Lately, China has been periodically delivering news shaking the crypto ground. We decided to ask Changpeng Zhao—the founder and CEO of the Chinese cryptocurrency exchange Binance—for his comment on the current state of the market. Prior to founding his company, Zhao was employed at OKCoin, which is another China-based crypto exchange, and Bloomberg. Now, under his leadership, Binance is one of the top ten exchange operators by daily trade volume.

—Mr. Zhao, Binance announced its partnership with the exchange QUOINE. What are the goals of this cooperation? Is it true that Binance aims to receive access to some of the national currencies that QUOINE offers?

We do not aim to take over the QUOINE's national currencies. Everything is very simple. QUOINE can provide us with the flow of yens. In turn, we will provide them with new clients and higher liquidity. Binance operates in the Japanese market and supports 79 digital assets. At the same time, QUOINE supports fiat currencies with direct access to bank accounts. Actually, we hope to establish partnerships in each of the countries to guarantee an inflow of fiat money.

—In which country is Binance most popular among users? What are the reasons?

Our users come from 180 countries. From the very beginning, what we've planned to do was become an international exchange. This distinguishes us from other start-ups which initially target users within the specific country. But generally speaking, blockchain is borderless.

The top three countries are the USA, Japan, and China.

—After China's ban on crypto exchanges, has the number of Chinese users decreased significantly?

Two times—from 23% to 10%.

—Why do you think Binance is recognized internationally?

First and foremost, it is due to our technology that is capable of processing up to 1.4 million orders a second alongside with the fact that we managed to keep low fees—0.1%. Our system is working 100—sometimes even 1,000—times faster than those of the majority of the exchanges. I would also like to note the work of our team; they are great professionals who worked for Morgan Stanley, Nomura, Deutsche Bank, SBI, Palantir, and Accenture. We all realize that there is always room for improvement. That is why we are constantly working on the technical improvements to the platform.

—Who do you consider your competitors?

We do not have any competitors since we do not view other projects as such. The industry is still in its infancy, and the markets are not discovered yet, let alone the fact that many countries have no exchange operators. What we are all doing is not competing but developing the industry.

—Speaking of development . . . There have been rumors that China might open its doors to ICOs again. How could you comment on that?

I think one should not rely on rumors. I do hope that ICOs will be legalized in China. The cryptocurrency market development may be reached only if the government declares cryptocurrencies and ICOs legal. Otherwise, specialists, projects, assets, and taxes will just go to other countries.

—Binance also announced the launch of two new NEO trading pairs. What are the cryptocurrency's prospects?

NEO is our strategic partner. We believe in NEO. They have reliable technologies and a strong community. We think they will develop well.

—What is your attitude towards the SegWit2x fork that did not occur?

Honestly speaking, I am neutral on the hard forks. The only thing I am interested in is the growth of the industry. If more of the trustworthy, fast, and low-fee crypto platforms appear, I think we will all benefit from that.

—What do you think will happen to bitcoin if the scalability problem remains?

I hope that this issue will eventually be solved, and I do not mind if we need a fork for that.

—As far as we know, you have had an experience of working for leading American and Asian cryptocurrency companies. What are the key differences in development strategy and management that you could point out?

In the US, money laundering is directly linked to real terrorists, and the audit of transactions is held at the highest level. China, to some extent, monitors the leakage of money and compensates the population for the losses, but does not allow using cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange.

—What are you also doing, apart from cryptocurrency?

I am 200% dedicated to the crypto industry.