Binance's enigmatic head, Changpeng Zhao, has expressed optimism for the crypto market and said the sector will 'kick off 2019 with a bang' as 'people in the industry are confident about the future.' Photo:
Binance is now very much a global operation but to date has seemed to avoid the US, with its intensive regulatory scrutiny. Photo:

Binance, which only started trading in July 2017 and has less than 200 employees, has surpassed Germany’s largest and one of Europe’s biggest banks in profitability, CCN reports.

The exchange’s founder and CEO, the enigmatic Changpeng Zhao – who in the fintech world is known simply as ‘CZ’ – made the claim in his company blog.

“Binance is the world’s largest [digital] exchange,” wrote Zhao. “In the first three months from inception, profits amounted to US$7,500,000. In the second quarter, profits amounted to $200,000,000. The third quarter is still in progress, and is expected to have further growth. Any country that can attract Binance to open a branch in their location will receive a handsome tax income revenue.”

Zhao formed Binance after raising $15 million dollars via a 2017 Initial Coin Offering and in its eight months trading the company has been consistently high profile, because of hacks, being sued, regulatory tussles and a purported move to Malta.

Deutsche Bank, one of Germany and Europe’s biggest financial institutions, recorded a profit of $146 million in the first quarter of 2018.

The Binance claim comes as Bloomberg reports that the Japan-based Coincheck exchange, which suffered a $530-million hack in January, is more profitable than the Japan Exchange Group, which owns the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Osaka Exchange.

Coincheck earned $490 million from April 2017 through January while Japan Exchange Group, which owns the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Osaka Exchange, earned $600 million for all of 2017.

In the two months before the April theft, which was the biggest ever recorded exchange hack, Bloomberg says Coincheck made a profit of 500 million yen ($4.5 million).

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