With technology advancing exponentially, traditional business infrastructure is being increasingly replaced by cloud services. And if some experts are to be believed, it is only a matter of time before such centralized cloud-based systems are overtaken by decentralized ledgers ushering in the era of blockchain technology.
Introduced to protect online information and create streamlined approaches to transactions, blockchain technology also offers an alternative to hard cash in the form of cryptocurrency, essentially creating a new way to secure transaction records, control the creation of coins, and verify coin ownership.
In his interview with Vietcetera, Changpeng Zhao, the founder and CEO of Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange that provides a platform for trading various cryptocurrencies, gives the low-down on Vietnam’s cryptocurrency market.
Binance has a number of products, not just the exchange. Can you share what they are, specifically in regards to how they’re localized for Vietnamese users?
Binance’s mission can be broken down into two main parts. The first is to provide access to crypto liquidity, whether you are trading spot, crypto to crypto, or fiat to crypto. If you want to buy cryptocurrency with Vietnamese dong, you can do it directly on the Binance platform. Binance offers Binance P2P is emerging as a great venue for buyers and sellers of cryptocurrencies using their local currencies. If you’re not an advanced trader looking to trade other spots or more leveraged products, like margin futures, Binance provides access to that too.
The second part of our mission is to provide access to information about crypto. Binance offers a number of products and solutions towards that end including Binance Academy, which is an educational content site, Binance Info and Binance Research. For most of our products, the focus is on localizing content to meet local language preferences.
From the onset, Binance has been offering a variety of products in Vietnamese, whether it be our Trust Wallet for in-app crypto access; Binance Labs for investments; Binance Charity dedicated to the advancement of blockchain-enabled philanthropy; or Launchpad to help raise funds for various projects.
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Are there any noteworthy traits that your team finds about Vietnamese users?
Approximately 40% of users that come into the space engage in and are eager to learn more about different concepts in cryptocurrency, block chains, or trendy topics like Decentralized Finance(DeFi). Binance provides educational content on all of these topics, with Vienam being among the top 10 on the priority list in terms of access to tools and education.
Binance has a very active community in Vietnam, so we make sure to host lots of events and engage with Vietnamese users when possible. Binance also has a number of Vietnamese native speakers on the team who can service these Vietnamese speaking users. So on the scale of things, the Vietnamese community is definitely high up on our priority list for crypto business.
Typically, Binance users are within the 20-45 age range, are keen to try new things, learn about new forms of money and technology, protect their wealth from inflation, and use new forms of assets to transfer wealth around the world.
Although it is still a very much male-dominated community, we’ve seen an increase in the number of female users of late, and this trend towards becoming more inclusive is a very positive sign. In terms of the blockchain ecosystem, Vietnam actually has a very developed ecosystem with lots of software developers who are eager to develop new apps using this new technology, new wallets and new payment infrastructure. It's a pretty vibrant, technology-driven, early-adopter mentality kind of crowd.
What activities can we expect to see in Vietnam from Binance in the near future?
Binance is aggressively pushing P2P trading in Vietnam. We don’t rely on any one bank – it’s all P2P driven. Additionally, we are pushing a lot of DeFi projects and are looking to set up a Vietnamese customer support center.
When expanding and doubling down on markets, what are some positive signals that your team looks out for when making these decisions?
Binance operates based on the feedback we receive from users. Binance listens, analyses and implements changes based on the needs of each respective market. We don't have a master plan or a top-down strategy: everything is relatively dynamic and loose.
What are some key milestones and goals for Binance in Vietnam?
The ultimate goal for Binance is to increase the market share for the crypto industry. Globally, there are probably less than 200,000,000 people who own cryptocurrency. If we grow that number by 2% or 20%, we can grow the space by 200x or 100x respectively.
A much more ambitious goal of reaching 80% of the population is achievable but requires a big push in terms of accessibility. To increase the market share for crypto, Binance is constantly searching for new products and unique strategies to give more people access to information and the actual currency.
In Vietnam, most of the banks are still not openly working with cryptocurrency exchanges. My hope is that the law and regulations change in the next few years giving Vietnamese users access to direct bank deposits for cryptocurrency exchanges. To increase crypto adoption,
Binance typically decides on the strategy based on the local market situation.
Vietnam has a very active community compared to the rest of the world. I would say it’s probably one of the top countries and that’s why it’s one of the top priorities for us to provide as much of a localized product as possible.
Changpeng Zhao, CEO Binance talks about the Cryptocurrency market in Vietnam (with subtitle)
I hope that eventually 80% of the Vietnamese population will use some kind of product that Binance offers. Look at Google as an example. Even if you don’t use Google as a search engine, you probably use Google Maps, or Google Hangouts, or Gmail, or some other product they provide. Similarly, my hope is for Binance to be able to provide a few key infrastructure services in the crypto space that are user-friendly and accessible for the Vietnamese community.
Our wallet product, for example, will have a simple convert feature for people who are not active traders and just want to convert some money from one coin to another, making it an easily accessible every day tool. That said, e-commerce and retail commerce infrastructure have to improve before crypto, and ultimately the Trust Wallet, can become the dominant application.
That’s going to take a couple years. But even today, at the stage we are at, if we combine all of our services from Binance, we probably do have the largest active user base in crypto.