The exchange has launched Binance Research, which will focus on the creation of institutional-grade research reports to increase transparency and improve the quality of information available within the crypto space. Photo: iStock
Binance acquired its Indian competitor WazirX in November 2019. Image: iStock

A number of the crypto news sites have been assessing the first quarter of 2018, and for the most part, it doesn’t make for pretty reading.

Coindesk summed up the general mood by announcing that only two tokens had bucked the sharp and widespread downtrend trend.

The total value of all crypto-currencies, which hit a record high of $830 billion in early January, had fallen by close to 70% to $251 billion by the last week of March.

The biggest losses were seen by bitcoin hybrid Bitcoin Gold (BTG), that suffered an 83% drop during Q1, and the NEM’s XEM token, that was subject to a $430-million crypto-currency heist in January. XEM fell by by almost 80%. in Q1.

All of the other top 25 cryptocurrencies have also seen losses since their peaks in January, except the Binance coin (BNB) and VeChain’s VET token.

The rise in the price of VeChain is due to a surge after it listed on the South Korean exchange Bithumb at the start of April, while the Binance story is altogether different.

Binance, which is backed and named after the biggest crypto exchange in the world, only launched in February, but it made solid gains after it was decoupled from the main crypto markets in mid-March after its parent disclosed plans to launch “Binance Chain.” The initiative promises to be a decentralized exchange that will attempt to solve the hacking issues that have plagued the markets in recent months.

Binance’s owner, the enigmatic billionaire Changpeng Zhao, has faced increasing regulatory pressure across Asia but has continued to expand both his exchange and coin businesses and seemingly remains unfazed about the negativity. “No need to worry,” he tweeted at the end of March. “Some negative news often turn(s) out to be positive in the long term. Chinese have a proverb for this. New (often better) opportunities always emerge during times of change.”

Binance could well be the crypto story to watch, in the second quarter and beyond.