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Binance CEO confirms margin trading, stablecoin discussions, and possible Argentina launch in wake of security breach

by Isabel Woodford

May 8, 2019, 7:14AM EDT  ·  2 min read

Quick Take

  • In a YouTube AMA, Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao discussed the Malta-based exchange’s key plans for the months ahead – hours after announcing a security breach that saw 7,000 bitcoin stolen
  • We summarize the talk, including his confirmation that margin trading would begin “very soon”
  • No deposits or withdrawals will be accepted on the exchange for around a week as a security precaution 

by Isabel Woodford

May 8, 2019, 7:14AM EDT  ·  2 min read

It’s been a hectic 24 hours for Binance. “A rough day,” CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao admitted to viewers during his live ask-me-anything (AMA) session on YouTube early this morning, after a chat user pointed out he looked “exhausted” amid the chaos of a security breach. 

But despite his sleep deprivation, CZ offered AMA viewers updates on the hack alongside some other big news.

Here’s the breakdown:

On the 7,000 BTC hack (1.00-7.00)

  • As noted in Binance’s initial blog, the theft was the result of an “advanced, persistent hacking effort.”
  • The $40 million worth of funds lost will be covered, so any affected users will be reimbursed *
  • He said the priority now is to rebuild the system and trace any residue left by the hackers
  • No deposits or withdrawals will be accepted until they are satisfied the system has been secured, which may take up to a week
  • He advised users to change their 2FA logins as a precaution
  • He said it was an “unfortunate incident but it is what it is,” pledging transparency in the resolution process

On margin trading (15.15-16.00)

  • A margin trading system is rolling out “very soon,” and is now in testing phase with large traders 
  • The platform will have a “gradual” roll-out
  • They are now ironing out any potential bugs

On a future stablecoin

  • He said there are “a few different proposals and plans” in motion around stablecoin listings following a series of internal discussions
  • It is “likely something may happen there”
  • But he added they could not commit to anything just yet

On The Launchpad timeline

  • CZ confirmed they had selected a shortlist of Launchpad candidates and were now choosing the final candidate, to be announced “hopefully” this month
  • It may be delayed by one week due to the hack
  • The project will continue on the same format as last time

On Binance Chain

  • He mentioned Binance Chain (their native blockchain) was unlikely to migrate to Proof of Stake soon, but added they had not thought much about governance or validator issues yet – they’re focused on boosting adoption first
  • He also said projects seeking to get listed on Binance would have an “easy” time if they’ve already issued tokens on Binance Chain
  • Binance Chain would eventually be open-source, along with their DEX, once they have momentum 

Elsewhere…

  • CZ also confirmed Binance was working on Argentina being the next fiat roll-out, following the recent launch in Singapore
  • Binance is in discussions about a credit card partnership, but CZ said he was not directly involved
  • The exchange is not looking into acting as a banking business

* In the AMA, CZ discussed reorganizing the bitcoin network to recover the funds, but he has since dismissed this option, confirming Binance will replenish the funds from its own insurance fund.