Binance has added payment support for 15 fiat currencies in a major push to corner local markets.
The Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange announced Friday that users can now purchase cryptocurrencies with a longer list of supported fiat currencies through its integration with Israeli fiat payments processor Simplex.
The new integration provides gateways for currencies including the Swiss franc, Korean won and Australian dollar, as well as the Polish zloty and South African rand. Currencies that have already been made available through Binance’s fiat-to-crypto trading facility, such as pound sterling and Russian ruble, are also now supported through Simplex.
Developers confirmed the integration was fully operational by Thursday afternoon.
Supported fiat currencies will be paired with Binance’s base cryptocurrencies – the assets the exchange uses for its default trading pairs. These currently include bitcoin, ether, XRP, as well as some selected fiat currencies, including the U.S. dollar and the Nigerian naira.
Data collected for CoinDesk suggests fiat volumes only make up a tiny fraction of Binance’s trading activity. With 30-day average daily volumes at around $3.55 billion, only $3.5 million of that was in fiat.
As the graph below highlights, the vast majority of this volume has been in U.S. dollars since a gateway for the currency was opened up. As Binance folds some of its supported currencies into U.S. dollars, it isn’t certain if end-users are entirely behind all of Binance’s dollar volume.
Simplex first partnered with Binance in January 2019, allowing users to purchase cryptocurrencies with credit and debit card payments denominated in euros, U.S. and Canadian dollars, and Japanese yen.
Although Simplex charges a three percent fee – plus a $10 flat fee for any purchases below $200 – it is designed to be cheaper than paying straight from a bank or card provider, which usually levy an additional three percent FX fee on top of any other fees charged for a fiat-crypt swap.
Encouraging users to trade in their local currency could enhance Binance’s global appeal. Last October, CEO Changpeng Zhao said they had integrated Russian rubles into the platform after describing the country as one of their key markets. On Thursday, the exchange announced it had hired a former Uber product lead to begin building a range of services specific to local markets.
UPDATE (Feb. 14, 12:35 UTC): This article has been updated with additional information about how Binance folds some of its supported currencies into U.S. dollars.
Image: CoinDesk archives