Binance acquired its Indian competitor WazirX in November 2019. Image: iStock

The largest crypto-currency exchange in the world by trade volume has celebrated its first year of operations by launching more loyalty incentives for its customers.

According to analytics website coinmarketcap.com, Binance now handles $1.45 billion in daily trade volume, making it the globe’s top exchange. Since it was launched in mid-July last year by 41-year-old Changpeng “CZ” Zhao – who was born in China’s eastern Jiangsu province but educated in Vancouver – the exchange has offered users discounts for trading with its own native token, Binance Coin (BNB).

As part of its birthday celebrations the company posted what it said was a record of its rapid growth and achievements over the past 12 months. This time last year Binance Coin was worth a mere 10 cents and, says Binance, this price has since skyrocketed more than 12,000% to $12.40, where it now trades. This surge dwarfs that of Bitcoin, which has risen 220% since July last year.

Part of the coin’s high value is derived from the Binance “buyback and burn” system whereby 20% of profits each quarter are allocated to buying BNB and destroying them in what is commonly known in the crypto sphere as a “coin burn.” This lowers the total supply of the tokens, which sits at 192 million, while demand – and corresponding price – continues to increase.

Now traders on the platform get a 50% discount on fees when using BNB, but this will be reduced in accordance with the terms set out in the token’s white paper, after the first year. To reward big spenders, a new ‘Tiered Trading Fee Discount Program’ has been launched that offers further discounts for those holding and exchanging large volumes of BNB.

Binance has often been in the news over the last 12 months and often for the wrong reasons. While Zhao has said Binance is now “more profitable than Deutsche Bank” and points to a list of successes that include the recovery of 1.3 billion lost crypto assets and an ever growing trading portfolio – with Binance now listing 143 tokens and coins with 370 trading pairs with more added every week – the exchange has also been at the centre of both price manipulation allegations  and hacking attempts.

After feeling increased regulatory pressure in Asia, the exchange recently moved operations from Hong Kong to the crypto-friendly Mediterranean island of Malta and, in addition to a charity foundation, says it has plans for an academy and research division in the coming months.

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