Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) says that President Donald Trump’s recent comments about bitcoin and cryptocurrency can only be good news for the industry.
Trump Attack Good for Industry
On July 11, the US President published a series of tweets stating that he was “not” a fan of bitcoin, before moving on to attack Facebook’s libra. The statement came on the heels of a negative week for the social media platform’s digital currency, as regulators voiced their concerns over large platforms issuing tokens.
I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air. Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2019
Speaking in an interview with CNBC, Zhao said that President Trump has yet to make a positive or negative impact on cryptocurrency, despite his Twitter rant. As opposed to enacting policy or driving an agenda against bitcoin, the Binance CEO believes the comments were largely harmless. Instead of damaging crypto, the President’s tirade had the effect of drawing more interest to the industry,
“Trump so far has not done anything positive or negative, he’s just said he’s not a fan. The fact that he tweeted about it, and the president of the United States is talking about cryptocurrency, it’s a good thing.”
Crypto is Unstoppable
Zhao is not the first crypto exchange head to take the ‘any press is good press’ stance. Brian Armstrong, CEO of rival platform Coinbase, expressed a similar sentiment towards a President discussing bitcoin.
Achievement unlocked! I dreamt about a sitting U.S. president needing to respond to growing cryptocurrency usage years ago. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”. We just made it to step 3 y’all. https://t.co/N3tzUKELaK
— Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) July 12, 2019
While the US President may not be a fan of bitcoin, CZ said there is little he can do about it. Zhao considered a worst-case scenario, where the US enacts a ban on cryptocurrency similar to the law being proposed in India, as a minor setback for the industry.
He told CNBC,
“Cryptocurrency will survive regardless of any one country. Most countries that try to ban bitcoin cause their citizens to want cryptocurrency more.”
Hacks & Transparency
CZ also took time to address the Binance hack in May which led to the theft of 7,000 BTC, worth over $70 million. While his firm was able to cover the cost of the incident in full, he called the hack “unfortunate,” but “totally manageable.” Binance made close to $400 million in profits in 2018, a number which the exchange CEO believes will increase this year.
He explained that Binance’s response to the hack showed a “new level of transparency” in the industry of crypto compared to the traditional financial world,
“Banks get hacked but they’re not transparent with the numbers. You see billions of dollars in fines for banks. Whereas with cryptocurrency there’s more transparency, which is actually good for the users because now they know what’s going on.”
Zhao is also riding high on the success of the exchange’s native token Binance Coin (BNB), which has been one of the best performing cryptos in 2019. Earlier in the month, he published an update claiming the Binance team would burn their entire supply of BNB, worth $2.4 billion.