During Binance Blockchain Week – a major conference held earlier in Istanbul on November 2023, CryptoPotato had the chance to speak to Binance’s Richard Teng.
It’s worth noting that, at the time, Teng was serving as Binance’s Head of Regional Markets, as the conference took place before the most recent Binance developments.
Recall that on November 21st, the United States Department of Justice settled charges against the cryptocurrency exchange, bringing an investigation spanning back to 2018 to a close. Binance had to pay a hefty fee, while CZ, the company’s former chief, had to step down.
Richard Teng has since taken the position of Binance’s new CEO.
The interview, conducted in the vibrant backdrop of Istanbul, captured Teng’s enthusiasm for the industry, as well as his excitement for Binance’s future plans – which gets an even better spotlight as he becomes the CEO of the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume.
Who is Richard Teng?
In one of our latest coverages, you can find out everything you need to know about Teng, but during our interview, Teng reminisced that the quick foray of cryptocurrencies in traditional finance circles fascinated him.
In 2017, like every March, I attended a futures conference in the US, Boca Raton, Florida. At that meeting, unlike earlier ones, which were mainly attended by mostly TradFi exchanges, asset managers, and regulators, that particular meeting, I saw a lot of crypto players coming through, speaking on the subject matter of crypto. That fascinated me.
As the CEO of Abu Dhabi Global Market at the time, Teng realized the potential of cryptocurrencies and spearheaded regulatory frameworks, making them one of the first global entities to regulate crypto. His personal journey into the crypto world began with opening an account and trading, underlining his belief in deeply understanding a field to regulate it effectively.
The Future of Binance: The Most Regulated Exchange
During our interview, Teng highlighted Binance’s extraordinary journey since its inception back in 2017. He said the platform’s focus on user needs, trust, and confidence catapulted it to the top of the global exchange list, boasting 150 million users worldwide today.
The new CEO said that Binance is committed to investing in infrastructure, human, and intellectual talent in a bid to foster innovation, giving an example with the most recent launch of their Web3 wallet.
The current chief also noted Binance’s status as ‘the most regulated exchange on a global scale,’ pointing out that they hold 18 different regulatory approvals across continents.
Discussing global expansion, he recognized the regional developments in cryptocurrency regulation and adoption. Some countries, such as Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and a number of nations in the Middle East and Europe, are already embracing crypto with significant regulatory advancements like the MiCA legislation in Europe.
We will continue to do global deployment and local deployment, working very closely with our partners, working very closely with users to support their needs locally.
Teng added that he applauds the efforts of regulators across the world to give more clarity for platforms like Binance to operate globally.
A lot more policymakers,legislators, and regulators are spending more time and energy in this space to really understand it, to come up with frameworks that support the innovative nature of the industry.
The Humble Persona of CZ: True Passion for Crypto
During the interview, we also asked Teng to give us some more insights about his work and relationship with Changpeng Zhao (CZ), Binance’s former CEO and one of the most recognizable names at the forefront of the cryptocurrency industry.
He provided a unique insight into the personality and leadership style of CZ, describing him as an intellectual, driven, and passionate leader, who is incredibly enthusiastic about each new product Binance rolls out and the industry as a whole.
He manifests what Binance is about. He’s very passionate about user needs, about our products and services.
Teng said that CZ is an “extremely humble person, down to earth, and that it’s a privilege to work with him.”
2024: The Key Factors to Keep in Mind
Looking ahead, Teng remains bullish about the crypto market’s growth. He cites the increasing involvement of major global financial institutions like BlackRock, Charles Schwab, and Fidelity in crypto and blockchain as a positive indicator.
The evolving regulatory landscape worldwide, providing clarity and transparency, will further instill trust among users, leading to mass adoption and liquidity in the crypto market.
If you compare it to three or five years ago, today, every major global financial institution has a crypto and blockchain agenda. They’re coming out with new investment products, such as ETFs, and that will bring new investor classes and liquidity into crypto.
You also have regulators all over the world now compared to before, when no regulators were touching this space. They are now coming out with frameworks to regulate. That’s a key positive, giving clarity and transparency to the market or the standards we need to comply.
Apart from that, there’s also the Bitcoin halving, as well as new and exciting projects that are being built, and they will continue to attract the use cases for the industry going forward.