It appears Binance might be considering expanding its line of products with a standalone cryptocurrency wallet.
The exchange announced it has acquired mobile wallet solution Trust Wallet in an effort to improve “the centralized architecture” of its platform.
“Wallets are the most fundamental interface to the crypto economy, and a secure and easy-to-use wallet is key to proliferate the adoption of cryptocurrencies,” Binance CEO and founder Changpeng Zhao said in a statement to Hard Fork. “Trust Wallet is an on-chain wallet, where user private keys are decentralized [and] stored on user devices. This compliments the centralized architecture of Binance nicely.”
Binance revealed that despite the acquisition, the Trust Wallet team will continue to operate and develop the core product autonomously – though it will probably take advantage of the company’s wide user base and upcoming decentralized exchange initiative, more commonly known as Dexathon.
It’s worth pointing out that the deal marks Binance’s very first acquisition. It will be interesting to see how this move benefits the exchange’s massive user base, which recently swelled to nine million.
We’ve asked Zhao about how Trust Wallet fits within the larger Binance infrastructure and will update this piece accordingly if we hear back.
The move likely aims to address recent criticism aimed at centralized crypto-exchanges. Indeed, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin recently scolded the idea of centralized exchanges in an interview with TechCrunch. “I definitely hope centralized exchanges go burn in hell as much as possible,” Buterin said.
Responding to Buterin’s remark, Zhao commented he believes “decentralization is a means, not an end,” adding that the goal is to increase freedom and choice.
It remains to be seen whether the acquisition of Trust Wallet can do that for Binance though. Providing more legitimate options for storing cryptocurrencies is surely not a bad thing, right? To their credit, Binance have got this far without a world-shaking security breach or Hollywood-inspiring crypto-heist (though they’ve had some hiccups).
Let’s just hope the backing of a cryptocurrency storage solution by the biggest exchange in the world hasn’t just set the scene for the next action blockbuster.