Binance has announced that it is working on its own stablecoin. This open blockchain project is called Venus and the coins are linked to different fiat currencies. With this, Binance seems to want to compete with Libra from Facebook.
Binance originally came from China, but on paper the company is based in Malta. Binance is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. Earlier this year, the company launched a decentralized stock exchange (DEX) and a corresponding blockchain, the so-called Binance Chain. To provide the DEX (and their regular stock market) with more liquidity, two stablecoins were introduced: one linked to bitcoin and the other linked to the British pound. The reason why they needed a bitcoin stablecoin is because bitcoin has its own blockchain that cannot be integrated with the Binance Chain.
Difference between English and Chinese
In the English-language announcement, Binance stated that Venus’ goal is to introduce residents of developed and developing countries to new currencies. It is striking that Libra and Facebook were not mentioned, even though the goal is more or less the same. It is striking because Binance does mention Libra in the Chinese version of the announcement. In the Chinese version, Binance declares that they want to compete with Libra and that Venus is an “independent and autonomous, regional version of Libra”.
There are many similarities between what Libra and Venus want to achieve, but there is one important difference: Libra wants to build a global digital currency that allows users to avoid the costs of credit cards and other payment services (okay, and they want all your data). Binance says that the main objective of Venus is to offer developing countries more financial autonomy. The ambitions do not stop there because Binance wants to protect the financial security of its residents by offering new digital currencies. But both mention Banking the unbanked as motivation.
Both Facebook and Binance are also active in developing countries, for example, Binance recently opened an office in Uganda.
Binance denies wanting to compete
Binance’s CEO is Changpeng Zhao (CZ) and he invalidates on Twitter that Venus positions itself as a competitor of Libra.
Pushing adoption, yes. Domination, no. Always happy to co-exist.
In fact, this should help Libra, if you think about it. Will leave it at that. https://t.co/HLSywLb2mi
– CZ Binance (@cz_binance) August 19, 2019
Facebook works with 27 companies to launch Libra, including PayPal, Visa, Coinbase, Uber and Mastercard. Binance has not yet announced any partners for Venus. Instead, the announcement states that they are still looking for partners. Think of governments, financial institutions, technology companies and other cryptocurrency companies and projects that do something with blockchain.
Funfact 1: Binance is considering becoming a node for Libra
Funfact 2: On Wikipedia it says that Venus is the boss of Libra: “The ruling planet of Libra is Venus.”