The last six months have seen the cryptocurrency market endure a steep decline and many casual investors turn their attention elsewhere, but for exchange operator Binance it has been a period of unmitigated growth.
The company, which operates one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, reports that its user base has quadrupled since the beginning of the year. The platform now has 9 million users, up from a bit more than 2 million in January, according to Bloomberg.
However, that growth has not been mirrored in company profits, as trading volume has declined sharply since the end of the bull cycle in December. Binance made $150 million in profit during Q1, down from $200 million in Q4. The firm says that it averaged about $1.4 billion in daily trading volume during that span.
That said, Binance’s daily trading volume will likely see a significant bump in the near future, as the exchange is preparing to roll out its first fiat trading pairs, which will be listed against the euro. Until now, the platform has only offered crypto-to-crypto trading pairs, so having the ability to serve as a fiat on-off ramp will make it an even attractive option for investors.
The announcement comes as Binance — which was founded in Hong Kong — has opened an office in Malta, which has passed crypto-friendly legislation in a bid to become Europe’s “Blockchain Island.” CEO Changpeng Zhao told Bloomberg that the exchange is also close to receiving licensure in Jersey, where it plans to open an office staffed by up to 100 employees. He further said that company executives have been engaged in discussions with regulators and potential banking partners in Taiwan.
Binance has also recently launched a VC fund, which it says will invest $1 billion in blockchain startups and initial coin offering (ICO) tokens over the next several years.