Binance: World’s largest cryptocurrency exchange launches in Australia
Australians have a new cryptocurrency ecosystem in their backyard.
As of today, Australian users can sign up for Binance to buy and sell cryptocurrency with AUD. There will be no fees for AUD deposits or withdrawals, fees start from 0.1% and the usual 25% fee discount for BNB users will be available.
It's reasonable to assume that spreads, which are often one of the biggest expenses when buying cryptocurrency with Australian dollars, will tend to be at least on par with the best other Australian exchanges, or better.
This full launch follows on from Binance Lite, the exchange's previous iteration down under, which tested the waters with a much more rudimentary cash to cryptocurrency exchange. But now it's much more comprehensive – complete with margin trading, crypto futures, crypto lending and other goodies – and much more competitively priced.
New users just have to go to the Binance website as usual, create an account and get their identity verified, selecting Australia as their country. The only thing that already-verified Australian Binance users will need to do is to make sure their information is up to date.
"Those are certain things we've balanced out with keeping the platform compliant, while still making sure the user experience is great for everyone," said Binance Australia CEO Jeff Yew.
"Most importantly, give us feedback," he added. "We really appreciate this feedback and we grow by listening to feedback."
Yew is the former CPO of the Australian crypto startup TravelbyBit, which partnered with Binance a couple of years ago, and has since blazed new cryptocurrency trails around Australia.
"We did collaborations with the Queensland government to bring in tourism interest into local indigenous community in regional Queensland," Yew explained. "And early last year I was appointed the CEO for Binance Lite Australia, where we launched a simple fiat to crypto brokerage service through a network of 1,300 newsagents across Australia, and also Internet banking. We received a lot of great feedback."
This background, and the feedback received, helped Binance make this launch.
"Australia is regarded as a global leader in cryptocurrency and has always been a really big market for the industry," said Binance CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao. "Aussies are forward-thinking and accepting of the new technology and revolutionary change that crypto and blockchain can bring to finance and business applications."
"We have already seen a great uptake from Australians with our existing offerings, Binance Lite Australia and TravelbyBit. These offerings have provided us with valuable user feedback and market insight to help expand our services and launch to the broader Australian market when the time is right."
To and from a land down under
Australia punches above its weight in how frequently it uses the term "punches above its weight" and blockchain.
"Australia has been at the forefront of blockchain innovation," Yew said. "There's so much interest, so many users, so many companies, so many startups that are in the space. And also, more importantly, there's a high level of understanding, and acceptance of, blockchain technology and Bitcoin."
"This is something that you only find in a few places in the world. We are very fortunate to have a community like that in Australia," Yew said. "And we do! We've been in the community for a long time, even though we're launching tomorrow, because over the years Binance has hosted and participated in so many meetups I can't keep track, across the country. We listen constantly to user feedback and have always been there for our users because this is one of our core values."
Many international companies have observed Australia's enthusiasm for cryptocurrency and blockchain, but other than the warm and clear regulatory environment, it's tough to put a name on why Australia seems to be so into it.
"I would think it's just the Australian spirit, you know?" Yew said. "We are all very daring to try new things. Cryptocurrency and blockchain is definitely something really new in the context of a lot of similar technologies, and Australia has always been the forefront of this kind of innovation."
"And what is really important to point out is that Bitcoin and crypto is – it's such an important revolution in not just finance, but in society itself, because Bitcoin is one of the free-est and most censorship-resistant form of money, digital money, in a way that we haven't seen so far," Yew said.
"It's really important because with Bitcoin you can bring freedom back to money, to more people... we want more people to know that. The more people that know about that, the more freedom of money that we can promote," Yew said.
"It's better for everyone, life will improve significantly... that's what we believe."
In this context, it may be worth noting that the traditional financial services sector has been ranked as the least trustworthy of all major sectors across several areas and not without reason. For years now, many Australians have said the most exciting innovation in banking would be not needing to use a bank.
While it's tough to make a 1:1 match, surveys find that millennials, and a good number of non-millennials, trust Bitcoin over banks.
Maybe that crypto-thusiasm is natural.
Disclosure: The author holds BTC, ETH, BNB, KDA, BAND, CELO, FET, HBAR at the time of writing.