Wednesday 21 Feb 2024
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PUTRAJAYA (June 2): There are no Russian oligarchs found on Binance’s platform and the notion that cryptocurrency is widely used to facilitate illicit activities is a "misconception", according to Changpeng Zhao, the chief executive officer (CEO) of the world largest digital currency trading exchange.

“When we talked about sanctions on Russian oligarchs, we looked at our data, and none of them are on our platform,” he said at a forum named “Crypto Market Trends and Future Opportunities” here on Thursday (June 2). 

Zhao’s response came after MX Global CEO Datuk Fadzli Shah requested the former to comment on the general perception that cryptocurrency is used to facilitate terrorism and money laundering.

The Binance founder also cited data published by blockchain data provider Chainalysis that only 0.15% of crypto currency transactions last year were possibly linked to illicit activities. 

“The United Nations published a report saying that up to 5% of the traditional money system, banks, cash, may be related to money laundering. So it’s 5% in the traditional money system versus 0.15% in crypto,” he noted.

“So that is the misconception. We will still take time to educate the masses, but eventually people will understand that crypto is actually a lot safer than the traditional money system,” he added.

Zhao also likened the importance of cryptocurrency to the emergence of the Internet two decades ago. 

“So we are seeing that these smart regulators are realising that, look: This is a new technology for money. If you want to build the best fintech sector, you cannot ignore new technology for money. Just like if you wanted to build a high tech sector 20 years ago, you cannot ignore the Internet,” he said.

Zhao also said the US is one of the most progressive countries in terms of promoting cryptocurrency innovation and adoption. 

“Today, different countries have different standards. China is probably the most negative in terms of going all out [to ban cryptocurrency], but they are promoting their central bank cryptocurrency.

“Central bank cryptocurrency, while very useful, is still different from native cryptocurrencies,” he said.

Edited ByKamarul Azhar Azmi & Surin Murugiah
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