Binance Secretly Launches Crypto-Based PayPal Rival

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, is not content with just getting people to buy Bitcoin and other coins. It wants to initiate a request by asking people to use crypto.

The global exchange announced earlier today at its virtual event, Binance Blockchain Week, that last Friday it had quietly launched a beta version of Binance Pay, its answer to rival PayPal.

“Binance Pay is a contactless, borderless and secure cryptocurrency payment technology designed by Binance,” reads the explanation on its website. “Binance Pay (beta) lets you pay and get paid in crypto from your friends and family around the world.”

Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao told the virtual Binance Blockchain Week audience, “We think payments are one of the most obvious use cases for crypto.”

But there are some challenges to be faced, he said. The biggest difficulty is for traders to have a system to accept currencies that are not used by most of the customers. It’s easier to accept cash and credit because people use them regularly.

The Binance system allows users to pay in crypto, while traders receive fiat-backed stablecoins that can be converted into fiat. (At this point, the product supports only one type of fiat: the euro.) CZ says, “This way their business doesn’t have to fluctuate with crypto.”

The exchange charges Binance Pay as a “basket of products”, which will include the previously launched Binance Card — a debit card that converts users’ crypto into fiat whenever they make a purchase.

Like the Binance Card, Binance Pay supports five currencies. Bitcoin and Ethereum are equally represented, as are the exchange’s stablecoin BUSD and Binance Coin (BNB), the exchange-specific utility token used to pay trading fees and take part in Binance-hosted token sales. Users can also pay with SXP tokens from credit card company Swipe; Binance bought the company last year.

Unlike debit cards, there are no actual cards with Binance Pay — users can transfer funds from their wallets using the QR scanner in the app.

Even though CZ has big plans for Binance Pay, he jokes that the beta rollout is still quiet. “If you can find the product, you can try it,” he said.

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