A promising Q1 ahead... What's next for Binance and BNB?

14 Jan, 2019 | Updated: 14 Jan, 2019
by David Robb
A promising Q1 ahead... What's next for Binance and BNB?

2018 was another big year for Binance, as it maintained its position as the leading crypto exchange and one of the most influential companies in the space. Building on this success, Changpeng Zhao (CZ) and his team are continuing to wok hard in order to develop and improve their services in 2019, and many of Binance's new projects and ventures are due to be launched in the first quarter of 2019. 

Binance Chain

Q1 should see the launch of the mainnet for Binance Chain. First announced back in March 2018, this represents a major expansion for Binance, as the firm moves from facilitating crypto trading to making a more direct contribution to the development of the blockchain space.

Binance Chain will be a public blockchain, mainly focused on the trading and transferral of blockchain assets. It will also be used as the underlying network for Binance's own cryptocurrency, Binance Coin (BNB). Although it is the proprietary token for the Binance exchange, BNB is currently an ERC-20 token, running on the Ethereum network. This upgrade will give BNB a firmer status as the exchange's native crypto, and will give the team more control over the functioning and future development of the token.

Binance claims that with the launch of Binance Chain, it "will transition from being a company to a community".

Binance DEX

The long-awaited Binance DEX is another new project that is due to be completed soon. The team should launch the public beta for its decentralized exchange in January.

As seen in a preview back in December 2018, the Binance DEX will look very similar to the regular Binance exchange. Using a separate wallet to transfer funds to and from a Binance DEX account is something that has been optimized to be as straightforward as possible, and there will be a tab on the main screen that enables users to monitor their balances at all times. As expected from a DEX, the platform will have the highest possible level of security, and it also promises high liquidity. Binance DEX will make use of BNB as its 'gas', which will allow transactions to be prioritized.

2018 saw the launch of decentralized exchanges from the teams behind Bitfinex and Bithumb, as well as other smaller projects. Despite the crypto community's increased security concerns and diminished faith in centralized exchanges, these new platforms have still seen relatively low trade volumes. However, the launch of a new DEX with the same user interface that saw Binance take its current position as the world's leading crypto exchange is still an exciting prospect. It could be exactly what is needed to meet the growing demand for decentralized trading.

Read more: 2018: A Bitcoin and cryptocurrency year in review

Fiat-to-crypto exchanges

Binance CEO Changpeng 'CZ' Zhao has announced his intention to open 5-10 more exchanges that support direct fiat-to-crypto trading in 2019. The first, Binance Uganda, was launched in October, giving users the opportunity to trade Ugandan Shillings (UGX) with crypto. UGX-BTC and UGX-ETH trading pairs are available.

Singapore, Liechtenstein, and Malta are likely to be the destinations where Binance will open its next fiat-crypto trading platforms. The plan is to have at least one on each continent by the end of the year. The list of countries is unlikely to include the U.S., where regulations for fiat currency exchange operations are prohibitive.

Binance's fiat exchanges are a way of improving liquidity for many traders, in a time of increased price volatility in the crypto market. Issues with leading fiat-backed token Tether (USDT) in 2018 led to the launch of a number of rival stablecoins, and may have also encouraged the development of other fiat-to-crypto platforms. One of Binance's main rivals, Bittrex, began supporting direct fiat deposits, withdrawals, and trading pairs at the start of December. 

Read more: 8 long-term Bitcoin price predictions by experts

Binance Coin (BNB) burn

As it does once every quarter, according to guidelines set out in the crypto's whitepaper, Binance will be buying back and subsequently 'burning' a significant amount of BNB. This is more than likely to happen on January 15, as it usually takes place on the 15th of the month. 

20 percent of the significant fiat profits Binance has made in the last quarter will be invested in Binance Coin (BNB), and these purchased BNB tokens will then be removed from circulation, by sending them to an invalid address on the network (one that doesn't have a private key). This will happen again in three months time, and subsequently every quarter until 50 percent of all circulating tokens are removed. 

Read more: What are Bitcoin whales and do they really control the market?

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