Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by volume, is establishing a $1 billion fund for blockchain and cryptocurrency startups. The announcement aligns with the views of its founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) who believes traditional forms of raising capital are brutal and ineffective.
Ella Zhang, head of Binance Labs, made the announcement at an online conference on Friday. All investments will be completed by Binance’s cryptocurrency BNB. Binance Labs will select 20 partners that are committed to the expansion of blockchain networks and cryptocurrencies to help run the fund. Partners must have a minimum of $100 million under management.
The portfolio already includes smart contracts verification platform Certik and privacy coin MobileCoin.
Zhao, who amassed a billion-dollar fortune within a year of Binance’s launch in 2017, has chastised venture capitalists for slowing down the investment process and has cited ICOs as being a far superior method for raising funds. “VC lawyers insist on some totalitarian terms that essentially gives them absolute power and ownership of your company and hence delays the whole investment process,” says Zhao.“And at the end of a six months cycle, maybe getting $150K USD worth of angel investment.”
Binance relocated to Malta following a crackdown on the exchange by Japanese regulators. The cryptocurrency exchange is reportedly in communication with the Malta Stock Exchange to discuss ways to work together, calling for collaboration over competition.