Binance is continuing to expand its presence, both in its global reach and in its scope of offerings.
The latest scope extension for the powerhouse exchange was unveiled on Tuesday, when company chief executive officer Changpeng Zhao announced at the Asia Blockchain Summit in Taiwan’s capital of Taipei that Binance was on the verge of releasing a cryptocurrency futures service.
Binance, which recently launched its own blockchain and decentralized exchange, operates the most popular exchange in the cryptoeconomy if exchange volume is any indication — the firm facilitated $67 billion USD worth of trades over the last 30 days, billions more than the nearest contenders in OKEx and Huobi Global.
— Binance (@binance) July 2, 2019
The company is now looking to leverage that popularity to create another stalwart resource in the cryptocurrency derivatives arena while still hot on the heels of activating margin trading in June 2019. The next target are futures, investment contracts that allow traders to speculate on a given asset’s price direction, e.g. longing or shorting bitcoin.
Using an image of what the futures trading service interface will look like, CEO Zhao highlighted that the portal’s release was all but imminent:
“Binance will be launching a futures platform very soon. I don’t have the exact date yet. The simulation test version will be live in a few weeks.”
Notably, the image Zhao referred to during his presentation showed the forthcoming service as offering 20-times leverage to traders, but it’s currently unclear if that option will remain through release as well as what other leverage options will be offered.
A spokesperson with the exchange has since confirmed that it will begin a testnet for the futures service at some point during the second half of July.
In the very least, the rollout will give cryptocurrency traders a new avenue to speculate on some of the top assets in the cryptoeconomy, as Binance will presumably look to offer futures for popular coins beyond bitcoin in due time.
Former Ripple Executive to Help Lead Binance US
Binance is currently in the process of phasing out American users from its main Binance.com trading platform.
To help compensate for that regulator-friendly pivot, the exchange confirmed last month that it was partnering with San Fransisco-based firm BAM Trading Services to launch a Binance platform explicitly for U.S. traders.
To that end, BAM will be responsible for operating the new exchange. And the company has just hired on a new CEO to bring that responsibility into fruition.
That hire was Catherine Coley, who previously directed the XRP Institutional Liquidity division at Ripple, backers of XRP. She’ll now use her expertise in America’s nook of the cryptoverse to help Binance establish a foothold there.
On the news, Coley commented:
“This is just the beginning of a long journey ahead, and I look forward to working with Binance as a partner to unlock more potential for the blockchain ecosystem here in the U.S.”
Of course, Coley and her peers will abide laws of the land, so the forthcoming U.S. platform will undoubtedly have considerably fewer markets than Binance.com and the Binance DEX, at least at its inception, in light of America’s standing securities laws.
Also Making Headlines: Binance’s Libra Chatter
Binance’s chief strategy officer Gin Chao confirmed this week the exchange had participated in preliminary but official dialogue with Facebook over listing the social media giant’s coming Libra stablecoin.
Moreover, CSO Chao recently noted in separate comments that Binance was interested in becoming one of Libra’s 100 validators, saying “we would like to throw our hat in the ring.”
It remains to be seen if that meld will occur, but if it does, it will surely raise the profiles of both Binance and the Libra in mutualistic fashion. Blockonomi will continue to track this thread as it develops.