No One Can Shut Down Bitcoin, Says Binance CEO CZ

Regulatory scrutiny around Binance is likely due to a lack of clarity from governments, CZ said.

May 27, 2021 at 10:50 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:03 p.m. UTC

It is already impossible for a single entity to kill bitcoin and its underlying blockchain technology, so state governments and regulators should embrace blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, said the chief executive of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange.

“I don’t think anyone can shut it down now, given that this technology, this concept, is in 500 million people’s heads,” Binance CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao said in a pre-recorded interview shown during CoinDesk’s Consensus 2021 virtual conference. “You can’t erase that.”

Fighting off bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies now would be similar to refusing to accept Amazon's internet business model when the e-commerce giant first started in the early 1990s, according to Zhao. Cryptocurrencies are not here to kill traditional finance or government-backed fiat currencies, but to provide more “freedom of money.”

Cryptocurrency is “just a new tool that can increase the freedom of money all around the world,” Zhao told CoinDesk adviser Nolan Bauerle. “I don’t view them as competing with regulators ... and there is a way for us to work together.”

Zhao’s claim comes as Binance, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, faces increased regulatory scrutiny. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are facing their own regulatory hurdles after becoming more popular than ever.

It’s not just regulators in the U.S; government entities around the world have raised questions about the business operations of Binance, a company that claims it has no headquarters in a specific country or region. 

Zhao said his company does not intend to fight against any governments or countries, adding the doubts about how Binance operates are likely due to a lack of regulatory clarity.

“We are not going against governments,” Zhao said. “There are times where the regulators or rules are not super clear. They are still being established in most parts of the world so there are some gray areas. But [we've] just got to experiment and work together and figure that out.”

The Binance way

Zhao does not appear to have a clear strategy for his company, even though Binance is highly involved in almost every trendy crypto innovation, whether it is decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs) or tokenized real-world assets.

“I'm not smart enough to predict what's gonna happen, which one's gonna be hot, which one users [are] gonna adopt,” Zhao said. “The way Binance is organized is that we just have lots of experiments. 

Zhao said he has been trying to make fewer “top-down” decisions, especially when it comes to what he called “big” projects such as Binance Smart Chain (BSC), a public blockchain gaining steam as one of the more competitive rivals to the Ethereum blockchain.

“Binance Smart Chain came out of nowhere,” Zhao said. “It wasn’t my idea.”

His clarification seems to be a response to an increasing number of hacks or exploits recently on DeFi protocols built on BSC including some of the biggest monetary exploits in DeFi history. With BSC’s name associated with Binance directly, many have criticized Zhao and demanded he and Binance take responsibility for the exploits.

“Binance Smart Chain is an independent blockchain, [and] we don't have control over it,” Zhao said. “The projects on there are running very independently. If I talk to them, they will talk to me. But I don’t talk to them at all.”

Zhao did, however, say he and his company benefit from BSC’s success because Binance coin (BNB) is the native crypto supporting BSC. Both Zhao and Binance remain large holders of BNB.

Unlike Ethereum, BSC runs on a Proof-Of-Staked-Authority (PoSA) consensus mechanism, which is controlled by 21 node operators that are elected by BNB holders. Some analysts have speculated that BSC’s validators could be in some way connected or tied to Binance.

Zhao has previously said that BSC had to sacrifice the decentralization element for scalability, which has been a problem for Ethereum.

CoinDesk - Unknown

The Festival for the Decentralized World
Thursday - Sunday, June 9-12, 2022
Austin, Texas
Save a Seat Now

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

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.

Trending

1
CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk Cardano Price Index (ADX)

CoinDesk - Unknown
2
CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk Smart Contract Platform Select Index (SCPX)

CoinDesk - Unknown
3
CoinDesk - Unknown
First Mover Asia: KuCoin Plans to Bolster DeFi Activity on Its Blockchain After $150M Raise; Cryptos Gain

The crypto exchange will add technical features to support developers and build on KuCoin's public blockchain; bitcoin outperforms ether.

The crypto exchange will add technical features to support developers and build on KuCoin's public blockchain; bitcoin outperforms ether.

CoinDesk - Unknown
4
CoinDesk - Unknown
CFTC Charges 2 Men With Running a $44M Crypto Ponzi Scheme

Sam Ikkurty and Ravishankar Avadhanam are accused of using YouTube videos to dupe would-be clients into investing in various crypto funds.

Sam Ikkurty and Ravishankar Avadhanam are accused of using YouTube videos to dupe would-be clients into investing in various crypto funds.

CoinDesk - Unknown