UPDATE (Oct. 10, 13:20 UTC):
Binance is now accepting fiat through Alipay and WeChat, opening up the exchange to peer-to-peer (P2P) crypto transactions from China. The move follows a September announcement concerning the exchange’s intention to add over-the-counter (OTC) trade options for an additional fiat on-ramp.
Although an expected development, the move was first disclosed on Twitter and later confirmed by Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao on Wednesday. For now, bitcoin-for-fiat trades are only available.
Some confusion by some news outlets. @Binance is not working directly with WeChat or Alipay. However, users are able to use them in P2P transactions for payment.
Still not a small feat. But words/meaning get twisted as they are passed around. https://t.co/uQ8KmD1TQB
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) October 9, 2019
One of the largest social media apps globally, WeChat currently has over 1.1 billion active users according to Statisa. Payment application Alipay has over 900 million users as well, per the China Daily.
Since the 2017 banning of cryptocurrency exchanges by the People’s Bank of China (PoBC), P2P trading has predominated in China. Earlier this year, CoinDesk reported that P2P exchange Hodl Hodl had reconfigured its security preferences to sidestep China’s Great Firewall.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao image via Binance