Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange Binance is among the top brands in the digital assets ecosystem, in no small part because the company’s flagship binance.com platform has become the envy of competitor exchanges across the world.
Notably, Binance has achieved that status even though its main venue has been limited to crypto-to-crypto trading.
Accordingly, the popular platform is setting itself up to make its customers even happier, and maybe pull that much further ahead of its direct competitors in the process.
Russian Ruble Up First, More to Follow
During a presentation at the Moscow-based Open Innovations 2019 conference on October 21st, Binance co-founder and chief executive officer Changpeng Zhao confirmed his company’s fiat on-ramp pivot and said the first slated mainstream currency, the Russian ruble, should be supported within a matter of days:
“We’re adding support for fiat trading. In about two weeks or so, we should have support for Russian ruble trading, direct.”
Zhao was mum on what other trading pairs were specifically coming, though the British pound (GBP) and the euro (EUR) seem like safe bets as they were first mentioned in the exchange’s application programming interface, also known as an API, last week.
Of course, it’s not the first time the crypto exchange powerhouse’s leadership have have signaled their intentions to move closer to fiat offerings.
Last month, Binance revealed it was rolling out an over the counter (OTC) trading venue on its main platform and that this new OTC arm would enable and rely on fiat gateways. At the time, Binance co-founder and chief marketing officer He Yi said the exchange was looking to open a Chinese yuan on-ramp as the company wanted to further service the Chinese market.
Of course, Binance already has four regional fiat-to-crypto venues that cater to local traders. These hubs are located in the U.S. (Binance US), Singapore, Uganda, and Jersey.
Yet at the end of the day the keystone to the Binance brand is undoubtedly binance.com, and the platform’s embrace of fiat gateways will only further entrench the platform’s dominant position in the ecosystem going forward.
Facebook Libra to Become Like Binance Venus?
Facebook has faced intense regulatory backlash from authorities around the world after the social media giant announced plans for its Libra stablecoin cryptocurrency this summer.
The company has taken the heat in stride and has committed to working closely with regulators to make the Libra launch something that governmental stakeholders can live with and even support.
With that said, Facebook and the other members of the stablecoin’s administrative Libra Association will surely have to make various re-articulations to the project all along the way.
The latest hint that audibles may be near came from Libra project lead David Marcus, who noted at a banking seminar on October 21st that the Libra’s initially proposed “basketcoin” dynamic — in which its reserves would be underpinned by multiple fiat currencies rather than by one — might give way to multiple, single-currency stablecoins.
“Instead of having a synthetic unit … we could have a series of stablecoins, a dollar stablecoin, a euro stablecoin, a sterling pound stable coin, et cetera,” Marcus said.
That revelation immediately made waves in the cryptocurrency space, not least because the suggestion sounded similar to Binance’s Venus “open blockchain project.”
Announced back in August, the exchange billed Venus as inspired by Libra but said the effort would lead to the creation of new regional fiat-pegged digital assets rather than a singular basketcoin.
Venus model. Lol https://t.co/ogaNkzNn7D
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) October 21, 2019
Whether it’s a case of parallel construction or “imitation is flattery,” Libra’s backers continue to march the project forward undeterred.