Dubai’s Museum of the Future will host Changpeng Zhao, founder and chief executive of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, to talk about digital tokens and blockchain technology and the emirate’s pivotal role in globalising the future of the industry.
Mr Zhao’s session is part of a series of nine “Future Talks” that the museum will host from February 24 to March 29 and is open to the public free of charge, the UAE Media Office said. The museum opens on February 22.
The initiative is part of the museum’s mission to “create a platform where the world’s brightest minds meet and collaborate to design innovative solutions".
In his talk at 3pm on February 24, Mr Zhao will discuss his experience in setting up Binance, as well as the potential of non-fungible tokens and his vision for the future of finance.
There has been growing interest in the cryptocurrency market in the UAE as consumers and investors flock to digital assets.
In December, the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority and Binance signed a preliminary agreement to develop an industry centre for global digital assets in the emirate.
The initiative will help to expedite Dubai’s plans to establish a new international digital asset ecosystem, which will, in turn, generate long-term economic growth using innovation, the authority said at the time.
Binance will also organise its digital blockchain conference in Dubai from March 28 to 30.
Countries that do not adopt cryptocurrencies sooner will be left behind, Mr Zhao said at Gitex Global in October, as he gave a warning that a lack of awareness regarding the advantages of digital assets would create a chain reaction that would consequently be a setback for progress.
He acknowledged that it will take decades for fully fledged regulatory frameworks to be developed and put into effect. However, the rapid pace of adoption could prompt governments to hasten the process, he said.
Mr Zhao's “successful life story” will serve as an inspiration for youths to face challenges and achieve their dreams, the UAE Media Office said.
Having moved from China to Canada, he had to work in McDonald’s outlets and gas stations during his adolescent years. He later forayed into independent trading by establishing a broker trading platform called Fusion Systems in Shanghai.
Mr Zhao was a member of the founding team of Blockchain Info, before taking a senior position with cryptocurrency company OKCoin. He left this role and founded Binance in 2017 after raising $15 million through an initial cryptocurrency offering.
In 2018, Mr Zhao launched Binance Smart Chain, which focuses on decentralised financing solutions.
His current net worth is $72.2 billion, making him the 15th richest person globally, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The billionaire announced last November that he bought an apartment in Dubai, which he described as a “friendly city for crypto-financial solutions”.
The Future Talks series at the Museum of the Future will focus on opportunities in the fields of cryptocurrencies and NFTs, the future of mixed reality, mobility, the metaverse, finance and technology, and the state of the world in 2022, among other topics.