Original - Odaily
Author-Hao Fangzhou, Qin Xiaofeng, Azuma
November 22 is destined to be a big day in the history of CZ individuals, Binance Company, and even the entire Crypto industry.
Early this morning,Binance officially announced that it has reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network over investigations of historical registration, compliance, and sanctions issues.As part of the settlement, Binance agreed to plead guilty and pay a fine of more than $4 billion.
at the same time,CZ issued an open letter stating that he will step down as CEO of Binance, and Richard Teng, head of Binance’s global regional market, will take over.In the open letter, CZ revealed that in the future it is unlikely that he will lead a start-up to grow like he did when he founded Binance. Instead, he wants to transform into an investor and invest in the fields of blockchain, Web3, DeFi, artificial intelligence and biotechnology.
Looking back on CZs six years at the helm of Binance, he not only made Binance the leader in the field of crypto trading, but also laid out and connected its public chain ecology, payment and stablecoins, upstream and downstream investments, and education in a forward-looking and leading manner. and charity and other sectors, upgrading CEX, which once walked on only one leg, to a comprehensive Web3 group, and spreading Binances products, services, and brand influence to the world.
From the perspective of the Web3 industry, CZ, as a top KOL, is a high-frequency voice, which not only represents the determination and courage of Chinese people to innovate, go global, and cooperate with customers from different backgrounds, but also repeatedly blows the whistle to warn of risks and calm market sentiment, in times of crisis and volatility. It stabilizes the morale of the military and points out the way forward. It also criticizes current shortcomings and advises on supervision. In the high-pressure regulatory environment, it helps the young Crypto field to gain a wider space for development.
Therefore, CZ’s guilty plea and Binance’s settlement were considered by some people in the industry as “Burn the ego for light and illuminate the path of compliance innovation for those who come after you.This move even paved the way for the accelerating ETF.
Below, Odaily will take you back to Binance’s key nodes and outstanding achievements, summarize its successful experience, and use the mentality and goals of the first leader to predict the successor’s focus and the next stage of the crypto trading platform’s priorities. .
Single-handedly creating “the greatest place in the universe”
When you think of the top cryptocurrency exchanges, you may think of a long list of names.But there will always be only one throne - Binance.
This is a fact that even its competitors have to admit. In various rankings, whether it is spot or futures, Binance’s market share is far ahead, often exceeding 50%, which is more than the top five combined. .
Data shows that Binance currently has more than 6,000 employees around the world; it supports 18 service languages around the world, and has a cumulative number of KYC-certified users of more than 120 million, which is equivalent to 1 Binance user for every 66 people in the world.Insiders jokingly call Binance “the largest exchange in the universe.”
From a small transparent company founded in 2017 to today’s industry leader,Binance under the leadership of CZ took only 6 years to build a diversified business system from scratch, including spot, futures, options, OTC, mining pools, cloud services, public chains, investment, charity, etc. Today, Binance is not just a trading platform, but a comprehensive blockchain giant.
What’s the secret to Binance’s success? Many people say that it is the industry opportunity given by the domestic September 4th Movement. Opportunities are important, but what is more critical is how people in the game assess the situation and make decisions. The international strategy established by CZ successfully helped Binance capture a batch of traffic in its initial stage.
Domestic exchanges appeared in large numbers in 2017. When Binance was founded with a keen sense of policy, it positioned itself as an international trading platform, expanded its target users to the world, and avoided the competition in the domestic storage market. Two months later, the September Fourth Movement strong supervision came. When many domestic exchanges were shut down, Binance’s global strategic goals enabled it to stand alone and lay a user base for subsequent development. In just 165 days, Binance made a strong counterattack and successfully became a first-tier trading platform, becoming the largest cryptocurrency spot exchange at the time.
After the storm passed and the market entered a bear market, Binance did not stop making progress and rest on its laurels, but continued to enrich its trading business. For example, in the second half of 2019, it will focus on derivatives contracts and gradually launch C2C, lending and other services, and the network effect will be enhanced. After its trading business became the top one, Binance is also seeking transformation, mainly focusing on multiple dimensions such as investment, technology research and development (public chain), new businesses (such as mining pools), and charity.
Different from the traditional impression of totalitarian managers, CZ, who is in charge of a huge encryption empire,Advocate the decentralized model and try our best to decentralize power, all of Binance’s businesses are developed slowly by “taking one step at a time”. We have always had a relatively loose management model, and everyone has a relatively large free space. It is relatively simple to start a project on Binance, and everyone can do whatever they want. But he has to produce results. If it takes a while, If we can’t do it, we may stop the project.”
It may be under this model that Binance’s innovation factor bursts out, and management efficiency has not been reduced due to distributed office. Take the Binance public chain as an example. In December 2018, it announced the development of its own public chain. It took just over a year to launch the main network. This year, it launched BNB Chain’s second-layer network OpBNB and the distributed storage chain BNB Greenfield. Binance’s public chain is also the most ecologically developed among exchange public chains, once catching up with Ethereum.
Interestingly, Binance’s exploration in many tracks does not play the role of “pioneer”, but “follower”. Take the most popular IEO as an example. Exchanges tried it as early as 2017 but the results were not good. Instead, Binance popularized this method in 2019 and continues to this day, and it has become a standard feature of CEX.
If you look at the entire development history of Binance, Binance is not the first to jump out into trading products, but we can iterate on the basis of our predecessors.He Yi, co-founder of Binance, said that every attack of Binance is based on planning and then taking action, using the minimum trial and error cost to achieve the maximum effect.
At the right time, do the right thing.Binance’s current achievements are the result of quickly developing new businesses, choosing the right focus, and seizing the market.
The light of the Chinese, speaking out for encryption
If taking ones own company to become a unicorn in a vertical field is regarded as the first step, then CZs subsequent steps will focus more on promoting the growth of the entire Web3 industry.
Looking at the crypto world, the roles that can drive the industry with their own opinions are nothing more than infrastructure (mining in the early years, public chains that exploded in the previous stage, and the emerging new ecological bottom layer), trading platforms, investment institutions, and traditional technologies With financial giants and regulators.
KOLs include Wu Jihan, Shenyu, V God, CZ, Arthur, a16z and Paradigm who are constantly writing, Cathie Wood, Michael Saylor, Musk, Jack Dorsey, Buffett and Charlie Munger, Gary Gensler...
we discover,With the changes in the theme of the Web3 industry, there are very few KOLs left who are still active on the front line of social media and can achieve Every word is listened to rather than the butt determines the head. Among them, except CZ, few of them are listened to to the voice of the Chinese.
Looking back on the past few years, some of CZ’s classic remarks still ring in my ears.
For example, CZ has been calling for an active embrace of supervision and continues to be optimistic about the compliance situation. During the deep bear market last year, CZ cheered the industryexpress, most countries and jurisdictions have started to establish regulatory frameworks instead of outright banning Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies, which is creating a better environment for cryptocurrencies.
At the beginning of this year, CZ hadmentionedWith four personal priorities in 2023, we once again call on the industry to pay attention to education and compliance. It is worth mentioning that CZ’s fourth personal priority is “ignore FUD, fake news and attacks”, which is why CZ often points out four fingers for some false rumors.
Although he is the helmsman of the largest CEX in the universe, CZ has a firm belief in the future of decentralization. When talking about the future development trend of DeFi, CZ has said many timesmentionedDeFi may surpass CeFi in the next bull market.
In addition, CZ admitted that he“The trading level is very good”, basically only holding coins and not trading; the BTC in my hand was ALL IN from selling a house many years ago, and has basically never been touched. Even though he often speaks on Twitter, he always focuses on the industry or Binance-related business trends, and never predicts currency prices. I am more concerned about the usage rate of Bitcoin. How many people have entered this industry and how many people are using Bitcoin. This issue may be more core.
In terms of internal management, Binance employees, including CZ himself,Futures trading prohibited, the product testing team has specially assigned limit accounts; all employees’ Binance accounts are registered and closely monitored. The starting point of all work is to prevent Binance and users from becoming rivals and maintain the order of market transactions.
CZ is also happy to support Binance employees leaving to start their own businesses. When commenting on the resignation of former senior Binance officials, CZ onceexpress: “Some employees are pursuing exciting new careers outside of Binance, they are growing into more important roles, and I have even helped many of them with introductions and referrals. We support everyone, we are a community, This also creates more development opportunities within Binance.
As one of the busiest people in the industry, CZ never forgets to blow the whistle and warn users in emergencies to remind users of asset risks. For example, when a friend has an information leakage crisis, take the initiative tonotify, and did not disclose the names of specific friends. For example, when a vulnerability was discovered in iOS, it actively called on users to update as soon as possible. Another example is that it has repeatedly assisted damaged projects to freeze hacker funds after hacking incidents.
It is this kind of industry contribution that caused many big names in the industry to post messages today to express their gratitude to CZ. (See detailsCZ resigns, crypto KOL bids farewell）
CZ alights, Richard Teng takes the wheel
With CZs departure, Richard Teng, Binances head of global regional markets, will take over as CEO.
This morning, Richard Teng also issued an open letter following CZ:
“I am honored and humbled to serve as Binance’s new CEO. We operate the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, and the trust of 150 million users and thousands of employees has always been a responsibility I value and cherish. With the support of CZ and the rest of the leadership team, I accept the role of CEO as we continue to meet and exceed the expectations of all our stakeholders while delivering on our core mission of monetary freedom. Today, Binance’s foundation is stronger than ever More solid than ever.”
“My focus will include: assuring users that they can continue to have confidence in the financial strength and security of the company; working with regulators to uphold high standards that foster innovation around the world while providing important consumer protections; Work with our partners to drive the growth and adoption of Web3.
Richard Tengs takeover wasnt all that surprising. In June this year, Bloomberg reported that if CZ resigns due to regulatory pressure, Richard Teng is likely to become the next CEO of Binance.
That was also the first time most Crypto users got to know Richard Teng.At that time, it was actually less than two years since Richard Teng joined Binance.
In August 2021, Richard Teng joined Binance as the Singapore regional CEO;
From December 2021 to October 2022, Richard Teng will serve as Binance’s new head of the Middle East and North Africa region;
From November 2022 to April 2023, Richard Teng serves as Binance’s regional director for Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
In June 2023, Richard Teng was appointed as Binance’s market leader for all regions except the United States.
CZ once talked about how he met Richard Teng. The two were introduced by a staff member of the Bank of Singapore. After communicating with Richard Teng for two weeks, CZ made up his mind to recruit him.Compared with CZ, who started from scratch, the biggest feature of Richard Teng is that he has sufficient compliance work resume.
Before joining Binance, Richard Teng worked at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for 13 years;
After leaving MAS, Richard Teng joined the Singapore Exchange (SGX) in 2007 and held the position of Chief Compliance Officer within 8 years;
Afterwards, Richard Teng joined the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) as CEO in 2015. During this period, ADGM was rated as the best international financial company in the Middle East and North Africa for four consecutive years.
If in the past 6 years, CZ needed to use a more radical style of play to lead the fledgling Binance to break through the market and actively seize the position and compete for the top spot in exchanges, public chains, wallets, investments and other tracks, So when Binance has grown into an industry giant, CZ may have realized thatThe biggest challenge currently facing Binance is no longer how to compete with opponents who lag behind it, but to shoulder the heavy responsibility of positive supervision as an industry leader and lead the Crypto industry towards compliance.
This process is full of considerable uncertainty, may be long, and may be full of friction, but what CZ may be able to determine is:Many years of front-line work experience have won him numerous reputations, but also attracted countless controversies. When Binance is entering a new stage of development and needs to face challenges head-on with a more stable attitude,Richard Teng will be the most suitable person to lead Binance.
Under the solid background of Richard Teng, the Binance 2.0 version that has returned from the Monster Fighting Upgrade can spread itself out in the sun more calmly. After this turmoil, it seems that all previous comments are self-defeating. As the US government also agrees, Binance has never misappropriated user assets or conducted market manipulation. Everything is heading in a brighter direction.
This may be the key reason why CZ chose Richard Teng as his successor.
Looking to the future, we have reason to believe that Richard Teng will continue to promote the development of Binances various businesses based on the foundation laid by CZ. At the same time, he will also give full play to his experience and resource advantages in the traditional financial and compliance fields to lead Binance adopts a more stable attitude to communicate with regulatory agencies in various regions.
As for CZ, as he said in his comment on the Sam Altman incident a few days ago - knowing when to give up control of the company he founded is one of the most difficult decisions - he made perhaps the most difficult decision in his life. decision.
This afternoon, CZ said in an internal letter to all Binance employees: “Binance will be fine. I will have to endure some pain, but I will get through it.”
Making this decision must have been difficult, but in order for Binance to move forward, CZ chose to step aside.