchedule. With these humongous figures, it behooves one to wonder what happened to post-ICOs and why the current conditions appear rather stale.

What’s wrong with Crypto?

Brad has said that the biggest risk in the market is regulatory uncertainty. With the Securities Commission of different jurisdictions like the US SEC breathing down the necks of ICOs for securities compliance and making scapegoats out of defaulters, startups are exercising more caution. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao had opined that 2018 was a year of correction and expressed his confidence for the future of crypto, however, he also pointed out that lack of clarity from regulators was a major drawback.

An analyst from JPMorgan expressed his skepticism about cryptocurrencies saying that real use for cryptocurrencies will only be in a dystopia – [one that has been duly noted in some hyper-inflated economies] – and that despite the correlation, the crypto market has with traditional assets, it’s of little value because of the prolonged bear market.

Legislation has indeed pegged the growth of the industry to a certain degree – at least from the cryptocurrency market perspective. However, some jurisdictions are opening up to the Idea of regulating the space in a way that innovation isn’t stifled. What’s left is for blockchain projects to live up to the hype that once ruled the space by developing more proof of concepts that are usable beyond the cryptomarket, as the market has so far proved to be a poor benchmark for the healthy state of blockchain enterprise.

For a while, the promise of institutional grade crypto services by elite financial systems such as Fidelity, and Intercontinental Exchange’s Bakkt has held many ‘hodlers’ ransom. Fortunately, as the space continues to mature, it becomes less reliant on external influences and survives on its initial narrative – decentralization.

Amid the market downturn, regulatory uncertainties, organizational restructuring, high expectations of institutional players; immense developments and innovation are driving adoption such as the rise in the numbers of Bitcoin ATM kiosks, use of crypto in charity, banks collaborating for cross-border payments, legacy systems shifting towards blockchain to tackle logistics problems. Perhaps, the market is just one trigger away to the next bull-run.

 

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Binance Embraces Visa, Mastercard for Crypto Purchases

Binance Embraces Visa, Mastercard for Crypto Purchases

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, Binance, is to enable the purchase of cryptocurrency using both Visa and Mastercard credit cards.

The announcement yesterday that users would now be able to Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple (XRP) using their credit cards has come as a boon to regular users of the exchange. The new facility has been enabled by a new partnership between the Chinese exchange giant and Israel-based payments processing firm Simplex.

We are super excited to announce the new partnership with @Binance – the leading #crypto exchange! Making it easier for mainstream users to buy crypto and continue transforming the financial space.#buycrypto #cryptocurrency #btc #bitcoin #etc pic.twitter.com/icuaLvk6sF

— Simplex (@SimplexCC) January 31, 2019

The other 151 tokens will be tradable against the 4 purchasable tokens using credit cards, according to a statement from Binance. “The crypto industry is still in its early stages and most of the world’s money is still in fiat,” said Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao. “Building fiat gateways is what we need now to grow the ecosystem, increase adoption and introduce crypto to more users.”

However, not all countries will be able to take advantage of the new service, including Iraq, Cuba, Afghanistan, and Libya. Even in the USA, some users will have to purchase their tokens in the usual way as New York, Hawaii, Georgia, New Mexico, and Washington are not supported by the new credit card payment system.

Simplex has released details of the fees for the service, indicating that charges will consist of 3.5% of a transaction with a USD 10 minimum (flat fee). The daily limit is USD 20,000 per user, while the monthly max is USD 50,000 per user. It adds that payment processing is subject to “local bank policies” and warns that some issuers may decline charges regardless.

 

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Jersey Exchange Swamped with Bitcoin Demand as UK Squabbles Over Brexit

jersey, cryptocurrency, binance

Hong-Kong based Binance is experiencing a huge response for Bitcoin at its newly opened trading platform on the Island of Jersey.

CEO Changpeng Zhao has reported crazy demand for new registrations on the new exchange since its opening last week which is based in the self-governing UK dependency. The overwhelming amount of applications for KYC is thought to be a direct result of the current uncertainty on the UK mainland over Brexit.

With UK prime minister Teresa May’s crushing defeat of her deal with the EU for an orderly exit from the European Union, the country is now faced with numerous options, none of which can be agreed upon by politicians charged with the responsibility of delivering Brexit. Binance’s Chief Financial Officer Wei Zhou explained why the mad rush for Bitcoin in Jersey:

“Expanding the cryptocurrency exchange markets with fiat currencies in the European region is opening new economic opportunities for Europeans as well as freedom from looming Brexit uncertainty where the pound and euro are also in concern.”

Zhou goes on to explain that in his view, broader cryptocurrency adoption can be achieved by bridging the “crypto-fiat channel for Europe and the UK.” Binance has maintained for a while that Brexit could well impact on Jersey in terms of it becoming a driving force within Europe’s crypto market which has lagged behind Asia and North America.

Data provider CryptoCompare recently identified Europe’s sluggish performance compared to other markets, returning less than 4% of the global volume last year. Last week, UK Finance warned of the catastrophe that would occur within the country’s financial system if a no-deal Brexit was the final outcome on 29 March.

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Binance CEO Displays Christmas Optimism

Binance CEO Displays Christmas Optimism

The CEO of Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, has continued with his optimistic slant for the company as the new year approaches.

Terming 2018 as the “year of correction”, Changpeng Zhao is maintaining that current prices are a real boon for investors and this fact along with the increasing volume of DLT applications being produced by developers will push the adoption of cryptocurrencies even further forward in 2019.

Zhao sees worldwide regulation of blockchain cryptocurrency space as a positive claiming that this has been long overdue. He maintains the correct legislation will have the effect of promoting and encouraging the industry rather than slowing down growth.

The company has led from the front ending the year with some major projects., particularly since the launch of its labs program. Binance Labs, the venture wing of the largest cryptocurrency exchange, supports new blockchain startups and cryptocurrency projects through technical assistance and direct investment. Binance describes the project as an initiative to incubate, invest, and empower blockchain and cryptocurrency entrepreneurs, projects, and communities.

The initiative to support early-stage blockchain projects has already yielded results, with right projects emerging from the program.

Zhang has also revealed that Binance Labs will launch new incubator programs in Berlin, Buenos Aires, Lagos, Singapore, and Hong Kong from March 2019, offering the same 10-week course. Regarding the inclusion of Buenos Aires and Lagos, Zhang commented:

“Those two emerging markets have native blockchain and crypto use cases. So we hope to find teams solving local problems like payments, the instability of local currencies, or remittance problems.”

Even today at this late stage of the year, Christmas has been put on hold although clearly represented with Zhang announcing that the Binance Charity Foundation, the exchange’s philanthropic arm, had launched a blockchain powered charity project to support youth in Malta. This project will support terminally ill patients and disadvantaged children in Malta and Gozo.

 

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