Binance U.S. may raise ‘couple hundred million’ in funding, CEO says

By Nikhil Nainan

(Reuters) – Binance’s U.S. unit may raise a “couple hundred million” dollars in a funding round set to close in a month or two and the global cryptocurrency exchange has also decided on a new headquarters, its chief executive Changpeng Zhao said on Friday.

Speaking at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore, Zhao said the firm’s U.S. affiliate has the option to go for an initial public offering (IPO) using rival Coinbase as an example, and that he was not ruling out listing the parent company in future.

“I think it’s a couple hundred million dollars,” Zhao, who is also known as “CZ”, said at the event, adding that he doesn’t know the exact number of the proposed fresh funding.

“For an IPO perspective, it’s probably best to have a few rounds of financing before that,” he added.

Binance, one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges by trading volumes, has come under scrutiny from regulators, with some banning the platform and others warning it was unlicensed to operate.

Its U.S. affiliate is also reportedly under investigation.

Binance, as well as other cryptocurrency exchanges, have seen trading volumes soar as prices of digital assets, such as bitcoin, ether and other smaller tokens, boom and find greater mainstream acceptance.

According to UK researcher CryptoCompare, Binance’s spot cryptocurrency trading volumes totalled $789 billion in September and $454 billion in July.

When asked whether his company was making billions of dollars of profit, Zhao replied, “pretty much, yeah” without providing a number. He also said that since Binance was profitable, it could potentially charge even lower fees than rivals and that is something Binance was thinking about.

Speaking on the issue of heightened regulatory scrutiny and concern around risks that retail traders were exposed to in cryptocurrency markets, Zhao reiterated his stance that his company was in regular talks with regulators.

“We want regulation, I am not a complete libertarian, I’m not an anarchist,” he said.

Zhao also said Binance will “very shortly” announce where the company has decided to locate its headquarters and was communicating its plan to regulators first.

(Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Vidya Ranganathan and Kim Coghill)