Bear market? What bear market? That’s the attitude at Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, which expects to rake in between $500 million and $1 billion in net profit during 2018.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao revealed this bullish target during an interview with Bloomberg, highlighting the whirlwind pace at which the exchange has grown since July 2017, when the then-China-based platform opened for business after raising a modest $15 million through an initial coin offering (ICO).
Binance’s user base more than quadrupled during the first half of the year, from 2 million in January to 9 million in early June. Now, Binance has more than 10 million registered traders, and the company’s breakneck rate of expansion makes it likely that the platform will continue to onboard new users at a steady pace.
Last month, Binance launched a cryptocurrency exchange in Uganda, and this platform became the first under the company’s banner to offer fiat trading pairs. The firm has also announced plans to offer trading against the euro in some jurisdictions, a development made possible through its budding relationship with regulators in the island nation of Malta.
Nevertheless, achieving $1 billion in profit is going to be an uphill battle, particularly if the current bear market continues deeper into the third and fourth quarters. Zhao said that Binance’s first-half revenue was $300 million. That’s an impressive sum, but the firm made $200 million in Q4 2017 alone, with a much smaller user base.
That’s because cryptocurrency trading volume has fallen dramatically during 2018, a result of the prolonged bear market that has seen bitcoin decline from a high near $20,000 to a present value near $6,600. Binance is currently averaging about $1.5 billion in daily volume, down from a peak of $11 billion in late December. The overall cryptocurrency market, meanwhile, has seen about $16.2 billion in trades over the past 24 hours.