Changpeng Zhao is on earth for a cryptic billionaire. The CEO of Binance, who emerged out of thin air last year to become the world's largest cryptocurrency swap, is not given to vain or brave declarations.
Instead, the man whom people call "CZ" is friendly and quietly focused on building a blockchain empire that could rebuild areas of the global financial system. In an interview with Fortune shared some very big ideas on the future of Binance and cryptocurrency.
According to CZ-who does not care if you say "C-Zee" or "C" -Zed, "as they do in Canada, where he studied, most of the blockchain predictions end up being wrong. be deeply interested in hearing what will happen next.
Here are three insights I gathered from CZ during our interview The following is a slow paraphrase of his comments
The future is decentralized but it will take a while # 39; to arrive
Binance announced its first acquisition this week in the form of TrustWallet, an app wallet that doubles as a browser for decentralized applications (dApps) .The move is a bet on the part of Binance that more people will start using decentralized services, which provide more privacy because they are not based on servers controlled by a single organization.
While there was an explosion of dApps in the last d ue years – the most famous example is the Crypto-Kitties collector's website – the reality is that few people use them, partly because the user interfaces are so cumbersome. CZ admits the point.
"It's still the very first stage of dApps – most are just proofs of concepts or simple games," he says, but adds that it will probably change a lot.
By 2020, CZ says we will see more extensive use of messaging, games, social networks and rating based on blockchain systems. The next next step will be e-commerce, expect.
In the meantime, Binance is going at full speed with the construction of a decentralized financial system. This is not a new idea – it was Bitcoin's original vision – but Binance took radical steps to expand on it. This includes work with the country of Malta for a global decentralized community bank. CZ also says that Binance is building its own blockchain to facilitate a decentralized exchange of cryptocurrencies.
Popular blockchains are under threat
At the moment, Ethereum's blockchain rules the roost when it comes to hosting dApps and setting standards. But competitors in their pockets – in particular Tezos, Eos and Dfinity – believe they can dethrone Ethereum by offering faster and more efficient protocols. So, who will win?
To my surprise, CZ thinks none of the current contenders are ready for long-term success because it is too slow. Although this criticism has long been criticized by Ethereum, CZ says that any blockchain designed for generic smart contracts (such as current competitors) will not be fast enough. Instead, he thinks that the existing blockchains will cede the field to the more specialized ones.
CZ has cited new tools such as Komodo and Tendermint that allow writing blockchain for specific purposes, suggesting that the future will consist of numerous custom-made master books. His comment – and this is only my interpretation – implies that blockchains will evolve in terms of chips, where the customized application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) have become the dominators of information technology over generic ones.
The Cryptocurrency market is Big enough to share
In our interview, CZ was consistently polite, and equally happy to talk about big blockchain ideas or to chat about restaurants in the Richmond area in Vancouver. So perhaps it is not surprising that he only has positive things to say about Coinbase, which together with Binance is the most important cryptocurrency company.
CZ says that Binance, which claimed a profit of between $ 500 million and $ 1 billion last year, does not want to challenge Coinbase in places like the United States.
"In developed markets, there is more money to be made but more regulation and is saturated with competition," he said. "We do not want to compete with Coinbase and [Winkelvoss-owned] Gemini." The strategy requires many lawyers and lobbying activities. "
He added that he prefers to operate in places like Malta where he can work directly with a head of state to promote the ideals of a decentralized financial system.
As well, he does not see a Uber-Lyft style fighting to death for market share. Instead, CZ says that Coinbase values the bases Binance is putting in Malta, while Binance is grateful for the work of Coinbase that helps US lawmakers understand cryptography.
"We have a great relationship with Coinbase," he said.