Binance Universe (Part 1): Dreams come true

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How has Changpeng Zhao (CZ) - with his "specialty" outfit of a black hoodie, like a mix of Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs - built nooks and crannies in the Binance universe? Explore Binance's "5 years - a journey" through Coin98 Insights' 3-part series of articles. This is the first installment in this series.

  • Open a bank account in Malta and support the country's startup accelerator program.
  • Partnering with Digital Jersey for a plan to set up a local crypto exchange.
  • Binance Labs bổ sung 3 dự án: Oasis Labs, CertiK, Republic.
  • Launch of Binance Uganda.
- July 2018

  • Launch of the charity project Binance Charity.
  • Buyback Trust Wallet - an e-wallet application that supports ERC20 tokens.
- August 2018

  • Issue an official announcement on the listing and cooperation policy.
  • First demo of Binance Chain functionality and code revealed.
  • Education project Binance Academy releases beta.
- September 2018

  • Binance Charity cooperates with the United Nations Development Program on the application of blockchain technology for social purposes through a charity fund of 1 million USD.
  • Binance Info launches version 2.0 - allowing third parties to contribute content.
- October 2018

  • Change listing fee policy, donate 100% of listing fee to charity.
  • Binance Labs launches Incubation Program and invests in Contentos and CertiK.
  • Invest in TravelbyBit - Australian travel startup that allows people to travel around the world using cryptocurrency.
  • Binance Uganda is open for trading.
  • Binance Singapore is closed-tested and partnered with Vertex Ventures.
- November 2018

  • Launch of Binance Research with many in-depth crypto reports.
  • Cooperation with KYC service providers Refinitiv and Chainalysis.
  • Binance Charity won the CSR of the Year award at the Malta Blockchain Conference.
- December 2018

  • Announces more details about Binance Chain and identifies Binance DEX as a community project.
  • Binance Academy officially launched with > 500 articles, videos and support for 15 languages.
  • Binance Labs closes Incubation Program Season 1 with 8 blockchain teams connected to 150 investors in Silicon Valley.
  • Add sub-account feature for institutional customers.
  • Trust Wallet supports Bitcoin.
3. Looking back on the journey in 2018

a. Roses - Success factors

2018 was not a good year for the crypto market, especially when the market ended the bull market and entered a recession. However, going against the trend and continuously developing platform products, as well as conducting expansion strategies have helped Binance rise through the storm and become the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world.

From third place at the beginning of the year, in just the first 3 months of 2018, Binance became the largest exchange in the world. Since then, the exchange has always maintained its position and has had an impressive growth rate.

The reason for this lies in factors such as:

- Position yourself

Binance doesn't just position itself as an exchange, they want to be an "all-in-one station" - where users can do a lot of things in a single ecosystem. Binance's 2018 extension arms include:

  • Binance Info: A comprehensive crypto news hub.
  • Binance Labs: Focus on investing in potential projects.
  • Binance Launchpad: Launching New Projects.
  • Binacne Academy: A place to share knowledge related to the market.
  • Binance Charity: Charity Foundation.
  • Binance Research: A place to research in-depth market issues.
This ecosystem not only helps Binance to attract more and more new users, but also contributes to increasing the reputation and other sources of income for the platform.

Binance Ecosystem in 2018 - Source: Binance Year in review
- A solid start

Binance sets up operations in Malta – a pro-blockchain European country and has global partnerships with Bermuda, Togo and Uganda – countries that are not so developed but have an open regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. This is an important factor for Binance to be able to comfortably build without a hitch in the beginning.

Besides, the establishment of Binance Charity and active participation in charity activities has helped the reputation of Binance to increase, creating a good image for the exchange.

- Fast development speed

Binance has both a solid start and a respectable growth rate. Although the ecosystem has a series of new projects, all have achieved good results - through product numbers such as time to access Binance Academy, investment projects by Binance Labs...

Tokens are the blood of crypto and Binance is well aware of this. In 2018 the exchange promoted many applications for BNB coin. Although affected by the market situation and the token does not grow much, this is a premise for the success of BNB in the following year.

BNB use case - Nguồn: Binance Year in review
These results are testament to the vision and understanding of the market of Binance, as it is no coincidence that the exchange has been able to continuously maintain its leading position. Summarizing 2018, Binance has developed for itself good foundational elements and this is the premise for the next momentum steps.

b. Spikes - the first legal and security barriers

Binance exits China

At this point, the media is blowing a lot of hot air into the burgeoning crypto bubble.

In late August, CZ started hearing rumors that the Chinese government had an eye on crypto exchanges, including Binance. CZ may close the platform and allow customers to withdraw all funds. Or he could "hug" his exchange and walk away. He chose the second option.

At the time, Binance had more than 200 cloud-based servers, hosted by the Chinese conglomerate Alibaba. This great escape is not dangerous, but it is technically difficult and time consuming. Finally, on the night of August 29, the team broke through its limits and uploaded everything to Amazon Web Services.

The Binance team moved to Japan, which legalized cryptocurrencies earlier in the year, and where CZ believes his “basic Japanese” will help get things right.

Riding on the Bitcoin bull line

At the end of 2017, the Bitcoin price increased by 570%, from $3,000 to $20,000. By 2018, people were lining up to join cryptocurrency exchanges as if they were shopping on Black Friday.

The chaos outside is mirrored by the turmoil inside.

The biggest problem is that not everyone can join Binance. All new users must have ID at the door with a time consuming KYC process. It is this that causes a backlog of a large number of customers, as well as related support work.

At one point, we had 45,000 KYC applications pending, with a steady stream of new applicants coming in ,” an employee recounted. At its peak, daily trading volume across all exchanges and coins reached $60 billion; Binance saw a record $10 billion change hands in one beautiful day.

But that beauty also has a downside. The exchange has grown immensely and is holding a lot of money, and it quickly becomes a target for attacks.

Plan Japan failed

On the night of March 7, 2018, some employees of the exchange were "drinking" in a bar not far from the Tokyo office, CZ happened to pass by and "joined". But suddenly, the Binance phone started ringing. “ It was almost midnight when the first reports of unusual trading activity started pouring in. I informed the others immediately ,” a Binance employee recounted.

Hackers created fake Google ads to trick users into entering their Binance credentials into fake websites. They then drained the funds in those accounts and bought new coins at bargain prices using other Binance accounts, in an attempt to hide their whereabouts.

The Binance team responded promptly and prevented funds from flowing out of the exchange by turning off the attackers' withdrawal mode and refunding the users. In the end, no loss occurred.

But rumors spread, the press made headlines with the hack, and two weeks later, the Japanese Financial Services Agency required Binance to obtain a license to the exchange. This license has strict restrictions — including a limit on the number of coins traded on the exchange.

This is not what CZ wants, so once again the group leaves.

This time, CZ decided to make the relatively "breathable" island of Malta in terms of legislation its home. The Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat himself - welcomed Binance to the island that is trying to become a crypto haven.

The company "officially" moved to Malta. Though that's not really the case. CZ realizes that its employees can work anywhere they like. At this time, Binance is not based anywhere. This has allowed Binance to adapt to the needs of the crypto market and leverage it to become the leader of the worldwide cryptocurrency exchange.

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