Binance’s Head of Product: Focus on compliance, transparency, CeDeFi in 2023
Binance needs no introduction, but just for the sake of it: it is the world’s largest digital asset ecosystem in terms of daily trading volume of cryptocurrencies.
The company led by Changpeng Zhao, commonly known as CZ, was founded in 2017 and quickly became an empire that shows no signs of slowing down its business expansion and product innovation, even during the infamous ‘crypto winter’.
And it is product innovation and development that led FinanceFeeds to Mayur Kamat,
Head of Product at Binance, in an interview that we share with you today.
Mayur Kamat joined Binance a year ago after working at some of the most prominent tech companies, from Google to Microsoft, where he made a substantial impact on our day to day lives.
Now, he is in charge of product at potentially the most relevant crypto trading company in the world.
You were behind the product team that developed Gmail for mobile, Android for Work, Hangouts, Google Voice and Windows DRM. Where does Binance stand in the race towards disruption?
I have been incredibly fortunate in my career to have seen several products grow to 1B+ users and see the technology positively impact user lives. It is one of the key criteria I personally look at when I think of my next career opportunity. And Binance has the potential to be the biggest of all of the things I have worked on.
Gmail/Hangouts/Voice – changed how users communicate. At Booking Holdings, my products helped more people travel and experience the world. Android/Windows created platforms for users to build innovations. But if you think about what has the biggest impact on user lives, it is financial freedom. If we can solve access to finance, we enable users to do all the things they cannot do today. When Binance gets to 1B users, I believe the impact to users will be more profound than what my previous products have been able to do.
Our viewership will surely want to know more about Binance Futures, which now allows traders to use USDT to deal in European-style options contracts for BTC, ETH, and BNB. How does the Portfolio Margin Program work and what other features are available on Binance Futures?
As the leading provider of crypto derivatives, Binance Futures seeks to develop new products to meet growing user demand for better liquidity tools. Six months ago, Binance launched a new Options platform with one of the most competitive fees on the market. User adoption has been highly positive. Up until now, we have been transacting around 100M USDT notional trading volume on a daily basis. At present, we offer BTC, ETH and BNB Options which are denominated and settled in USDT.
Our Portfolio Margin Program is currently only available for clients with futures trading volumes at or above VIP-7. Clients under the Portfolio Margin Program can consolidate their futures margin balance across USD-M, Coin-M and Spot Margin Wallets, with over 200 supported crypto collaterals. This in turn provides better and more efficient collateral management.
The Binance VIP program is a tailored loyalty program for users who have higher trading volumes. VIP users enjoy a wide range of benefits, including discounted trading fees, competitive interest rates, data and analytics services, and priority access to new products and features. We encourage users who are interested in finding out more about the benefits of our VIP program to refer to our FAQ here: https://www.binance.com/en/support/faq/how-to-become-a-binance-vip-473a8456403c438e902d7b3048e49eb6
The Dual Investment product page is not clear on how it works. Subscribed assets are locked and users won’t be able to cancel or redeem them before the Settlement Date. Is it staking? Lending?
With Dual Investment, when users start in the Beginner Mode,we have them take a quiz (6 questions) before accessing the Dual Investment product. We want to make sure the users know about the settlement date as the date you want to buy/sell your token.
It doesn’t go into the details of exactly which product is backed (option or others), just reminds the users about how Dual Investment works. The last step before purchasing there is a message that reminds users that orders cannot be canceled or redeem before settlement date.
That said, the feedback is interesting and my thanks to you for sharing it. It is a new product and we will keep improving it based on the feedback we receive.
Binance Pay added 7,983 new merchants and partners in 2022. With inflation still going strong across the globe, what is the potential for crypto payments to go mainstream in the short term, namely in emerging markets?
Binance Pay allows people to easily pay for purchases with their crypto. People can set preferences for the cryptocurrency they want to spend, easily make payments to friends and family as well as being able to make payments for purchases at an increasing range of stores and businesses that support Binance Pay – for example booking a holiday, paying for fashion with leading online shopping brands, or making payments for taxis.
With Binance pay offering zero fees for payments, there’s a huge opportunity for being able to pay with crypto all over the world, but especially in emerging markets where we’ve seen significant growth – there’s been around 2 – 4 growth in adoption by Binance.com users in some places like Africa, LATAM and Asia.*
*Measured by penetration rate = Active pay users / Active .com users.
What Binance products are most popular and which are gaining more traction?
We’re launching new products every single day at Binance, many of which are small tweaks and innovations to make sure we’re constantly evolving our products, even some of our best used and most popular features.
The features people choose to use really depend on what they want to get from Binance, we have people who come to trade and many who want the best staking options, others want to be able to browse and buy NFTs, learn about web3 via Academy or stay up to date with the latest news via Binance’s new content feed.
Personally I’d call out Auto Invest as a hero feature on Binance. We launched it in 2021 and have continued to iterate and build on this feature to make it what it is today. It benefits crypto believers because they are able to easily adopt the Dollar-Cost-Averaging strategy. We keep integrating the product with the rest of our portfolio for e.g. the use of Convert for real-time transactions and Recurring Buy for credit card stablecoins top up.
Also a call out our compliance products. In 2022, we onboarded tens of millions of users through our strict KYC process, get licenses/registrations in 14 jurisdictions and work with regulators across the world because of our work on compliance.
Can you provide a glimpse of what new features is Binance preparing for 2023?
You’ll continue to see us doubling down on our efforts in trust and transparency. It’s a core product philosophy at Binance so that won’t change. We recently announced an update to PoR to include ZK-SNARKs and yesterday we released a policy paper outlining a detailed, actionable framework of guidelines for all centralized exchanges (CEXs) to raise the bar on trust and safety across the industry.
We’re also looking at CeDeFi, a phrase that CZ first mentioned in 2021 during the launch of BNB Chain. We’re already exploring ways to make it easier for people to access the benefits of DeFi but harnessing the power of CeFi. It is still very hard for regular users to use DeFi. Onboarding a new wallet, seed phrases, storing keys securely, connecting to Dapps, especially cross-chain is very painful, I want to explore how we can reduce that friction and ease the pain.
We’re also excited to keep listening to our users feedback and developing in response to community needs. I mentioned the User Feedback Tool already but to give this some context, we see thousands of examples of feedback being shared in multiple places and some of them highlight genuine community issues that I want to solve. In the spirit of being transparent, we’ll also publish the details on what ideas we are taking forward and how they are progressing – that feature is coming soon.
As well as this, the team continues to focus on compliance. We made huge investments in improving our KYC product which now allows users around the world to sign up in an efficient and compliant manner to Binance. We will continue to invest in compliance and regulation throughout our products in 2023.