CZ says Binance Australia will arrive ‘early next year’ (but will it?)

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The CEO of the world’s largest exchange has revealed exclusively to Micky that Binance plans to open an Australia branch.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao told Micky during an interview in Singapore this week the company is actively looking at establishing an Australian branch of the exchange.

While ‘Binance Lite’ already operates in Australia, it is not really an exchange – rather it’s a limited service that allows customers to buy a selection of coins at retail outlets with cash.

“It’s not quite the same (as an exchange)” CZ conceded.

“We are looking at different options to turn on Binance Australia,” he said.

“It may not be this year so hopefully early next year sometime we will turn it on.”

About that timeframe…

While it’s not entirely clear, CZ seems to be indicating that Binance Australia won’t open for at least a year.

However, this is the first official confirmation that Binance Australia is under active consideration.

Micky spoke to CZ at a press dinner the day before where he indicated Binance is focusing on larger markets before Australia.

He also told the Binance meetup in Singapore last week, he intended to put most of his efforts in the next six months on onboarding up to 180 new fiat currencies.

SA Premier is a “cool dude”

Micky also pressed CZ for details on Binance’s meeting with South Australian Premier Steven Marshall back in August.

The exchange tweeted a pic of Binance representatives meeting with the Premier (who was wearing a Binance cap) saying that Adelaide is the perfect place to BUIDL a blockchain city.

It turns out that Binance partner TravelbyBit is installing crypto payment terminals in numerous businesses in Adelaide’s main thoroughfare, Rundle Street and Rundle Mall.

“Yeah, our team was there, but I wasn’t there myself,” CZ said.

“So I actually don’t know all the details. From all the feedback I’ve got, Steven is a really cool guy.

“I think you live in a country where the Prime Minister is a really cool dude.”

Binance CFO Wei Zhou was keen to clarify straight after the interview that CZ was referring to the SA Premier as a “cool dude” and not the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (which is inaccurate on a number of levels).

“We’re an apolitical organisation, we don’t get involved in politics, we just support all politicians,” Zhou said.

Full details announced this week

The official launch announcement about South Australia’s new ‘crypto street’ is expected on November 22 during the SouthStart technology conference in Adelaide.

TravelbyBit CEO Caleb Yeoh told Micky that up to 20 businesses in Rundle Street and Rundle Mall are being equipped to take cryptocurrency payments.

The technology is being offered to businesses free by TravelByBit as a way to encourage adoption. It will enable shoppers to pay for goods with a US dollar stablecoin, Bitcoin, Binance Coin, Litecoin and a number of other cryptocurrencies.

Adelaide currently only has a handful of shops that accept cryptocurrency payments including Sushi Planet (with its crypto themed menu), Hunt Furniture and Green and Grilled.