Binance Decentralized Exchange to List Almost Any Coin, CEO Says

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(Bloomberg) -- Binance is planning to launch a decentralized exchange in the coming months and almost everyone is invited, founder and Chief Executive Officer Changpeng Zhao said.

The Binance team will either have no say or a loose grasp on the coins that list on the network, steering away from the current model of tight control on the digital assets that are traded on its exchange, Zhao said in an interview. Conditions to list on the centralized exchange, which will coexist with the decentralized platform, will remain the same.

“On the decentralized exchange we’ll have less control. More likely anybody can list any coin. That’s the philosophy of the decentralized exchange, it’s freedom of choice, freedom of investments,” Zhao said in an interview over Skype. “But with freedom there will be people who are scammers. That’s not something we can control.”

The largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume is developing a public blockchain for the transfer and trading of digital assets, the company said in a statement posted on its website Tuesday. The network, called Binance Chain, will provide coin traders a decentralized exchange that handles transactions through an automated process, eliminating the need for a third party to hold and trade funds.

Read more: Binance says ‘all funds are safe’ as crypto traders panic

Zhao said he expects to launch this year. The bitcoin billionaire said the decentralized exchange, which needs more computing power for many computers to verify and record trades, will be slower and have higher fees than the centralized platform.

Binance Chain will be attractive for those who value anonymity and security more than speed and liquidity, he said. Binance processes 1.4 million transactions per second and about $1.5 billion in volume daily.

Binance is also building the default wallet to store user funds, and will encourage developers to build competing products for the open-source platform. The software will be installed in users’ computers and remain under their control, Zhao said.

Hacker Threat

The move comes as platforms that trade cryptocurrencies have become increasingly juicy targets for cyber thieves. Most exchanges are centralized, with assets held in one location.

Since the start of this year, hackers have stolen tokens worth about $700 million from venues in Japan and Italy. The robberies have added pressure on both exchanges and regulators to do more to protect investors.

Binance itself was the target last week of a “large-scale phishing and stealing attempt.” The company is offering the equivalent of $250,000 in cryptocurrency for information that leads to the arrest of the hackers.

Zhao said Binance is a decentralized organization with no headquarters or bank accounts. He doesn’t see legal liabilities with the new model listing a broad range of coins, comparing it to Ethereum, which startups can use without affecting it if they end up being frauds.

Once the platform is live, Binance’s cryptocurrency, which is called Binance Coin and is based on the Ethereum platform, will be swapped one-to-one with a new coin based on its own blockchain, Zhao said.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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