Changpeng Zhou this week met with Fortune journalist Jeff Roberts and outlined his vision for the future of blockchain.
Roberts was surprised to find the billionaire CEO who led Binance to $1b of profits in its first year down-to-earth and impeccably polite. This was demonstrated by Zhou’s own self-deprecating admission that whatever he predicted would likely not come to pass.
Thanks to Fortune and @jeffjohnroberts for the great article from a casual chat. I can predict with 100% certainty that my predictions will be off. But that's my current expectation of a possible future. I said in far softer words, and didn't name any current blockchains, lol. https://t.co/tz4Qe529fS
— CZ (not giving crypto away) (@cz_binance) August 3, 2018
So just where exactly does the 41 year old see blockchain in the coming years?
The major take home for Roberts was that decentralized tech is the future, but it’s not going to happen overnight. Zhou outlined that by 2020 we will start seeing mainstream use of dApps, first through games and smaller services. After 2020 we’ll start to see the emergence of commerce related dAPps and blockchain systems, so its going to be years before we start to see the blockchain dominance many are dreaming of.
Who, in Zhou’s view, will lead this charge? Surprisingly he did not back Ethereum, which currently dominates blockchain applications. According to Zhou, today’s general purpose blockchain networks will likely be replaced by specific and tailor made blockchain systems, in a similar way to how ASICS (application specific integrated circuits) have come to dominate computing.
The third takehome from the interview was that the cryptocurrency market is big enough to share. Zhou does not see Coinbase or Gemini as rivals, and is not aiming to compete with these US based platforms. The billionaire recognises that to succeed in the US system requires local power, such as legal representatives and lobbyists. On the contrary, Zhou is grateful for the work these companies are doing helping to educate the US government on blockchain technology.
Instead, Zhou is guiding Binance towards greater expansion, working closely with the government of Malta to establish a global decentralized bank. Alongside this, the company is focusing on building its own decentralized system in order to support decentralized exchange and platforms.
If this is the case, the company is seemingly aiming to transform its current centralized system into something more secure and efficient. Only time will tell if it can manage to achieve this.