Binance CEO Zhao says don't fight crypto, regulate it


Zhao Changpeng, founder and chief executive officer of Binance speaks during an event in Athens, Greece, November 25, 2022. REUTERS/Costas Baltas

ATHENS (Reuters) - Binance Chief Executive Officer Changpeng Zhao said on Friday regulation rather than opposition of the crypto sector is a better option for world governments as digital currencies become more mainstream.

Regulation of crypto currencies has come into sharp focus following the collapse of several platforms, culminating in the crash of the FTX currency exchange earlier this month.

"I think most governments now understand that adoption will happen regardless. It's better to regulate the industry instead of trying to fight against it," Zhao said, speaking at a Binance event in Athens.

The opaque world of crypto came into the spotlight when FTX, a crypto exchange, filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States on Nov. 11 after traders pulled $6 billion from the platform in three days.

The collapse has left an estimated 1 million creditors facing losses totalling billions of dollars.

Nonetheless, Zhao said he expected the industry to recover. "(This year) was a very nasty year, the last two months too much has happened. I think now we see the industry is healthier... just because FTX happened it does not mean that every other business is bad," he said.

Asked whether he saw countries adding crypto currencies such as Bitcoin to their reserves in the future, Zhao said he expected countries to start, particularly those which did not have their own currency.

"The smaller countries will start first, I think," he said.

(Reporting by Renee Maltezou, writing by Michele Kambas; editing by Anna Driver)

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