Binance is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges with trading volumes measuring tens of billions of dollars. We have spoken with Gleb Kostarev, its General Manager for Eastern Europe, about Binance’s development, especially its newest and fast-growing segment, the non-fungible tokens (NFT) marketplace.
— Please tell us about Binance history. Whose idea was it? How was it developed?
— Its founder and CEO is Changpeng Zhao, commonly known as CZ in the crypto community. He has an amazing biography and an equally exciting career path. The Binance founder used to work at McDonald’s. One day, he sold his apartment and invested all the proceeds in bitcoin.
CZ developed software for Bloomberg’s futures trading on Wall Street. In 2005, he quit his post as head of the Bloomberg Tradebook futures research and development and moved to Shanghai where he founded Fusion Systems. After he discovered bitcoin, CZ joined Blockchain.info as head of development worked at OKCoin as chief technology officer.
According to him, every other person joining the cryptocurrency market at that time had the idea of founding an exchange. CZ thought about creating an exchange back in 2013 as he was taking first steps in the industry. The idea resurfaced in 2015 when he founded a tech startup which later became Binance. Both times, the team thought the market was too small and they weren’t ready yet. But in 2017, the team felt that it was the time to launch the exchange. The team’s initial expectations were that if they manage to be among the top ten exchanges in three years, it would be a great achievement. But the growth was fast and exceeded all expectations: six months later, in January 2018, Binance ranked first among the world’s cryptocurrency exchange in terms of trading volume, and CZ appeared on the Forbes cover.
— What is the current turnover and trade dynamics at the exchange?
— According to CoinMarketCap, Binance currently ranks first among the world’s cryptocurrency exchanges. CoinMarketCap ranks and evaluates exchanges based on traffic, liquidity and trading volume. Thus, the daily trading volume at Binance is $33,525,710,064; there are over 1,300 trading pairs and the exchange supports over 40 fiat currencies.
— What can you say about the NFT market? Is it gaining popularity?
— NFT is the trend of 2021. The growth of the popularity of NFT coincided with the growth of the industry, or rather the growth of the industry promoted NFT’s popularity. It is also noteworthy that the global paradigm of thinking is moving towards virtual reality. All digital and virtual objects are becoming more important and NFT has blended in seamlessly into this new trend. For instance, many celebrities purchase NFTs from the CryptoPunks of BAYC collections, use them as their Twitter avatars to show off their status to the public.
— What art objects are currently turned into NFTs?
— An NFT is a digital object, and it can be anything: a video, music, image, domains and many others. In addition, many artists send their real works in addition to NFTs to customers.
— In your opinion, what is the current motivation of NFT buyers?
— The value of each NFT is dependent on its originality and rarity. The virtuality trend that I mentioned earlier is also important. Everything virtual becomes more important than the real things. NFTs are not just images on the blockchain or something that someone has drawn quickly and sold for millions of dollars. It is a new standard of tokens. A bitcoin does not differ from another bitcoin, while NFTs are unique, and it also contributes to their value.
— What are the prospects for the NFT market?
— Speaking of the outlook, I believe that NFT only begins to develop. In the near future, we will see many interesting projects with the use of this technology. Among the promising ones will be protocols for the cross-chain transmission of metadata and tools for changing metadata; NTFs that give early access or higher limits for DeFi protocols, projects to divide royalties, settlement of disputes on distribution of income or ownership ratio, and others. Also, we are witnessing the appearance of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO) that unite collectors and invest in a specific NFT segment. For instance, Red DAO focuses on digital fashion. As for art, dynamic NFTs have a promising future because most of NFT art is static.
— What are the exchange’s plans? What innovations can appear there in the nearest future?
— The marketplace Binance NFT was launched this year; in Russia, Ukraine and the CIS we have involved many celebrities from the world of digital art, show business and sports. Plans call for keeping the momentum going and developing the NFT market.
We also have been working actively on the creation of a legal environment on the cryptocurrency market. Binance is open for a dialogue and works with regulators all over the world, and is ready to do everything in its power to form a legal framework for a sustainable market in Russia, Ukraine and the CIS countries.
In Russia, we cooperate with the Commission on Blockchain Technology and Cryptoeconomics under the Investment Russia national public organization, and the Committee for Digital Financial Assets and Digital Currency of the Digital Economy Foundation Council. In Ukraine, we are members of Ukraine’s Virtual Assets public council and also signed a memorandum of understanding with the country’s Ministry of Digital Transformation.
These are just some of our plans. As for long-term goals, we plan to keep working and create products that will be popular among our users. Their demands and interests are our ultimate priority.
By Konstantin Frumkin
NFTs based on Yury Aratovsky’s cartoons are available through bidding here: Binance NFT. The auction is open to all Binance users. Binance NFT Marketplace uses the same user account system as Binance.com. New users will need to create an account on Binance.com first.
Read more about Yury Aratovsky here: An artist with a sense of humor
This is only background information about the NFTs. This is not an advertising of digital financial assets, or a recommendation to perform any actions.