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

Binance, reportedly the world’s leading crypto-currency exchange by trade volume, used repeated promotions and quick-sell marketing to defy the 2018 market downturn and it looks to be continuing the trend into this year.

Last week the exchange announced it was entering into a partnership with payment processing company Simplex that would allow users to buy crypto-currencies with credit cards directly on Binance.com.

This is despite a number of leading banks in the UK and the United States banning the use of credit cards to buy crypto-currencies last February because of fears that the oft-seen plunges in their values could leave customers unable to repay their debts.

The new Binance platform will allow holders of  MasterCard or Visa credit cards to buy cryptos and start trading on the same day as they register with the platform, as opposed to the three-to-eight day average for processing times with banking accounts. The credit cards can be then used to buy Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), Stellar (XLM) and NEO (NEO).

“Partnering with Simplex allows us to instantly bridge the gap between credit card payments and crypto for traders globally. The crypto industry is still in its early stages and most of the world’s money is still in fiat. Building fiat gateways is what we need now to grow the ecosystem, increase adoption and introduce crypto to more users,” said Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the far-from-shy CEO of Binance.

Last month, with an eye on Brexit, the exchange also launched Binance Jersey to offer European and UK-based fiat-to-crypto-currency trading for the euro and British pound – to open up “new economic opportunities for Europeans as well as freedom from looming Brexit uncertainty” – and late last year it also debuted Binance Uganda that allows African crypto trade in Ugandan shillings.

Ever the enigma, Binance founder Changpeng Zhao was called a “Zero To Crypto Billionaire” on a Forbes magazine cover story in February 2018 and, early last year, when crypto fever was still strong, analyst speculation said that Binance, that Zhao only founded in 2017,  was making more profit than Deutsche Bank.

Whatever the truth, what has been clear is that Binance is pushing hard for crypto-currencies to reach wider mainstream adoption. Yet, as tech giants such as Facebook and Alibaba are reportedly looking at developing large-scale cashless blockchain payment platforms, the overall trend is to move away from the speculative trading that dominated the sector in the last few years. Indeed, one of the key takeaways from last week’s Paris Fintech Summit was that crypto fever is well and truly “over.”

How well Binance’s latest credit card-based offering will sit with these emerging trends remain to be seen.

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