Binance Reveals ‘Venus’ — Its Own Project To Rival Facebook’s Libra (#GotBitcoin?)
Top cryptocurrency exchange Binance is launching an open blockchain project “Venus” focused on developing localized stablecoins worldwide. Binance Reveals ‘Venus’ — Its Own Project To Rival Facebook’s Libra (#GotBitcoin?)
In an announcement published today, Aug. 19, the exchange argues it is well-positioned to launch such a currency ecosystem in light of its existing public chain technology, Binance Chain, wide user base and already established global compliance measures.
Leveraging Existing Know-How
The exchange says it is seeking partnerships with governments, corporations, technology firms, and other cryptocurrency and blockchain projects in order to develop a new currency ecosystem that will empower both developed and developing countries
The exchange’s vision for the project, per the announcement, is to “build a new open alliance and sustainable community” that enlists partners who wield influence on a global scale.
Binance Chain, as the announcement notes, has already been running several native asset-pegged stablecoins, including a Bitcoin (BTC)-pegged stablecoin (BTCB) and the Binance BGBP Stable Coin (BGBP) pegged to the British Pound.
Binance says it will leverage its existing infrastructure and experience with various regulatory regimes to consolidate a compliance risk control system and build a multi-dimensional cooperation network for the Venus project.
Vying With Libra
Binance’s ambitious new venture appears to compete directly with plans from social media titan Facebook to launch a fiat-pegged stablecoin, Libra, that would power a global crypto payments network embedded into the company’s three wholly-owned apps: WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram.
With its choice of name, “Venus,” Binance is also stepping into the astrological waters of both Facebook’s Libra project and the Winklevoss Twins’ Gemini exchange and Gemini dollar.
Binance Unveils Its First Crypto Lending Service Launching This Month
Major crypto exchange Binance will launch its first crypto lending product on Aug. 28, 2019.
According to an official announcement on Aug. 26, holders of Binance coin (BNB), Ethereum Classic (ETC) and Tether (USDT) will be able to lend their assets and earn interest through Binance’s new service called Binance Lending.
The services will be available for subscription from Aug. 28 till Aug. 29, Binance noted in the announcement. Lending products will have an initial 14-day period. BNB will have the highest annualized interest rate of 15% while the rates for USDT and ETC amount to 10% and 7%, respectively.
The first interest calculation period will be from Aug. 29 till Sept. 10. Binance added that interest payout time will take place immediately after the loan term matures. The annualized interest rates for upcoming phases will be adjusted based on market reception during this initial phase, the company stated.
Binance Gives An Example:
“If User A subscribes to 10 lots of BNB Lending (total lend of 100 BNB), the interest earned at maturity date will be 0.057534 BNB x 10 = 0.57534 BNB.”
Also today, Binance updated its Lending FAQ by adding a new section “Binance Lending Service Agreement,” claiming that the Binance Lending assets will be used in cryptocurrency leveraged borrowing business on Binance.com.
BitMEX ‘Congratulates’ Binance on Plagiarizing Its Futures Platform Doc
The team at Seychelles-registered crypto exchange BitMEX have accused fellow exchange Binance of plagiarizing BitMEX documents as part of its recent futures testnet launch.
On Sept. 4, the platform published a sarcastic tweet, stating:
“Congrats on the Testnet Futures launches @binance. Glad to see you enjoyed reading our documentation as much as we enjoyed writing it!”
The tweet included screenshots of Binance’s overview of the Auto Deleveraging system for its new futures contracts, in which the text is virtually word-for-word identical to that of BitMEX:
“Just change it a little so it doesn’t look so obvious”
BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes himself half-jestingly commented on the incident with a meme, insinuating that if you’re in the plagiarism game, you have to at least do it with some finesse:
Arthur Hayes tweets in reference to plagiarism accusations against Binance crypto exchange. Source: @CryptoHayes
The affair quickly drew the involvement of Binance’s own CEO, Changpeng Zhao, who swiftly confessed:
“Shame on us. 😂 Sorry about that. Missed this in the DD process before the acquisition (didn’t read the BitMex docs ourselves). Will fix/remove ASAP.”
CZ’s policy of “owning it” drew virtually unanimous approval on crypto Twitter — with some going so far as to imply that such copy-paste practices are part and parcel of the pressures to rapidly build out new products and services in the fast-growing industry:
One community member’s response to Binance’s plagiarism. Source: @Coinmarketscam
Hayes himself took a conciliatory tone, tweeting to CZ:
The Exchange Business
As reported earlier this week, Binance has just launched two new futures trading platforms in testing mode, having rolled out the platform’s first crypto lending product earlier this month. The full futures platform is expected to launch in September, according to CZ.
This summer, BitMEX‘s Hayes has been fielding allegations from staunch crypto critic Nouriel Roubini, who criticized the exchange’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations and even suggested it was violating United States securities laws.
BitMEX is also currently under investigation by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) over suspicions it has facilitated trading on its platform by U.S. residents.
Early Tester Finds Both Binance Futures Platforms ‘Currently Unusable’
Bitcoin futures offerings from cryptocurrency exchange Binance have come in for criticism as a pre-release tester identifies major flaws.
Rocky Start For Binance PR Move
In a series of tweets on Sept. 6, the account known as doublejump said both the options currently under consideration by Binance lacked basic features, which are essential for ease of use.
As Cointelegraph reported, Binance has released two separate versions of its futures trading platform for testing by users, and plans to reward those who test and correctly vote for the winner.
Platform A came from Binance’s own development team, while Platform B stemmed from exchange JEX, which Binance recently bought.
According to doublejump, however, neither is currently fit for purpose.
“Platform A is unusable because of its contract size granularity, but does have a nice interface and decent specifications otherwise. Platform B is not documented well and has an unwieldy leverage system,” the account summarized.
Competition On The Horizon
Further doubts focused on Binance’s choice of reference for Bitcoin (BTC) exchange rates. Doublejump noted the sources include HitBTC, while others involve Huobi, Bittrex and Binance itself.
While it remains unknown when the futures platform will launch, competition is set to increase this month with the launch of Bakkt’s physically-traded futures.
This week, meanwhile, Binance found itself in hot water after it emerged its futures documentation was copied from an existing offering by derivatives giant BitMEX.
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