Crypto exchanges and startups haven’t done all too hot in the potentially still ongoing crypto downturn. Profits are decimated, staff morale is hitting lows, and layoffs and budget reductions remain commonplace.
But Binance has gone against the grain, continuing to make jaw-dropping announcements day in, day out. The Malta-registered company continued this trend on Tuesday, revealing that it had launched two new trading platforms.
Binance DEX, Singapore Go Live
As reported by Blockonomi previously, Binance Chain, the exchange’s in-house delegate proof of stake (DPOS) blockchain meant for asset issuance and token transfers, went live late last week. This news was well received, with many Ethereum-based blockchain projects announcing intentions to transition their ERC-20 tokens to Binance’s BEP2 tokens, but the launch of Binance Chain’s primary use case — a decentralized exchange (DEX) — was not mentioned.
On Tuesday, however, Binance finally spoke on the matter. In a blog post, the firm revealed that Binance DEX will be going live after a two-month testing period, “during which 8.5 million transactions” were made for testing, bug elimination, and development. Interestingly, DEX launches with zero trading pairs, but pundits expect for crypto transactions to commence on the platform in the coming weeks as Binance Coin (BNB) moves to and stabilizes on its own blockchain.
— Binance (@binance) April 23, 2019
Hours after the DEX news came to light, TechCrunch reported that Binance’s crypto-to-fiat onramp in Singapore had launched. The outlet, along with local investors like venture capitalist Su Zhu (seen below), claims that this new Coinbase-esque exchange will allow Singaporeans to purchase Bitcoin at fixed prices.
As seen below, the portal and sign-up are very simple: Users submit KYC (government-issued ID), deposit Singaporean dollars through a fintech startup named Xfers, and then have access to purchase Bitcoin on a non-order book style platform. Then, users can withdraw their holdings to their personal wallets.
So @binance Singapore Dollar fiat exchange is live now! Requires KYC but the account opening is pretty fast–took me around 5 minutes.
— Su Zhu (@zhusu) April 24, 2019
BNB Slumps After Jaw-Dropping Rally
While these two new platforms, coupled with some of Binance’s other recent product launches (Australia-based Lite, Launchpad, etc.), are likely to provide the startup with a number of new revenue streams, BNB hasn’t fared too well over the past 48 hours.
As of the time of writing this, the seventh most valuable cryptocurrency is currently trading for $22.25 apiece, sporting an aggregate market capitalization of $3.14 billion.
This is impressive, especially considering that last year, BNB was not in the top ten and often traded well under $10 (it traded at $4.6 in December), but $22.25 is ~12% below the $25.25 seen mere days ago. This strong pullback has been attributed to the recently collapse that altcoins have seen as Bitcoin has rallied, coupled with the fact that traders often “buy the rumor, sell the news.”
It is important to note that as Chain launched, Binance quietly changed a clause in its renowned whitepaper that could have had an effect on BNB’s market. As spotted by The Block’s Larry Cermak, a prominent crypto researcher, Binance’s whitepaper changed from claiming the firm spent 20% of its profits to buy back BNB for their subsequent destruction to claiming that the repurchasing does not occur. As Binance’s chief executive, Changpeng Zhao, explains:
“We recently updated our whitepaper to better describe how we actually conduct the burn. For example, we removed the buy back reference because we actually don’t repurchase BNB and simply reduce the supply by burning [locked up] BNB.”
This may seem irrelevant to some, but many investors in the digital asset saw the repurchasing strategy as a pseudo-dividend, making this news somewhat of a smack in the face.