Binance CEO Changpeng CZ Zhao appears to have softened his stance on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), arguing in a conference that he doesn’t think CBDCs are a threat to his company or the crypto sector.
CZ spoke at the Web Summit in Lisbon on Nov. 2 about CBDCs and their role in the crypto industry.
The Binance boss said that CBDCs would validate blockchain technology and build trust among those with concerns about the technology, commenting.
He also added that governments adopting blockchain would be seen as a good thing. However, he noted blockchain does not equal crypto which he termed as deflationary.
Central banks around the world are racing to research, pilot, and deploy their CBDCs, with China seen by some as leading the race.
There are however continued concerns that a programmable digital currency gives central banks unprecedented control over what groups of citizens can use it and what they can spend it on.
Citizens who want less government involvement in their financial lives might see problems with CBDCs.
A digital-ID-linked CBDC could be used to crack down on dissidents or control carbon-friendly spending. Turkey is one country planning a digital ID-linked CBDC launch in 2023.
15 countries are currently piloting a CBDC including China, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, South Africa, and Russia. Other countries that have actually deployed a CBDC include Nigeria, Jamaica, The Bahamas, and eight Caribbean island nations.
The U.S. lags behind the rest of the world as it is still in the discussions phase, while reactions to a digital dollar have been largely divided among Americans.