Changpeng Zhao, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, told Bloomberg in an interview that he expects his company to make a net profit of up to $1 billion this year.
He revealed that revenue in the first half of the year was approximately $300 million, and average daily turnover stands at $1.5 billion.
Binance was launched in Beijing in June 2017 but relocated to Hong Kong in September when the Chinese government made it clear that private cryptocurrency outfits were not welcome.
It is trading more than $1.1 billion in cryptocurrency every day at the moment, according to coinmarketcap.com, making it the busiest exchange in the world.
Just barely one year old, the growth of this business has been dramatic. Zhao added in Friday’s interview that Binance now has 10 million registered users – only one month prior that number was 9 million. In March it reported that its user base had exceeded the population of Hong Kong (7.9 million), and in January Zhao told Bloomberg that the exchange was forced to shut down briefly because more than 240,000 people had tried to register in the space of an hour.
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Binance has been aggressive in its expansion. It set up an office in Malta in March, and in April we reported that the exchange’s mere presence on the island had pushed it to the top spot in terms of territories hosting the most cryptocurrency trading. In mid-June the exchange signed of a memorandum of understanding with Jersey, a British overseas territory.
Also in June it announced that it would be offering fiat currency for the first time, launching a new platform for that purpose in Malta. It will most likely begin with a BTC/EUR pair.
The year has not been without problems. The huge amounts of money held in its coffers attracts hackers to Binance like bees to flowers. The worst example was in March, when hackers executed a the final phase of a plan that apparently began in January. Over the three-month period they had tricked customers into revealing their wallet passwords, and they then used these accounts to purchase as much VIA (a low-value cryptocurrency) as they could in two minutes. This pushed the price up by approximately 10,000 percent and 31 pre-paid accounts were waiting to sell off the VIA.
No money was stolen however, as the exchange had an automatic safety mechanism that halted all withdrawals. Furthermore, the team offered $250,000 for information leading to a hacker being captured.
Last week too the exchange was forced to halt trading because of reports of irregular transactions with a certain token, SYS.