Binance Will Retain Its International Dominance After U.S. Settlement: Bernstein

The deal also removes the final hurdle before approval of a spot bitcoin ETF, the report said.

AccessTimeIconNov 22, 2023 at 9:11 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 5:31 p.m. UTC

While Binance experienced minor outflows of less than $1 billion following the news of the settlement with the U.S. government, there was no major panic from customers, and it remains the dominant crypto exchange internationally, with $67 billion of customer funds under custody, broker Bernstein said in a research report Wednesday.

“Binance’s reputation with retail non-U.S. customers has remained strong through the crisis,” analysts led by Gautam Chhugani wrote.

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  • Binance will remain a “material entity in non-U.S. markets,” but Bernstein says it expects increased competition from the likes of listed rival Coinbase (COIN) and new exchanges in regulated markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore.

    Bernstein says the crypto exchange has adequate funds to settle the $4.3 billion fine while maintaining healthy operations.

    “Binance’s complete exit from the U.S would mean continued dominance of onshore and incumbent exchanges in the U.S.,” the authors wrote, noting that asset managers who have filed exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications are already working with exchanges such as Coinbase for prime broking and custody.

    “In our view, this is the final straw before the establishment feels comfortable to approve a regulated bitcoin ETF,” they wrote.

    Crypto services provider Matrixport says that while the plea deal does not include the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), it is a very favorable outcome for Binance founder Changpeng "CZ" Zhao and the company itself, and the firm will likely remain a top-three exchange in the near term.

    “With this plea deal, the expectations for a spot bitcoin ETF might have increased to 100% as the industry will be forced to follow the rules that TradFi firms must follow,” wrote Markus Thielen, head of research at Matrixport, referring to traditional finance.

    Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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    Will Canny is CoinDesk's finance reporter.

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