Crypto exchange CEO is surprised Elon Musk is so into Dogecoin

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Elon Musk’s love for Dogecoin is turning heads even in the crypto world.

“I’m surprised Elon is so gung-ho on Dogecoin — but this is a decentralized, free world, anybody can like anything,” Binance Holdings Ltd. chief executive and founder Changpeng Zhao said in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Friday.

Musk, the founder of Tesla Inc. and the world’s richest man, has tweeted multiple times about the Shiba Inu-themed cryptocurrency that was started as a joke in 2013. And Binance, operator of one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, has recently added Dogecoin futures on its platform to satisfy new liquidity demand.

Binance is raking in new users at its fastest pace ever as Bitcoin tops $50,000. The crypto behemoth has been attracting more than 300,000 new user registrations on a day to day basis, sustaining above a previous peak in 2017, Zhao said.

The optimism over institutional interest, among other factors, has helped Bitcoin surge more than 400% over the past year. Earlier this month, Tesla Inc. announced it bought $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and would accept the world’s biggest digital coin as a payment. The crypto mania has also benefited smaller tokens like Dogecoin.

Binance’s own token BNB has outperformed Bitcoin, though Zhao noted it also has higher risk than the largest cryptocurrency as well, comparing their volatility levels. Binance Coin started as a loyalty program incentivizing user trades but now powers the decentralized applications on Binance’s own blockchain.

“There’s a lot more activity now in this industry than three years ago,” said Zhao, who also goes by CZ. “We are just at the beginning.”

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