Binance Goes from ICO to World’s Largest Cryptocurrency Exchange in Six Months
Binance was bootstrapped through a July 2017 ICO that raised approximately $15 million, and its early user base was characterized by a heavy geographic concentration in China.
Consequently, the exchange was disproportionately affected by China’s September cryptocurrency exchange ban, which ordered the closure of domestic bitcoin exchanges and forced Binance to immediately bar a significant number of its users from trading on the platform.
Despite this setback — and stiff competition from other exchanges that have been operating for far longer — Binance has managed to become the world’s highest-volume cryptocurrency exchange that does not support fiat trading pairs, and it often outpaces exchanges that do offer fiat pairs.
In the past day, Binance has processed $4.3 billion in trading volume, and CEO Zhao Changpeng told Bloomberg that the exchange has been registering “a couple of million” new users every week, forcing the company to limit the number of new users while it scrambles to keep up with demand.
On Jan. 10, Binance opened up registrations for new users for one hour, and more than 240,000 users signed up for the platform during that brief period.
“We have a guy whose full-time job is just requesting servers,” Zhao said. “Every day they say, ‘OK, here are 200 more,’ but we just ask for more.”
“We did not expect this kind of growth, to be honest,” Zhao continued, adding that while the exchange’s average customer is a 25-30 year-old male with deep pockets, it has seen increasing interest from institutional investors…