Breaking Binance Seeing More Institutional Adoption, Says CZ

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In Brief
  • Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) said its user base is growing rapidly.

  • He highlighted the growing number of institutional investors, crediting Michael Saylor’s influence.

  • Most users have lower balances, while a majority of the volume comes from larger investors.

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Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) said the user base of Binance is growing rapidly, particularly among institutional investors, in an interview with Bloomberg Surveillance.

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CZ emphasized that most of this rapid growth on Binance had occurred over the past year. He highlighted that the exchange had seen a much higher uptake of institutional investors in the past few months.

Changing Trading Patterns

CZ noted that these institutional investors typically traded in much larger sizes on Binance. He singled out corporate treasuries as one type of the new institutional users. “Those guys have a very unique buying pattern,” he said. According to CZ, these investors buy over long periods of time, typically weeks or months. “And then they just buy, they don’t sell. And they buy, they withdraw. They buy, they withdraw,” he explained.

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CZ said that he had not seen this type of trading behavior much before on Binance. He credited MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor with initiating the trend. MicroStrategy has aggressively added Bitcoin (BTC) to its portfolio since it first began in August 2020. The company’s most recent purchase was 328 BTC for $15 million. It currently holds 90,859 BTC.

Binance’s Average Account Size

Regarding how average accounts sizes have changed on Binance, CZ admitted that he did not know exactly. “Actually the average account size, we have not calculated because we have a long tail,” he said. He explained that while new institutional investors typically had rather large portfolios, most users have much lower balances. Based on this, he deduced that the average was probably not very high.

“We service users from all over the world, including some of the less economically developed regions,” the Chinese-Canadian CEO said. “We have accounts which hold like $100, $50, and that’s a lot of money for them,” he added. He reiterated that this likely contributed to the overall low average and that a majority of the volume now being traded on his exchange came from larger investors.

BNB Bounce

The exchange’s native token, Binance Coin (BNB), saw over an eightfold increase this past month. The price rose 729%, from opening at $44.37 on Feb. 1 to a high of $368 on Feb. 19. Although the price has come back down to roughly $240, the increasing demand, as indicated by this price hike, is unlikely to abate. 

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Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage. He can best be described as an optimistic center-left skeptic.

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