The Business Times

Binance, with over US$1b to spend, weighs buying a bank

Published Thu, Nov 3, 2022 · 07:18 AM

BINANCE Holdings founder and CEO Zhao “CZ” Changpeng, who last month said the crypto exchange may spend more than US$1 billion on deals this year, is considering targets including banks as the boundary between the digital-asset industry and traditional finance blurs.

“There are people who hold certain types of local licences, traditional banking, payment-service providers, even banks. We’re looking at those things,” Zhao said in an interview at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon, without identifying a target. “We want to be the bridge between crypto and the traditional, financial world.”

Zhao’s comments underscore how digital assets and traditional finance, or “TradFi” in crypto parlance, are becoming increasingly interlinked. Financial institutions from Goldman Sachs Group to BlackRock are pushing deeper into crypto, even after a market meltdown that’s lopped some US$2 trillion off digital assets’ value.

Binance is open to minority investments or a full acquisition, according to Zhao. He said it’s an opportunity for Binance to capitalise on the expected increase in a bank’s share price after signing a business agreement with the company, which operates the world’s largest crypto exchange.

“What we have found is when banks work with us, we drive so many users to them, so the bank’s valuation goes up exponentially, like why don’t we just invest in them as well, so that we capture some of the equity upside,” he said. BLOOMBERG

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