Founded in 2017 by "CZ" Changpeng Zhao, Binance is one of the world's leading cryptocurrency exchanges by trading volume.
According to the white paper, Zhao's goal for Binance was to compete with other exchanges by offering solutions to the numerous problems he saw with the cryptocurrency trading infrastructure – including poor technical architecture, insecure platforms, poor market liquidity, poor customer support and poor language support.
In May 2019, hackers stole over 7,000 bitcoin (BTC) from Binance (the equivalent of roughly $41 million at the time). Zhao quickly took to social media to reassure users that no one lost funds and that Binance used its reserve funds to cover the costs of the stolen crypto. CZ's "Funds are #safu" tweet has become something of a meme in the crypto space.
Binance has secured several notable partnerships, including a 2018 memorandum of understanding with Malta to launch an office and a fiat-to-cryptocurrency exchange. Binance's physical location remains a point of contention. Technically the firm is headquartered in Malta, though the island European nation said in Feburary 2020 that Binance was not under its jurisdiction. Since then Binance has not said just where, exactly, it is headquartered.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.