Global crypto exchange Binance has a plan to become even more global, according to CEO Changpeng Zhao, aka CZ.
In the face of increasing regulatory scrutiny, CZ says the company has plans for a spree of new acquisitions to expand its grip on various global markets.
Speaking with the Financial Times, CZ says Binance wants to scoop up businesses that operate in traditional markets. This comes after its surprise $200 million investment in global media company Forbes, giving Binance two seats on the iconic publication’s board.
“Forbes, already a resource for people interested in the emerging world of digital assets, can become a true leader in the field with [Binance’s] help,” Forbes CEO Mike Federle said.
CZ said Binance was aiming to pick one or two main players in every industry and pull them into the digital asset world.
“We want to identify and invest in one or two targets in every economic sector and try to bring them into crypto,” said Zhao. He added that pushing a single company in an industry, such as media, to embrace crypto will amp up competition and pressure other incumbent groups to do the same.
While no specific investments have been mentioned as of yet, CZ did tell the Financial Times that retail, eCommerce, and gaming were on the crypto giant’s radar.
CZ still insists that he’s not trying to turn Binance into a “conglomerate.” According to FT, the Binance boss says the investments will be about creating the infrastructure needed to integrate digital assets into already existing industries.
“The strategy is about making the crypto industry bigger,” Zhao said.
As the biggest crypto exchange in the world, CZ said that Binance is in the midst of a massive hiring spree to focus on compliance, as well as using the same type of customer-checking software used by banks in their compliance departments.
Last year, after facing regulatory complications in a number of countries, CZ wrote that Binance had taken new steps to ensure regulatory integrity, and signalled to the industry that the company was in favour of more oversight and “clear regulation.”
“I believe that the numerous decisions we made to protect users’ interests is why they chose to be with Binance, which has helped us to grow quickly in the past four years…
Binance has grown very quickly and we haven’t always got everything exactly right, but we are learning and improving every day. We hope to clarify and reiterate our commitment to partner with regulators, and that we are proactively hiring more talent, putting in place more systems and processes to protect our users.”