Cryptocurrency exchange behemoth Binance recently announced that they are planning to onboard 180 fiat currencies for native deposits on their platform. They currently have 5 fiat currencies enabled, so let’s take a look at the broader implications of this move for the crypto-sphere as a whole.
One can say with ease that Binance is one of the leaders when it comes to crypto adoption from a macro standpoint. Starting as an exchange, they have since evolved into a multi-faceted provider of services within the ecosystem. Spot trading, futures trading, lending, staking, research; they have it all. So when a company like Binance decides they want to onboard nearly every fiat currency in existence, what does this mean?
Firstly, it opens the door to mega retail adoption. A lot of the constraints in purchasing crypto stem from the inability to find a safe and efficient on-ramp from fiat to crypto. Having the ability to seamlessly deposit any currency on to the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world would be an incredibly powerful development for the crypto-space.
Can you imagine what would happen if the NYSE was open, and allowed people from across the world to buy Tesla and Amazon stocks with their native currencies?
Binance has not been huge on institutional adoption, as opposed to their biggest rival: Coinbase. While custody, OTC, and many other institutional facing products are a prime focus at Coinbase, Binance is doing the little man’s work by focusing on retail adoption through and through. The development narratives for these two companies are evidently very different, so it will be interesting to see how the next 5 years play out for both of them.
The second major implication of this move is legitimacy to cryptocurrencies. Binance is a large company, and with the exception of a few countries, they won’t be able to truly launch support for so many fiat currencies unless the regulators and banks of each country are on board with them doing so. How they convince regulators is on them, but if they are able to do so, it will be a major win for the broader ecosystem.
Russia is seen as an anti-crypto nation, given their past apprehension toward the technology. However, Binance has turned a foe into a friend by launching native support for the Russian ruble on their platform. More of this, please!
Africa, Asia, and Europe seem to be their prime focus, as Changpeng Zhao leaves Binance U.S solely in the hands of domestic CEO Catherine Coley. The United States has been more proactive in regulating exchanges and the wider ecosystem, so it makes sense to have two separate plans of action for the United States and the rest of the world.
In short, Binance has come a long way from their roots, and if they can truly implement such a platform, with over 180 fiat currencies, it will not just be beneficial for the entire ecosystem, but it will also turn them into one of the most important businesses in crypto.