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Binance, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchange, announced today that it has hired Wei Zhou, a seasoned Wall Street executive, as its new Chief Financial Officer, a move that could be considered the company’s first step toward an IPO.

Zhou notably served as the CFO of Zhaopin.com and Charm Communications, where he led both companies through IPO listings on the NYSE and Nasdaq, respectively.¬† The hiring of a CFO with significant capital markets experience, especially one who’s taken multiple companies through the IPO listing process, can definitely be seen as an indicator that Binance¬†is considering a similar route.

Although Binance¬†does not necessarily need the capital associated with a public listing — it pulled in more than $200 million in the first quarter of the year — the exchange would definitely reach a wider audience of institutional investors to help further build its dominance within the market. Additionally, an IPO would allow early backers of Binance¬†to exit their positions and would likely help the company further separate itself from the ongoing issues with Sequoia¬†Capital.

Binance conducted an initial coin offering (ICO) for its platform token, Binance Coin (BNB), where it raised more than $15 million last fall. BNB is currently ranked 15th in the AltDex 100 Index (ALT100), a benchmark index for large-cap cryptocurrencies and tokens, and first in the AltDex Exchange Token Index (ALTEXC), where it constitutes 37% of the index.

Interestingly, the Binance announcement comes within hours of competing crypto exchange Robinhood’s announcement that it plans to go public. While speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt SF, Robinhood CEO Baiju Bhatt revealed that the company is gearing up for an IPO and has begun its search for a chief financial officer.

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While this is nothing more than speculation, the company has definitely checked several boxes toward a potential IPO.

More: Official Binance Tweet
Related: Robinhood aims at IPO as the fintech startup seeks CFO
Photo: Marco Verch / Flickr

Disclaimer: This article’s author has cryptocurrency holdings that can be tracked here. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. Always conduct your own due diligence before making investments.

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