Cryptocurrencies do not always find the most enthusiastic audience among billionaires. Heavyweights like Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway) or Bill Gates (Microsoft) have been critical or at least skeptical of cryptoeconomics. Although they, high-profile figures in business, are some of the most visible faces of the “crypto resistance”, companies that believe in crypto assets, such as bitcoin exchange Binance, do not take their statements so personally.
Last May, Buffett made headlines for saying at a meeting with Berkshire Hathaway shareholders that if someone told him he had “all the bitcoin in the world” and offered it to him “for $25, I wouldn’t take it,” thus showing his rejection of cryptocurrencies. For his part, Gates warned those crypto investment enthusiasts that if they have “less money than Elon [Musk], you should probably be careful,” being somewhat more skeptical.
In an interview with Forbes , the general director of Binance for Latin America, Maximiliano Hinz, reacts to this.
“Just as when the internet emerged there were many people who said that it was not going to be useful for anything, now we hear the same voices saying that cryptocurrencies are not useful for anything. Luckily, time proved people who believed in the internet were right”, he points out.
The director of Binance talked about this and other issues such as the bearish market that affects cryptocurrencies or the “crypto winter”, and even showed that it is not worth saving all cryptoeconomic projects after this correction that the world market is experiencing. And of course, for him it is not even close to the end of cryptoeconomics. “We believe that cryptocurrencies are a disruptive technology that is here to stay, which is why we understand that in 10 years the paradigm shift will be complete,” he says.
How has Binance moved in Latin America in the midst of the crypto crash ?
The adoption of Binance in Latin America is very good, we have been growing very solidly. This market correction kept us with a fairly reassuring number of active users because we understand that people get involved in the crypto world in the long term and stay for the technology, they understand that this is a paradigm shift and not just a bet of casino. That makes us very happy and in these events we see how people are more interested, they want to grow, they want to learn about web 3.0, with which we see a lot of growth. The idea is to continue enlarging the cake, so that we can all grow because what interests us is that people adopt crypto as part of their day to day life.
What are the countries in the region with the highest adoption of crypto?
We have very strong adoptions in Argentina, Venezuela, generally that is more linked to the economic volatility of the countries, but we also see a very strong market also in Colombia. Mexico is obviously the largest country in the Spanish-speaking region and we have a very strong user base. We still believe that Mexico has a lot of growth potential, it hasn’t been exploited yet, but it has a lot of potential. Brazil is a gigantic country, with which the mass of users is proportionally the most important for the size of the country.
Has the ‘crypto winter’ affected Binance?
Binance remains a private company, there is no IPO plan, it remains a 100% private equity company. Binance is a self-sustaining company, we have the possibility to continue growing, we maintain our growth rate, we continue hiring, we have active positions because we understand that this market correction and this downturn in the global economy, which not only affected crypto but also to traditional finance, it is one more market cycle. Just as there are negative cycles, there will be positive cycles. We come from several very good positive cycles, surely there will be positive cycles in the future. As we understand that, the idea is to keep growing, expanding and this idea of bringing crypto into everyday use.
Bitso cut its workforce. Does Binance have plans to do something like this?
We continue hiring in the same way. In fact, we have over 1,000 open positions. We keep expanding. Far from contracting, we expand. This year we continue to increase our number of people hired.
Does Binance see users backing down from the crypto world in the face of the bear market?
Whenever there is a drop in the market this happens. It is not something intrinsic to the crypto world, it is something that also happens in traditional markets, when the US Stock Market falls, people do exactly the same. You prefer to withdraw the funds and sell at a loss. What we notice is that there is interest and new users continue to be generated. Surely someone saw their savings decrease and they are afraid and due to ignorance they have made some kind of decision, but in general people are betting on the long term and understand that this is a paradigm shift and it is a market correction. If someone bought a bitcoin for $40,000, and now it’s $22,000, you prefer to wait a little while and you know that the value will surely recover and there will surely be a comeback. There are people who keep buying, lower the price and buy more. Those people are the ones who transmit confidence from the other side.
Is it time to buy?
I don’t know if there is a specific time to buy. Each one has to do their risk exposure analysis and decide what capital they are going to risk. Just like any other type of investment, there is always risk involved. If you buy a share of a company, it is possible that company will cease to exist tomorrow even though it is the largest in the world. There is no such thing as risk free. Buying at today’s prices is tempting for some people, but there is a risk that it will continue to fall or there is a possibility that it will rise and be a great investment. You always have to do that analysis, if you want to expose yourself and how much you want to expose yourself to that risk.
There are billionaires who seem to like cryptocurrencies…
They are positions that must be respected because everyone can believe in what they want. It is not bad to have a posture. Just as when the Internet emerged there were many people who said that the Internet was not going to be useful for anything, now we hear the same voices that cryptocurrencies are useless. Luckily, time proved the people who believed in the internet were right and thanks to that the world has reached where it has arrived. We believe that cryptocurrencies are a disruptive technology that is here to stay, which is why we understand that in 10 years the paradigm shift will be complete. Do not think of cryptocurrencies only as an exchange of money because they are not. They are decentralized technologies, it is a paradigm shift in everything, in traceability, in content creation,
The market correction puts crypto projects at risk, do we have to save them all?
Whenever there is a technology that is incipient and generates a lot of interest. There are more stable projects and others less stable. It doesn’t make sense to save projects that aren’t stable, that don’t have a real value proposition out there. But it does make sense to save projects that are at risk due to some bad financial decision or when the project is solid from the technological point of view or the idea.
Doesn’t this reflect a bubble in the crypto economy?
I don’t think it was a bubble, because when bubbles burst other things happen. It is not a bubble. In fact, the price stabilized at lows higher than the previous highs, that is, today they are at US$21,000 and a previous all-time high was US$60,000, with which we are still talking about a growth phase.
Will a second generation of cryptocurrencies come, for example, backed by shares of companies?
That exist. Many companies today decide to issue an ICO, Initial Coin Offering , instead of generating an issue of shares on the stock market. When we were just talking about the fact that there are projects that we should save, perhaps these are the ones. There are some (projects) of real companies, that have people working, that have support, that are generating. That way of doing things like a round of investment, of raising capital, is valid. That is going to increase, as the crypto market popularizes globally, thinking about an ICO to launch a round of capital will increase.
Given the bearish market, the bet is long-term and not like a casino…
It is so. Any logical analysis must always be taken into account in the long term. If you go in and out in the short term, you are not going for the idea and the technology, but you are speculating. And that it is not bad to speculate, because speculative capital exists because the stock market exists precisely to speculate many times, but you also have to understand that market corrections force you to analyze where you are putting your money.
Isn’t that the end of the crypto economy?
It is not the end of the crypto economy. We see how this continues to grow more and more and there is more and more interest. I don’t see a market with negative sentiment in that regard.
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