Billionaire Changpeng Zhao says bitcoin is the future, and that his cryptocurrency exchange Binance can survive any bear market ― no matter how brutal. Zhao also says he “definitely” wants to partner with Ripple’s xRapid cross-border payment platform, but nothing has been decided.
Zhao made the revelations during a wide-ranging Periscope Ask Me Anything session on February 7 (see below).
‘We Definitely Want to Add’ Ripple as a Partner
“We are working with a number of other partners,” Zhao said. “[With] xRapid, there’s nothing going on right now. But in the future, we definitely want to add them as a partner.”
XRapid is a Ripple product that uses its native XRP cryptocurrency to provide real-time liquidity and reduce the capital requirements necessary for financial institutions to operate in emerging markets.
Changpeng Zhao: ‘Our Aim Is 10, 50, 100 Years’
In response to a question about whether Binance can survive another year of a bear market, Zhao said absolutely. In fact, Zhao says Binance ― the world’s largest crypto exchange ― will still be there in 100 years no matter what happens to the industry.
Zhao says his team does not obsess over daily bitcoin price fluctuations because it has a long-term focus and concentrates on its work. Accordingly, there’s no hourly hand-wringing like those that plague crypto holders with short-term, day-trader mindsets.
“Binance is ready to survive any number of years, no matter if it’s bear or bull. We basically don’t really look at the market too much ― not as much as people actually think we do. We just keep our heads down and build features.”
“Binance is very healthy financially and also very stable in terms of the team. Our aim is much longer than another year. Our aim is 10, 50, 100 years. So we’ll be here for a while.”
Crypto Offers Freedom
Zhao revealed that once he started learning about cryptocurrencies and how bitcoin works, he was immediately drawn by the freedom the decentralized virtual currency offers.
Zhao says the borderless virtual world of crypto really attracted him because of his background having lived abroad in many different countries.
“Once I learned about crypto and how bitcoin works, I just understood that’s the future. I think it’s the freedom that crypto offers that really attracted me.”
“I’m a guy who has lived in multiple countries around the world, even at a very young age. So the concept of a country or a border is more virtual to me. And when you’re traveling between different countries, you know the difficulties with traditional fiat currency.”
“Like for example, if I have my money in one country and I moved to a different country and try to pay, it’s really awkward. The system doesn’t work very well. So that’s how I got into crypto.”
Zhao Doesn’t Consider Binance Successful
As he looks ahead, Changpeng Zhao says he’s proud of the progress Binance has made so far. However, he does not consider Binance to be “hugely successful.” That’s because the industry is still developing, and his team is still very small and young.
“For Binance, our achievements and success so far are just ― I hope ― at the beginning, so I don’t view Binance as hugely successful.”
“I think as an industry and as a company or as a team, we’re still very small and we’re still very young. So there’s still a lot of work to do.”
Words of Advice: ‘Ignore all the Noise’
Zhao says it’s important for the crypto industry to not become stagnant or get distracted by media hype. The most important thing, he says, is to stay focused and do the work.
“Look, there’s a lot of random noise in the crypto industry and outside of the crypto industry about us. The best advice [to crypto entrepreneurs] I can give is: Keep your head down, figure out your strength, and use your strength to build a product that other people will use.”
“As long as other people use your product, then your product has utility value. Just keep your head down and keep adding value. That’s the best advice I can give. Ignore all the other noise.”
Changpeng Zhao Image from REUTERS / Darrin Zammit Lupi