Learning From Libra’s Mistakes: Binance on the Launch of Venus

After witnessing Facebook’s regulatory battles over the Libra network, Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange Binance says that it will be taking a different approach to handling the launch of Venus, its own initiative to develop localized stablecoins and digital assets pegged to fiat currencies across the globe.

So far, the approach seems quite simple: “if we want to launch Venus in a country, we’ll make sure it complies with the regulations,” Binance co-founder He Yi said in an interview with Bloomberg.

Yi said that although much of the inspiration behind the creation of Venus was drawn from Libra, there are a few other key differences: for one thing, Venus will focus on developing partnerships outside of the Western world–she referred to Venus as a “Belt and Road version of Libra,” referencing China in particular. Yi said that the projects’ geographic scope would be similar to Beijing’s extensive initiative to build up its infrastructure.

Binance’s technical approach to its global cryptocurrency project is also a bit different than Facebook’s: unlike Libra, which aims to create a single cryptocurrency that will be pegged to a “basket” of fiat currencies, Venus’s goal is to create multiple coins through partnerships with “governments, corporations, technology companies, and other cryptocurrency companies and projects involved in the larger blockchain ecosystem.”

The olive-branch sort of approach that Binace seems to be taking towards regulators in its Venus initiative can be considered as evidence that the cryptocurrency exchange is attempting to improve its relationships with regulators, particularly within the east.

Bloomberg reported that in the past, “[Binance] quit markets including Japan and China to avoid clashes with local financial watchdogs. But more recently Binance has set up regulatory-compliant exchanges in friendlier jurisdictions like Singapore and Malta, allowing customers to trade using real money.”

Facebook admitted that it is inexperienced with blockchain–that’s not a problem for Binance

Binance has already issued a number of stablecoins on its public blockchain, including a GBP-pegged stablecoin (BGBP) and a BTC-pegged stablecoin (BTCB).

“Binance will provide full-process technical support, compliance risk control system and multi-dimensional cooperation network to build Venus, leveraging its existing infrastructure and regulatory establishments,” the blog post announcing the launch of the initiative explained.

This could give the company another leg up on Libra. Facebook said in a quarterly report at the end of July that “we do not have significant prior experience with digital currency or blockchain technology, which may adversely affect our ability to successfully develop and market these products and services.”

In the same report, Facebook said that the obstacles in front of Libra are so large that “there can be no assurance that Libra or our associated products and services will be made available in a timely manner, or at all.”

(Photo: Binance)

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