Binance is planning to go on an acquisition spree of traditional companies “in every economic sector” during its sustained regulatory scrutiny.
The world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange is looking to procure a few businesses that operate outside the crypto sector. Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, stated in an interview that “We want to identify and invest in one or two targets in every economic sector and try to bring them into crypto.”
This move follows its $200 million investment in the U.S.-based publication Forbes earlier this year, giving the exchange two board seats at the century-old business periodical. The move made Binance one of the top two biggest owners of Forbes.
These moves showcase the exchange’s plan to diversify their revenue streams while at the same time exploring crypto adoption in traditional markets, according to the report from the Financial Times. Despite moving into new businesses, Zhao said he was not trying to build the exchange into a “conglomerate.” He rather sees their infiltration of the traditional industry as an opportunity to integrate blockchain tech into existing industries. “The strategy is about making the crypto industry bigger,” Zhao added.
In the past, Binance has also acquired businesses in crypto, but not necessarily in the same business parallel. In April 2020, Binance acquired the coin tracking website CoinMarketCap and purchased a major stake in card payment service Swipe in December 2021.
Binance dominates the exchange landscape
Currently, the exchange landscape is dominated by Binance. In the first quarter of 2022, the exchange handled an estimated $500 billion in spot crypto trading, this is nearly four times more than the runners-up, OKX and Coinbase.
During the height of crypto spot trading, Binance handled nearly 1.5 trillion in trading volume. Keep in mind that this is only spot trading, not mentioning derivatives and their other services. According to Bloomberg, the exchange generated at least $20billion in revenue in 2021 of which 90% came from trading fees.
Issues with compliance
Recently, UK finance authorities expressed concern over the Binance, Bifinity, and EQONEX partnership in which Bifinity issued a $36 million convertible loan to EQONEX. The exchange — since inception — has been under regulatory scrutiny for playing on the edges of what is allowed and has this week been cautioned over its “complex and high-risk financial products.”
In the U.S., the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been pursuing companies affiliated with Binance U.S. The regulator is concerned about how it disclosed its links with the two trading firms.