Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance — the world’s largest crypto exchange — is the newest addition who will join us for TC Sessions: Blockchain, TechCrunch’s first event dedicated to blockchain technology, which takes place July 6 in Zug, Switzerland.
The event will bring together the startup/business world and blockchain community to explore the potential of the blockchain, where it is now, and much more. The location is Zug — the Swiss city know as “Crypto Valley” for its plethora of startups and forward-thinking governance — and our speak list already includes standout names such as Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin, Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan, and Hyperledger’s Brian Behlendorf.
Tickets are available now priced at 495 Swiss Francs, or around $500 — just head here. Don’t miss it!
Zhao, known as CZ, started Binance in July 2017 and it has enjoyed a meteoric rise. The exchange processes over $3 billion in crypto trades per day, which makes it the world’s largest by some margin, according to CoinMarketCap.com. Binance’s own token (BNB) is currently trading at over $14 — that’s up from an initial ICO price of around $0.10 and it gives it a total market cap of $1.6 billion.
Even in real-world financial times, Binance is huge. The company recorded a profit of around $150 million during its most recent quarter of business despite being less than a year ago.
Zhao himself started out in the world of financial trading, creating a company called Fusion Systems which enabled high-frequency trades for brokers. He got into crypto when he joined wallet app Blockchain.info, before moving on to Chinese exchange OkCoin for a stint as CTO. Spotting an opportunity for a new exchange, he exited to start Binance last year, raising $15 million in July to kick the project off.
There’s been controversy — including rumors of high listing fees and a legal spat with VC firm Sequoia — but Binance is the top dog and it remains the exchange that every crypto firm aspires to list on.
It is also pushing out overseas beyond Hong Kong. Binance has explored the global potential of crypto by moving its exchange to Malta, a country keen to woo blockchain giants, and inking deals to hire large numbers of staff in Uganda, Togo and Bermuda. It looks like that is just scratching the service for what Binance has planned.
“I could retire now and I’d be ok for a few lifetimes, but we are doing something I think is very meaningful,” Zhao, who ranks third on Forbes’ crypto rich list with an estimated worth of $1.1-$2 billion, told TechCrunch in an interview earlier this year.
Blockchain is the most disruptive new development in the technology space today, and we’re excited to host our first show that is solely dedicated to the blockchain. The event takes place in the Swiss city of Zug — widely known as “Crypto Valley” due to its sizable number of crypto companies and a progressive approach to regulation — and it will bring together top figures from the blockchain space, developer community and business and startup worlds.
Prominent speakers confirmed for the July 6 event include:
- Vitalik Buterin, creator of Ethereum
- Balaji Srinivasan, Coinbase CTO
- Roham Gharegozlou, the founder of smash-hit blockchain game CryptoKitties
- Brian Behlendorf, executive director of the Hyperledger Project
- Leanne Kemp, founder and CEO of Everledger
- Jun Hasegawa, CEO and founder of Omise and OmiseGo
- Mona El Isa, CEO and co-founder of Melonport
- Colin Hanna, associate at Balderton Capital
- Galia Benartzi, co-founder and head of Business Development at Bancor
- Gert Sylvest, co-founder of Tradeshift and GM of Tradeshift Frontiers
You can get your hands on tickets now — they’re priced at 495 Swiss Francs, or around $500 — from the event website here.
If you’re interested in sponsoring the event, please contact us via this link.
Note: The author owns a small amount of cryptocurrency. Enough to gain an understanding, not enough to change a life.