Cryptocurrency exchange powerhouse Binance has always taken something of an “all of the above” approach to cryptoeconomy ventures.
This dynamic led to the company developing Binance Smart Chain (BSC), a blockchain that’s in the ballpark of other smart contract projects like Ethereum, Polkadot, EOS, and more.
Thus as Binance has ramped up its activities around the BSC ecosystem in recent months, like the launch of the Venus stablecoin system and the Vai stablecoin, some in Ethereum circles have grown weary that Binance was trying to muscle its way past Ethereum.
Yet Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao has long stressed how he thinks the future of crypto won’t be defined by chain rat races, but rather by interoperability, collaboration, and ultimately shared and parallel successes.
Fair enough, and Binance is living up to that collaborative vision in a big way if the exchange’s newly announced pledge to the Ethereum ecosystem is any indication.
$100k Donation to ETH Community
This week, Binance CEO Zhao announced at the Binance Summit: Blockchain Applied that the crypto exchange would be donating $100,000 USD Gitcoin Grants Round 8, which will run from Dec. 2nd to Dec. 18th, 2020.
— Binance (@binance) November 10, 2020
Gitcoin is like a social network on steroids for the Ethereum freelancer community. Among Gitcoin’s flagship offerings is Gitcoin Grants, a donation funding system for Ethereum’s innovators that uses a special Quadratic Funding (QF) algorithm to let grassroots donations of as little as $1 get matched to the tune of +$100 a pop by other donors.
Gitcoin holds its grants seasons in rounds, which have become increasingly popular and respected in the ecosystem over the course of 2020. The last round, Gitcoin Grants Round 7, was the largest one yet, fielding more than $370,000 for matching donations from DeFi projects like Chainlink, yEarn, and more.
Now, Binance’s hopping into the action for Round 8 with a monetary contribution that’s over 1/4th the worth of last round’s starting funds. That’s what putting your money where your mouth is looks like, cryptoeconomy-style. In its announcement of the donation pledge, the exchange noted:
“We think that working across different blockchains is important for the growth of Binance Smart Chain and the entire industry in general. There are different parties that are all pushing towards decentralization, and that’s one of the reasons why we made Binance Smart Chain compatible with Ethereum. […] It is important to point out that while Binance Smart Chain and Ethereum are two separate blockchains, they are not necessarily competitors […] As a blockchain industry, we need to work together and innovate and find more use cases for the blockchain ecosystem at large.”
Ethereum is a tour de force in the cryptoeconomy right now, so it’s no surprise that Binance’s leadership has the network on its radar in a big way.
Yet this $100k Gitcoin donation goes a lot deeper than just having Ethereum on the exchange’s radar, a dynamic that’s in line with CEO Zhao’s growing participatory interest toward the reigning smart contract platform.
Indeed, just prior to the Gitcoin donation being announced, Zhao commented on his person Twitter account that “I might buy 32 ETH, just for the cause,” adding the assertion wasn’t financial advice but simply support for Ethereum development efforts in general.
I might buy 32 #ETH, just for the cause.
Not financial advice. Just supporting ETH development.
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) November 10, 2020
The remarks come as the long-awaited ETH2 deposit address contract was launched earlier this month, a development that paves the way to Ethereum’s shift to proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus — wherein validators stake 32 ETH in lots instead of mining — beginning as early as Dec. 1st, 2020.
In the meantime, we’ll see where Ethereum goes from here and how Binance continues to interact with the leading smart contract platform’s ecosystem going forward. For now, the exchange’s latest overtures are impressive.