MOSCOW – If you’re looking to hide money from the authorities, don’t choose Binance, says CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ).
The cryptocurrency exchange mogul sat down to talk with CoinDesk’s Anna Baydakova during his recent visit to Russia. Our conversation – over 80 minutes long – touched on everything from custody to security to the crypto exchange’s plans for Eastern Europe and Russia.
During the interview, CZ rejected the popular perception of Binance as a global crypto pirate.
“There is a common misconception that Binance is kind of an outlaw, that we don’t work with compliance, we don’t work with law enforcement,” he said. “Even in the very early days we very cooperative with every government, with every law enforcement agency, every regulatory body.”
What about political dissidents who face criminal charges under oppressive regimes? Sadly, the same: if there is a criminal case against you, Binance will have to work with the authorities and possibly give out your information.
As CZ warned:
“I hope those guys don’t use us. Much better, use decentralized exchange of some kind, privacy coins of some kind — just don’t bother us, I hope. We don’t have a chance. Unfortunately, in such cases, there is not much we can do, we just don’t have a choice.”
Russia is one of the key markets for Binance and that the exchange is interested in hiring local developers, CZ said. He also talked about the prospects for Binance’s stablecoin project, Venus. Smaller economies are more likely to welcome the project, he said. He expects it to be popular in Bermuda, which recently started accepting taxes in Binance’s U.S.