Episode 81: Is Binance the Google of Crypto? Interview with Founder CZ


EPISODE 81: Is Binance the Google of Crypto? | Interview with Founder CZ

Today BitBoy and JChains are very excited to have CZ from Binance on the show. Along with CZ, they discuss Chainlink hitting an all time high, India getting its crypto ban lifted, and they discuss outdoor activities.

This week on Beards and Bitcoins:

CZ aka Chengpeng Zhao is on the show today. The interview is very interesting. We cover topics including, Bitcoin, TRON, Steemit, keeping your cryptocurrency on exchanges, & much more.

Token Time this week features Chainlink (LINK) –   https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/chainlink/

For Token Time the boys talk about Chainlink managing to hit a new ATH despite the fact Bitcoin has not really gone up.

This week for News Break, we discuss how India’s crypto ban getting lifted can affect the blockchain world. India will outnumber China in population soon.

For Manspreading today, the boys talk about what they plan on doing once the weather gets a little warmer including chilling on the lake & hunting.


Bitcoin, Chainlink, LINK, BNB, TRON, Binance, Chengpeng Zhao, TRON, Justin Sun, India, Crypto Ban, RBI, Hunting, Swimming, Texas, Jacob’s Swell, Wimberley, Texas

This episode is sponsored by Monarch Wallet. Crypto Starts Here.

Monarch Wallet now features the world’s first decentralized recurring crypto payment service, Monarch Pay. Designed to make receiving and paying recurring crypto payments safer, faster, and easier for consumers and merchants alike.

To learn more about MonarchPay and how to get started, visita MonarchPay.com

Unite the Crypto Community!

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JChains: @CryptoJChains


Episode 81: Is Binance the Google of Crypto | Interview with Founder CZ


JChains: Hey guys, thank you for tuning into this week’s episode of Beards and Bitcoins. We are a podcast bringing you news, information, and stories to help spread the awareness of cryptocurrency. If you like what you hear, please leave a rate and review on your favorite podcast delivery service and you can also share your favorite episodes on social media. We greatly appreciate it. And don’t forget to go over to our website, beardsandbitcoins.com where you can sign up for the 21 Bitcoin Best Practices Guide and it’s totally free. All it takes is your email, we won’t spam you, promise. Alright, we got a special episode this week, we interviewed the founder and CEO of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance. That’s right, you know him as CZ. For News Break, we’re going to talk about India’s Supreme Court reversing the ban on cryptocurrency and on Token Time, it’s all about L-I- N-K. That’s right, baby, Chainlink, everyone’s favorite right now. And then don’t forget our segment on Manspreading, we’re going to talk about our favorite outdoor activity. So, you make sure that you pick your favorite choice on the crypto Twitter poll. That’s something we do every week. So, make sure you’re subscribed to our account. It’s @BeardsBitcoins. Alright, thanks again for joining us. We hope you enjoy the episode.

BitBoy: Hello everyone and welcome to Beards and Bitcoins, the Crypto Podcast for the man’s man and the women who love them. We have an absolutely huge show for you guys, today. We have one of the biggest interviews we have ever done. We have CZ from Binance on the show today. We’ve interviewed John McAfee, we’ve interviewed Paul, we’ve interviewed Andreas Antonopoulos, we got a lot of big guests, but this one may be the biggest one. So well, what did you think about the interview, Justin?

JChains: Yo, I thought it was really cool. It was fun to talk to CZ, learned some good insights into some of the ways that Binance might go about some things. I also learned, I was today years old when I learned Bermuda shorts were called ‘Bermuda shorts’ because it’s like the suit bottom dress code. It’s the weirdest thing.

BitBoy: The formal wear in Bermuda?

JChains: Yeah, shorts that short shorts, a shirt, a sport coat, and then tall socks to the knees with your dress shoes.

BitBoy: Yeah, I had no idea when he said that I was shocked. So that is definitely something in an interview. You guys are going to want to check out watching CZ talk about dress code. But that’s not all that we get into. We ask him tough questions for sure. In this interview, we asked him about what is going on with Steemit? With Binance making voting decisions on behalf of the people to hold money on their exchange, he has some really interesting things to say about exchanges in general and their use. So, something I actually like, there was a good point that he made you guys are definitely going to want to hear in regards to are you safer with your money on exchanges? Or are you safer with it on your own personal wallet? He had a very interesting point I think you guys are going to want to hear. We also get into Binance the next evil empire, like Google?

JChains: $1 million.

BitBoy: That’s my favorite. That’s my favorite GIF on the internet. $1 million dollars. Yeah, so definitely some stuff you guys are going to want to check out. But before we get into the interview, we’re going to be talking a lot of different stuff, today. We’re going to be talking about the India situation, we’re going to be talking about Chainlink for our show or according to the day for Token Time and then we’re going to be talking in Manspreading about, it’s getting a little warmer, well, it’s not getting warmer weather. It’s getting “I’m for warmer weather’, want to know about your favorite outdoor activities, but before we do, we need to talk about our sponsor of the show, Monarch, very excited to have them as a sponsor. And we want to thank them, the Beards and Bitcoins Crypto Podcast is brought to you by Monarch Wallet, rule your own financial Kingdom from the palm of your hand.

JChains: That is right, sir. The team at Monarch is working hard to bring you the one app to access all of the best crypto services. And these guys, they believer in delivering tech, not hype.

BitBoy: Absolutely, with the Universal Decentralized Monarch Wallet. You can buy, store, spend, and earn crypto with Monarch Pay, you can set up and accept recurring crypto payments.

JChains: That is right. So, for more information, make sure that you check out monarchwallet.com or monarchtoken.io today to get more information about Monarch.

BitBoy: That’s right. And since we got a big interview to get to, let’s go and kick it off with News Break.



JChains: All right for News Break today, something that just came out Wednesday, the country of India, the Royal Bank of India has overturned the central bank ban on trading virtual currencies and having fiat on ramps. This is huge.

BitBoy: Yeah, definitely, definitely huge. But you know what I keep thinking about?

JChains: No.

BitBoy: RBI baseball from Nintendo. Do you remember that game?

JChains: Oh my gosh, so long ago.

BitBoy: That was such a great game.

JChains: That was a good game. But most importantly, there’s what? 3 billion people in the population of India? I mean, this opens up one–

BitBoy: I think it’s like 1.5 million?

JChains:  I’m dyslexic. So, I had my numbers backwards. 1.3 million is the population of India. So that I mean, right there, the user base can really start to grow for mass adoption.

BitBoy: Yeah. And I think you know, one thing that people need to understand and I talked about that there’s a little bit different week on my channel, which is India in four years in 2024. India is going to be the world’s most populated country, it’s going to be bigger than China and about, I don’t know? Maybe about half the size geographically? You know, I’d be very interested to see what percentage of the size like India is compared to China in terms of its border, but population wise it’s going to be bigger than China by 2024. And by 2050, it’s not going to be close, it’s going to dwarf China. So you’re talking about bringing in an absolutely huge amount of people into crypto.

JChains: Yes. So, a little fact check. China is approximately 9.5 million square kilometers. While, India is approximately 3.2 million square kilometers.

BitBoy: So, you’re talking about a third of the size with more people?

JChains: It’s crazy.

BitBoy: Yeah.

JChains: it’s high density.

BitBoy: China has a lot of areas that it’s kind of like, just out in the country, I guess? It’s kind of what we would say, villages and things like that. I’m not sure about India how, I know in the northern area of India, I know there’s a lot of mountains and stuff like that. But they’re just people living on top of each other like crazy there, so.

JChains: I don’t mean to be rude and I know that we’re kind of going way off topic here but like in the country, in China, do you think they like to have pickup trucks and mullets?

BitBoy: That’s not rude. I think that’s actually a compliment to them. Yeah, I definitely do think so. They’re chugging 40s, riding around in some trucks with mullets, shooting birds out in the sky with shotguns I can see it happening. I mean, that’s what we do here, right?

BitBoy: That’s right. Absolutely. But, you know, I actually have a good friend of mine who is Indian. He lives here, but he’s actually over in India right now, which is very interesting, because I asked him, big shout out to old Haji Paj on Crypto Twitter. He’s a friend from real life that I have before I ever got into crypto. And he said that, while he’s there, or people talking about this here? He said, ‘No clue.’ He said ‘The people in the country don’t even know that this is going on’ and I said, ‘Man, that’s actually great news’, because I do know there are people in India that own cryptocurrency. This doesn’t affect the individual person being able to own crypto that much. What this law is going to do is allow, first of all, it’s going to be easier for people to buy crypto there, but there’s going to open it up for blockchain development in India. And that’s really big and since there’s not a lot of development going on there right now, which is weird because their the leading software places in the world that once this area gets opened up more people are going to know about it. So when he told me, he was like ‘people here don’t really know about it.’ I was like ‘Man, that means that this is a huge opportunity for crypto to really explode there.’

JChains: Yeah, I thought that you know in the interview with CZ, when he had said, one less than 1% of the population is into crypto or owns any kind of crypto. I mean, it’s just mind blowing to think, we’ve got countries that are this large, I mean, with billions of people, and still, nobody knows about it or has any kind of idea how to interact with it. So, I mean, like, when you say,’ Oh, it’s just the beginning, it’s the Wild West,’ like, that is legitimately true. Like, we are still so early, there is a lot of work to be done, I’ll tell you that. But definitely, when you see news like this, when countries are saying, okay– because I don’t know if you remember, was it back, it was like at the tail of 2017 into 2018, that was like the biggest hype news could drop make or break your project at that point. I remember working in the exchange back then, and this was like the big news, India banned all cryptocurrency and it was like, ‘oh, my goodness’ that was a detriment to the kind of to the industry, but I think it’s a step in the right direction now.

BitBoy: Yeah, I think it is the bare minimum, that’s what it is. The bare minimum, it is a step in the right direction and I think that’s great. But speaking of right directions, let’s check out Chainlink.



BitBoy: Alright guys, today, we’re going to be talking about Chainlink. Now this is one of the most popular cryptos right now, it’s top 15 cryptocurrency at the moment I think it’s coming in– Where’s it coming in at Justin? I think number 12 or 13?

JChains: On CoinGecko.com it is actually coming in at number 11.

BitBoy: I was selling it short. Yeah, believe it or not when nobody shorting Chainlink right now, but I do want to mention if you guys want us to cover a coin or cover a token, we’re going to be covering Chainlink today, I think that it’s very important for you guys to know that we have a Telegram group, Beards and Bitcoins, you can get to that Telegram group by going to t.me/beardsandbitcoins.com and Oh no, that’s not right. It’s just t.me/beardsandbitcoins. There’s no ‘.com’ there and you guys can go in there and tell us what coins you want us to talk about. I know a lot of people are excited about Chainlink because it just actually recently hit a brand new all-time high and Bitcoin’s not even really moving right now and it just had an all-time high, it’s coming in right now it almost five bucks, 4.78 just had a little dip before 67. What do you think about Chainlink making big moves even though we’ve been in a bear slash very beginning or maybe of a bull?

JChains: Man, I think it’s pretty good. In full disclosure I got myself a bag of it I think little baby bag. I mean it’s not a moon bag. But I believe in it man. I think, I wouldn’t say that there was, there was a little bit of hype around it, I think probably you know a couple months ago when things were starting to really get cooking. I mean if you take a look at the all-time low, I think you know 14 cents about two years ago right before the crazy Bull Run happened. I mean, there was a big potential to make a ton of money if you knew about this back then but I think the sentiment of Chainlink is great. If you look at it again, I’ll keep referencing Coin Gecko. I’m a big fan of Coin Gecko. I don’t use CoinMarketCap, that’s just a personal opinion. But I mean if you look at the sentiment on Chainlink right now 85% of people got the thumbs up. So, I think the way that I feel, a lot of people feel the same way you’re excited about it. I think there’s a lot of potential, it’s got a lot of potential in the near future. So, we’ll see what they can rally and get going there. But I like the project. I like everything they’re doing and I wish nothing but the best.

BitBoy: Yeah, you actually found some interesting numbers before we started. You know, getting into this. What is Chainlink up over the last 365 days? You guys are going to be shocked at this.

JChains: So, if you look at the one year, it’s up 988%, almost 1000 almost a 10 X in the last year, not 2020 in the last 365 days, which is crazy.

BitBoy: It really is. And It just makes you wonder like, it’s so weird when you have coins like this that just all of a sudden just start just pumping. I know obviously it’s not overnight pumps over last year, but like, I mean, okay, so Chainlink is a project that has these things called ‘Chainlink Oracles’ and these are basically mechanisms that allow off-chain data to be able to communicate with on-chain data. So if you’re a company and you have like a bunch of data, customer information, or logistic stuff and you want to migrate that over to blockchain there really hasn’t been a way to do that other than maybe manually doing it. But through these Oracles, these Chainlink Oracles, this data is able to transfer over to blockchain. So, what it’s supposed to do is ease with the transition from traditional data input, data sources, data storage over to blockchain, which is great, this is great for blockchain. It really makes it where blockchain is going to be able to be more widely used. But like, does that sound like something that’s like, ‘Oh, this is the greatest coin in crypto’? I mean, I, it’s hard for me to really wrap my mind around, like what really causes these coins to kind of get far ahead. Because we know there’s not a huge correlation in crypto between products and the price.

JChains: Yeah, no, I mean, it’s interesting. It’s like, you’ll see a product who will ink a deal with like IBM, or some other huge supply chain and who was that? I mean, that was maybe a year and a half ago, whatever.

BitBoy: Stellar.

JChains: Stellar. Thank you. You know, it didn’t really do much for the project and I think ultimately, the whole blockchain solution thing through IBM kind of went by the wayside because whoever that guy was, I think he was replaced or he stepped down or something like that. So, you know, it’s really interesting to see how like you said, like, they’re just not pushing out hype, they’re slowly building this thing up. Yeah, I don’t know.

BitBoy: Yeah, it’s, it’s mind boggling. I mean, it’s really when you’re trying to actually sit down and like, put a reason to it, it’s hard to do, you know. And I mean, like, there’s certain people who have been pushing Chainlink for a long time on crypto Twitter. And they’re having their day in the sun right now. But the thing is we’ve seen every other project have a group of people that say, this is the next project. So, what is it that makes Chainlink different? It’s a very interesting idea to think about and look at, but before we get to the interview with CZ, let’s just take a minute and be dudes.

JChains: I love this time. This is my favorite. I think this is my favorite part of the show.



JChains: Alright, ladies and gentlemen. Mostly gentlemen.

BitBoy: Mostly Gentlemen.

JChains: Mostly gentleman. So, this week for Manspreading, we talked about this at the beginning of the show. Ben and I both live in warm climates. So, it’s relatively warm all year round. But if you don’t, that means that you’re probably suffering from seasonal depression

BitBoy: Cabin Fever.

JChains: Cabin fever, but that’s all going to end pretty soon here. I mean, we’re getting to the middle of March, Spring is in the air, flowers are blooming. We don’t care about flowers because we’re men. It’s time to get outside, get some fresh air, and do some fun stuff. So, Ben, let me ask you a question. When it comes to nice weather activities outside, what are you doing to spend your time?

BitBoy: Yeah, so I like, I mean, my kids are in sports and we’re always outside with the kids sports and I like to play pickleball, I played Dolman softball, I haven’t played in about a year or two but I like to do a lot of those activities but I would have to say that like, my favorite thing where I just get outside and get to do nature, doesn’t actually hit until the fall, which I like to hunt. I’m a big hunter. I like to go out there and shoot some deer skis, if you’re not a fan of hunting, then screw off. No, I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding. I know a lot of people don’t like it, but when I go out and I hunt and if I get deer or a turkey, whatever the case may be, then I’m going to eat it, then we’re going to feed my family. A deer will feed your family for so long, we’ll eat it all fall and winter long, most years. I didn’t actually get to get out and get this year because I’ve just been so busy or over the last season. So definitely looking forward when the weather gets warmer, and then cools down a little bit more in the fall to go out and go hunting because that’s the way I really like to kind of get down with nature, I guess you could say. But what about you, J? What do you like to do?

JChains: Man, I live in a city where there is no shortage of things to do when the weather’s nice. I mean we like to get the inflatable paddle boards, go out and float the river here. Grab the tube, go down to a couple cities south and actually float the lazy river. So, we’re outside pretty much all summer. Again, man, it’s really hard to pick down one thing I like to play golf as well. Especially when it’s nice but not too hot. But I think if I have to pick my number one for the sake of our Twitter poll this week, I’m going to say camping. Because with camping, comes drinking coffee in the morning outside, whether you’re in the mountains by the lake, whatever, a fire at night, you’re grilling your food over the fire, which is super cool. Just outside, and especially when you’re in the mountains, man, there’s nothing better than mountain air in the morning. So, for me, it’s camping, and kind of the associated activities that go along with camping.

BitBoy: So, I want to ask you a question. You said you like to go float down the river, you’re in Texas, obviously. I want to know, have you heard about Jacob’s Well?

JChains: Yeah.

BitBoy: I want to know what you know about this place.

JChains: all I know, I have not been there. I don’t think that I’ve been there. But I do know that it’s a beautiful swim spot, if I’m not mistaken.

BitBoy: Yeah. Well, this is something I got down a rabbit trail on the internet rabbit trail, like trying to hunt this down and basically, it’s a place’ Phantom Springs Cave’ is where this is in and it’s in, yeah, it’s in Texas. I think it’s near.

JChains: Wimberly is like, probably 30 minutes West of where I am.

BitBoy: Okay, nice and these are some of the biggest underwater caves in the world and they go back for miles and miles and miles. But there’s a place where you can kind of jump into the water hole there, where it’s basically bottomless.

JChains: Yeah, it’s super cool. There’s actually a couple of them, there’s Hamilton pool that’s like that, which is not too far right at Mt. Bonelle Road, I think? There’s a couple of really cool spots and I didn’t know that, I lived in Austin for a few years before I understood that. There are a lot of intricate cave systems around here like you said, connect these springs in these bodies of water.

BitBoy: Yeah, so you may not know this, but those underwater caves there, there’s actually been a lot of deaths. It’s like a place where scuba divers go to be challenging and to go underwater and try to go back. I think it goes back like three miles or something? But a lot of people have actually died doing that. Have you heard anything about that?

JChains: Yeah, there’s like the urban legends and the folklore is and then yeah, there’s the cases where you hear things, but I’m not actually, I’m not a scuba diver. So, I feel like that’s probably one of those things that stays within their community. There’s a whole community of like the scuba divers, the spelunkers, like feel that do like all that?

BitBoy: I like to talk about spelunking, because I got a crazy spelunking story, not me but about a guy that died spelunking, that’s a dangerous thing. A lot of these outdoor activities can be very dangerous.

JChains: They are. So, exercise with caution, ladies and gentlemen.

BitBoy: That’s right. Absolutely. So well, that is all we got for Manspreading today. We know you guys are you know, waiting to get into this interview. We appreciate you sticking with us before we get to it for you guys that went ahead and skipped ahead and are just now getting to this part because you’re skipping through, you did the wrong thing, you should have listened to the whole show. But let’s go ahead and get into it. Here’s our interview with CZ from Binance.


21:07 Interview with CZ from Binance

BitBoy: Alright guys, today we are joined by one of the most popular and fascinating people in crypto CZ from Binance. And we’re very excited to talk to him about there’s a lot of current events stuff going on and then we kind of want to get an overview of what’s going on with Binance in general. Welcome to the show.

CZ: Thank you for having me, it’s a pleasure.

BitBoy: Definitely. So we want to start out by asking you just kind of generally about the direction of Binance, the direction of where you feel like Bitcoin is going because everybody’s been anticipating the price of bitcoin going up and then we’ve really hit some two moments of bearishness over the last few weeks. You know, there’s a lot of stuff going on in the world but what is your general overview or idea of where Bitcoin is going?

CZ: I think the direction is very up. But I think basically, if you look at a longer time horizon, Bitcoin’s fundamentally has not changed at all, the use cases, the number of people using it, the adoption rate is just increasing. So, cryptocurrency will be here to stay. If you look at 20-30-50 years from now, it’ll be used everywhere. So, we’re not worried about the general direction of where it’s going. I think right now, there’s only probably 0.1% of the population who have crypto? So less than 1000. So, there’s a lot of room to grow and also, I think, cryptos are not just going to replace Fiat, you will have a lot more news cases that Fiat couldn’t do. So, this is like, you can do a lot more with the internet than you could do with fiscal letters, right? So, I think I think there’s a lot of potential there, so we’re not really worried about that. Short term pricing, there’s always fluctuations, shorter time frames one year, we’re looking pretty good. If you look at a couple of weeks, yeah, the fluctuations, but that’s just part of the market, right? So that’s just the overall market, every market’s like that, they are bound to be fluctuations. Given cryptos is a smaller market cap, so it fluctuates a little bit more, because it’s a smaller boat. But that’s just the nature of the game. So, I’m not worried about that. We have so much stuff going on. Yeah, like, the stuff we’re building. And

BitBoy: Tell us about some of the stuff. We’d love to hear about it.

CZ: Sure. I mean, well just in the last three days, right? So, there’s the India Fiat now.

BitBoy: Alright.

CZ: A day after the Supreme Court ruled that banks should be servicing cryptocurrencies, or at least they should not ban it. A day later, we now have bank deposits for India rubles. So, that’s pretty big. That’s a big country, by the way. So, and there’s always a lot of stuff happening. There’s three or four major announcements coming in March. So, all of them are major like, all of them are pretty big chunk like products, not just small features. So, yeah, we’ll definitely let you know and give you a chance to announce those.

BitBoy: Awesome.

JChains: So as you start to see some company like say things like India thing. Did you have any idea that that was happening so behind the scenes you could have your team working to get ready, so once you know once they kind of go live with ‘Alright, this isn’t illegal’ you guys are writing right in the background ready to just launch?

CZ: Honestly, no. So we have a fairly independent team locally, led by Michelle, she’s a CEO of WeatherX, which is a team we acquired.

BitBoy: Right. Quite had a big pump.

CZ: Yeah, so they have their own token etc. So, but we actually honestly didn’t know we’re just praying that it will be good. And we actually didn’t know how good he will be or which parts they will allow, which part would not allow. But those guys have been following very closely. So, what they abled yesterday was just a very quick temporary measure of letting people deposit using bank accounts. Next week, we’re going to have instant deposits through like, if you deposit you get it right away. So, it’s happening. So, we weren’t fully prepared for it, but we knew that it could go either way and if it goes one way, then we’ll be pushing really aggressively, so now it’s very positive.

BitBoy: Yeah, that’s exciting and I mean, we’re starting to see a lot of a lot of stuff around the world. This has been a very busy week for Bitcoin and crypto around the world yet the stuff with India then of course, you also had I think South Korea had some news as well and then Australia and Germany, both legitimize Bitcoin is basically a legal currency. And so a lot of stuff is going on and I understand you guys have a lot of features coming up on Binance. Definitely excited to hear more about that. But here’s a question I want to ask, okay? A lot of people compare Binance to the ‘Google of Crypto’. They say that’s what you guys are trying to be is Google. You’re trying to do everything and having new features that kind of lines up with that. But this is what I’ll say about Google. I think most people consider them to be an evil empire at this point. Most people think that Google is not actually doing positive things, they’re helping to spy on us, advertising, all of those things. What are you guys doing to try to prevent yourself from going down this road from being at first, as really popular crypto exchange where people are able to use it, and they’re excited about it to now, some people are having some questions about some things you are doing, like, what are you guys doing to make sure that your image stays as someone who’s trying to do something good for crypto?

CZ: Sure. I think basically, fundamentally, I think there’s a few different parts to this, a few different solutions to that problem, or question. Number one is, I think, historically, most cryptocurrency exchanges had a bad rep already. So, we actually were one of the very first ones and one of the very few ones to actually have a pretty decent rep up exchange because we’re very user centric. So, everything we do we think about the user, what would the user want. But even with that, after going to a certain point, there are always going to be some guys or some things you do that takes balances and some people will complain. I think there’s some fundamental, clearly fundamental principles like user privacy, user rights, etc., that we will not touch at all. There are other issues where, for example, if the users from a sanctioned country but the sanction is issued by a very powerful country, the United States, we’ll have to comply and those users, we kind of help those users. So those trade-offs which we have to make, which is kind of those balances, and some users will complain. And once you get to a really big size and people do think you’re evil because people usually side with a smaller debit. So that’s a little bit hard to avoid completely. But I think fundamentally in our heart, as long as we always follow our principles of providing what the users want and protecting the users’ interest, rights, protecting their funds, making sure they have an easy to use and safe platform, and we try to stay neutral. We don’t make decisions for them. So, this is an incident that you probably know about with Steem that was a mistake. So, we backed out of it. So that was something that was honestly, we did something we didn’t know, but it happens, but we acknowledge and we apologize, we backed out of it. So hopefully, as we continue to do that people will see our values to the fact that we actually always align with our users. So that’s the best we can do.

JChains: Yes, I know that we probably want to get into the whole SteemIt thing in a few minutes, but kind of just going back really quick to ask you a question about, kind of mass adoption and as we start to see more countries accept Bitcoin and cryptocurrency and stuff. Do you ever see crypto as an everyday currency for any one of these countries? Or do you think it’s just going to remain an asset that’s speculative?

CZ: I absolutely think it’s going to be that everyday usage currency. And it may or may not be Bitcoin because the Bitcoin blockchain is 10-minute confirmations, but Bitcoins pretty secure that is quite hard to reverse, it may have zero confirmations. We have not seen a reversal of confirmation of transactions for a long, long, long time.

BitBoy: But you talked about trying it once.

CZ: It was proposal that was proposed to me, I mean I was thinking about it. I never said I’m going to do it. And to be honest, even if I tried, there’s no chance it’s possible. So, it is very secure. So, in that sense, so I think but fundamentally, I think cryptocurrency will get there where everyday people use it, instead. It’s just like when we use WeChat or like, WhatsApp to chat or when we use Twitter, we don’t think about sending letters to other people. So, I think we’ll definitely get to that point with cryptocurrencies versus fiat today.

BitBoy: So, you guys heard it here first CZ, the founder of the world’s biggest altcoin exchange, not a Bitcoin maximalist. You guys heard it first. I’m also not a Bitcoin maximalist by any stretch of imagination, but I agree with you, it’s the most secure network. We know it’s the biggest name brand in crypto, but obviously, like in terms of being a digital currency, the sentiment and direction of it hasn’t gone that way. And then fundamentally, it doesn’t line up for that right now either. But I do want to come back to the SteemIt situation. And I think there’s a bigger issue here, which is when people talk about ‘not your keys, not your crypto’ I’m sure you know that phrase very well, people talk about not keeping their money on exchanges. And the reason for that would be if an exchange got hacked, you guys have been very good when you have been hacked about making sure customer funds have been safu, as you say and coined the term. But we’re starting to see now with staking options, that you’re actually giving power to the exchanges to make decisions on your behalf and so that’s basically what happened in this SteemIt situation is that  you guys use the steam that was on the exchange, to make a decision on behalf of the people that were holding it on the exchange and how does that kind of work with the dynamic where you said that, we don’t want to be, you know, taking crypto in certain directions, but then at the same time, like, I know, you said it was a mistake, but you guys have the power to do that and  regardless of this one situation or not.

CZ: Yeah. So, I think again, there’s a few different points in there. I think fundamentally, let’s address the later points first. Yes, the exchanges, the centralized exchanges are easier to use and are preferred by most users or a majority of users. That’s very clear from the number of transaction volumes, the number of users, etc. So basically, the users vote with their money, right? So basically, they said, ‘Look, we want to use centralized exchanges’. And that’s just the way our current world works. So, there’s a lot of work to do on decentralized exchanges, custodian wallets, partially non-custodial wallets, etc. And we have a lot of investments in those spaces as well and we want to push for that as well. So, I think fundamentally, and also for regular users today, most of you do choose to use a centralized exchange to hold currency. So, because it’s easier, it is actually safer. A lot of people lose their own cryptocurrency when they hold it on themselves, not because of the technology, but because of themselves, right? They just don’t have the capability or the technical ability to hold it and hold it in a secure fashion. They lose it, they get hacked, all kinds of stuff happening.

BitBoy: Interesting point. That’s a very interesting point.

CZ: So, like, I’ve heard so many, like our customers before deal with so many guys calling us, ‘Hey, I just withdrew the coins in my own wallet two days ago and couldn’t find it anymore. I lost my backup, my phone reset’ all that kind of stuff, right? So yeah, actually happens a lot more, but they happen on a smaller scale with many people so that it doesn’t get really reported.

BitBoy: Right.

CZ: So, it’s not to say why it’s more safer than the other. I think for anybody who’s technically capable of backing up their seed, backing up their private keys, you store them in a secure fashion. And those guys should, if they want, they really should hold their own coins. But if those guys want to trade then regardless what people want or not, but today, the number of users using centralized exchanges are much larger, much larger probably like a couple of magnitudes larger.

BitBoy: Yeah,

CZ: This brings me to the next point which is like governance, voting, staking. So Binance is the first exchange to say, hey, look, you know, we look at NEO and NEO generates GAS coin, which is valuable. And most exchanges, just whatever is generated, they just keep it and the user gets nothing. We said, well, that’s kind of wrong. So let’s figure out where to calculate how many users have NEO with us and distribute that proportionately to the guys who are holding NEO with us. Because those guys were holding a coin with an exchange that now they’re not losing anything. And when we do that, we don’t charge any fees for it, we don’t take a cut, we give 100% of the GAS generated distribution to our users. So that’s great. So, and then staking is kind of like that, a lot of coins generate interest by staking and we’re now supporting more and more coins. So, we’re still at the early stages of all of these features and voting is a really interesting thing.

BitBoy: It is.

CZ: So now the staking comes voting. So the same thing was– the first occurrence we kind of never really participated in voting. But we’re now faced with a question where we’re discussing internally, how should we support that now? So maybe we should have a vote feature on the platform so that people who hold coins on the platform can vote, and then we can use that vote to vote. So that’s,

BitBoy: I think that’s a fantastic idea.

CZ: Yes. So, but there’s some really interesting impacts, following impacts on that you will, so, for example, in the Steem case, finance holds the swing vote. So Binance is really the large, we’re large enough and we hold the swing vote for sure, by far. So that means, whichever vote we vote, whichever vote wins on our platform is actually going to be the determining vote. What’s going to happen if we do that is it’s going to actually force other people to keep pausing Steem onto Binance to vote because this is the swing vote. For us, great because that attracts more fans to the platform, people may trade more.

BitBoy: But people are going to have a lot of questions about that, like you guys are using that to get people to put their money on exchanges and stuff like that.

CZ: Right. So, there’s some secondary tertiary impacts that we have to think about. But for us, it’s quite easy to provide a feature, say look, if there’s governance, if there’s a vote thing going on, on the chain, we can actually do it on the platform, we’re actually centralizing that. So, there’s some really interesting implications if we do that, so. But fundamentally, though, we don’t make we don’t make decisions for our users. So, we still want our users to make those decisions. We’re just here to provide a platform. So, there are ways we can extend that capability further, to be more refined. Historically, no one else has done it before. So, we’re now facing this kind of question for the first time. But there are solutions. So, we’re looking at that, we’re thinking about it, nothing has been decided. But, there’s some pretty interesting implications.

JChains: I mean talking about Steam, I was going to say,  like, when it comes to the community, obviously, you must probably blocked the most people on crypto Twitter, I can imagine just because you see, like, in some of your posts, you might ask a question and there’s, and again, this is just relates to community about how the ‘shill armies’ like all of a sudden starts shilling their projects and their community when it has zero relevance to whatever it is that you’re talking about, like, what do you feel about that? And like and like what do you do at this point to say like, ‘alright, do you just mute the conversation so you don’t have to hear it anymore’?

CZ: So actually, I gave up trying to mute the shillers. So the guys who are shilling coins or ‘Hey, why don’t you list those projects?’ stuff like that. So, I just don’t respond, I don’t mute them, I don’t block them. They are kind of innocent, to be honest, because a lot of them don’t know our policies, our policies, we don’t really discuss listings, there’s a very standard procedure. Now there’s like– so they go through that. We don’t comment on clients, we don’t say which coins are good or bad. So, we don’t get involved in debates, we stay neutral. So that kind of stuff. The guys are blocked. Mostly, they’re just really negative people, right? So that they come up saying like random stuff, just completely negative. And I, again, I try not to get into debate at all, because I think it’s just a waste of time, my time is better spent building stuff. So for those guys who are obviously negative, they made up their mind, they don’t like us, but they still follow me on Twitter, they’re still trying to try me on my other posts, I click block. Done. So out of sight, out of mind. So, I don’t spend any energy on that, I don’t lose any sleep over that. But it’s actually not a huge number of people that I blocked; I think I’ve only blocked like two to 300 people.

BitBoy: How many followers do you have now?

CZ: I think I’ve 400,000? 450,000? 480,000? So, it’s like I don’t know, I think it’s less than 0.2% right? So yeah, less than .5%.

BitBoy: I have twice that many followers on TikTok.

JChains: Do you do TikTok, CZ?

CZ: I know I’m not a video guy. I kind of Instagram.  I just couldn’t find the graphics every time. So, I’m more of a quick words type of guy, much easier. So, Twitter kind of fits me the best. So yeah.

BitBoy: Yeah, for sure. So yeah, and you’re definitely known to kind of to be your own man and I want to talk about one thing, we want to finish this interview by talking about, we want to get to know you a little bit better. I want to know about the shorts, tell us about the shorts that you wear.

CZ: So, well, there’s a couple of things, right. So, number one, I’m never really fashionable or I’m never really fashionably correct type of guy. So, I’m not going to show up to a suit party worried like, I don’t know, slack or whatever. So, I’ve never really sort of,  I always wear something that’s comfortable. So, I try to make myself comfortable instead of making other people’s eyes comfortable. I really hate suits, ties and stuff like that.

BitBoy: Me too 100% definitely.

CZ: So, but usually I’m also relatively respectful if I’m appearing in public. So, but in Bermuda, I went there, the guy picking me up was like in a suit, tie, and shorts and high socks. I was like, well, that’s pretty interesting. So then, the next day I asked like, well, that’s the formal wear in Bermuda. And that’s why shorts are called Bermudas, right?

BitBoy: Oh, interesting.

CZ: So that’s actually formal wear. And so, I say, well, that’s great. I want to show respect to the local custom. So, I went in, bought a pair, they’re very strict. You can’t have like a really low Tom Hawk that’s just do single pockets? You shouldn’t be too short, and the socks have to come up to your knees, the socks have to be pretty high, etc. So, I bought the whole set and I just would follow the custom, right? So, then I was signing a MOU or some kind of treaty with the Premier David Burt. So I wore shorts but everybody else we’re like, we’ll see. Yeah. That was good, though. That was good. I think that PR exposure was fantastic. Like there’s so much tweeting on social media, even the Chinese social media. So got a lot of exposure. So that’s quite good.

JChains: That’s good. Another personal question about, how’s your back feeling? I know, a couple months ago, you had a back surgery for what, was it a herniated disc? How are you feeling?

CZ: So, the surgery went really well. I feel great, but this is minor complication, which I’m still trying to figure out. I did an MRI afterwards. Once the doctor says it’s a re-herniation like re-coming up with some discs. Some guy says, it looks like an allergy. But I don’t feel anything. I feel great. I can move around. I can jump, well not really jump, I’m not supposed to do that just yet. But I can sit, I can walk, I can do everything. So, there’s a small complication which we’ll figure out. But overall, I think the surgery went really well. I’m actually curious if anyone’s an expert in looking at MRI and can get some expert opinions?

BitBoy: I’m sure on Twitter, you can find an expert on something. Don’t worry.

CZ: Yeah, I didn’t really want to write a tweet before I just said, ‘Hey, can I freak everybody out?’ But since you asked, I said, well, might as well.

JChains: Yeah, I’d say I remember seeing those posts of you saying that you laid in bed for six days. Man, there’s just nothing in the world that could keep me lying in bed for six days. I would have lost my mind.

CZ: Yeah, so those are only six days I laid in bed after that I was up.

BitBoy: So, something we talk a lot about on the show actually is I mean, the show is Beards and Bitcoins, we are the show for the regular guy, you know? And we talk about different things, you know, tools, beer, motorcycles, sports. What would you say you’re into that is like a real manly thing?

CZ: Actually, I always seem to bear motorcycles all of that stuff before. I had, I went through three motorcycles never really crashed in any one of them but just sort of rotated through three motorcycles all secondhand. This is like 12-15 years ago when I was much younger. So, I’m sort of done with the motorcycle thing. I do a lot of outdoor sports, snowboarding, windsurfing. Oh, not very good with surfing, windsurfing is okay, I can go back and forth, kind of not too far from the shore. Surfing, I never really got into it. So, I did all of that when I was quite a bit younger, but now my body doesn’t really let me do that kind of stuff, too.

BitBoy: Yeah.

CZ: So, I missed snowboarding this season. So, I didn’t do anything this season. So, I’m just trying to recover my back doing physical therapy exercises. And I swim a little bit, I haven’t really swam after the surgery, but soon I’ll be able to swim again. But, these days I feel that I don’t really need a lot of other excitement like running exchange is pretty exciting.

JChains: Keeps the blood pumping.

BitBoy: Keep the blood pumping.

JChains: One more question. One more question. So, I know that you recently got the or maybe this was last year you got the Binance tattoo. You got any more plans for more ink? There it is.

CZ: Yep. So yeah, no, I quite like this tattoo. And I think for me, this tattoo makes total sense. It is very meaningful to me. I think basically, regardless of what happens tomorrow, I’m okay with having this tattoo on my body for the rest of my life. Even if I so for example, email me, if I get fired as a CEO of Binance, somebody else is running it. I’m okay with that. Probably make my job, my life better. So, for me, this symbol is very, very meaningful and I’m okay with having on my body. I don’t have a next one just yet and I don’t plan to do another project. So, I want to do this thing for a few more years at least. Llet’s see how this goes.

BitBoy: Well, that is really great. So, you guys heard it here first. When Justin’s son buys Binance and fires CZ, he’s going to be totally good with it. You guys heard it first.

CZ: He needs to be more on CoinMarketCap.

BitBoy: That’s funny. That’s funny.

JChains: That’s awesome.

BitBoy: Well, CZ, thank you so much for joining us. This has been a very informative interview; I feel like we really got to see a different side of you and kind of see kind of the things that go behind the decisions that you guys are making. I think the thing that people need to realize is, the crypto is still so new, that you guys are figuring it out just like we are, and it’s a learning process all the way around. So, we definitely appreciate you for coming on and appreciate you taking the time to do this.

CZ: Thank you. So, thank you so much. Thanks for having me, Ben and Justin. It’s a pleasure.

JChains: Thank you, CZ.


Episode 81: Is Binance the Google of Crypto | Interview with Founder CZ

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