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Yi He

Yi He is a Chinese entrepreneur and investor best known for founding , the world's largest  exchange, with . She serves as the Chief Marketing Officer leading business, marketing, and branding strategy at and is also the head of . [14] [5]

She was previously a co-founder of the exchange  and also served as Vice president for the leading mobile video tech company, Yixia Technology. [8]

Early Life & Education

Yi He was born in 1986 in China. She grew up in a rural area in Sichuan province in western China, where her parents worked as teachers. In one of her interviews, she mentioned: [13]

“I'm from a very small village and a very poor family”

Career

Yi He's first job was promoting a new soft drink by giving out free samples in front of a supermarket. [19]

"It was a hard job and all the talking and hawking led to a hoarse voice”

Yi He's career in the entrainment industry began in 2012 when she joined a Chinese Television Channel and worked as a TV Show host for a travel show. She left the media industry in July 2014 and joined a startup. [20]

Yi He learned about  in 2013 while working for the start-up. In 2014, She started working in the cryptocurrency space and was one of the co-founders of . She led OKCoin’s branding and marketing strategy. OKCoin was the largest Chinese cryptocurrency-to-fiat exchange as of 2015. Yi He handled user operations management, online marketing management, social media management, PR management, and branding management and helped OKCoin to obtain 60% of the Chinese market share. [6][14]

In December 2015, Yi He joined the leading mobile video-sharing tech company, Yixia Technology. She served as Vice president and handled the product management and marketing operations for the company and its subsidiaries. She created the live-broadcasting platform “Yi Zhi Bo" which was later acquired by a social network company, Weibo. At that time, she said in a blog post:

“This world is crazier than you think, and I am part of this crazy world. Therefore, I would like to go back to my battlefield, join Binance, in order to complete my mission.”[8][9]

In August 2017, she joined to lead , as their CMO. Under her leadership, became one of the largest exchanges in the world in just a few months, offering trading services for a wide range of cryptocurrencies. [4]

Yi He had been responsible for many of key initiatives, including the launch of Binance's platform and its educational initiatives aimed at promoting the adoption and understanding of and . [9]

Since 2017, Yi He has served as CMO of managing Binance's venture investment arm and all marketing efforts, including online marketing operations management, social media management, PR, and branding management. [7]
wiki
Yi He is also a and thought leader, regularly speaking at industry events and contributing to the development of the industry.


On August 3rd, 2022, Yi He was appointed as the new head of , the venture capital (VC) arm and incubator of Binance. She had been actively involved in Binance Labs since the very beginning so , along with the whole team, believed that it was the perfect step up for Yi to take on a bigger role. [15]

“As part of the founding team, Yi has been actively involved in Labs since its inception and has played a pivotal role in identifying early-stage projects and founders with the vision and drive to disrupt those global institutions that no longer serve society effectively. This is the perfect moment for Yi to take on a larger role in Labs as this market presents an unparalleled opportunity to identify those projects with the tenacity to thrive in tough market conditions.” - Changpeng Zhao

Yi took the opportunity to take lead in global strategy and the day-to-day operations at Binance Labs. Her vision is to drive the future adoption of and technology by building the standard for the blockchain industry. Under her leadership, finding founders who are motivated and capable has been the focal point when finding the correct investments. [15]

“Part of the journey of seeing Binance grow, especially through tough market conditions, has been the ability to identify those founders that have the skills and embody the values needed to thrive in an environment where resources are more limited. As a leading player in the space, my goal is to help define the industry standard by identifying and supporting sustainable projects and building an ecosystem of quality blockchain solutions that empowers the entire industry” - Yi He

In June 2023, Radiant Capital, a decentralized finance lending and borrowing protocol, secured a $10 million investment from Binance Labs with the guidance of Yi He. She emphasized Radiant's potential for driving broader adoption, particularly through its cross-chain capabilities. [23]

"Radiant Capital's commitment to facilitating seamless cross-chain transactions for DeFi, and performance on Arbitrum and BNB Chain demonstrates its potential for driving mass adoption.”

Philanthropy

Yi He is also actively involved in a number of charitable activities. Some of notable ones include:[10][11][12]

  • Charity Foundation: This is a non-profit organization founded by in 2018, with the goal of using technology to enhance transparency and efficiency in the global charity sector. It has carried out several initiatives, including providing relief aid to disaster-stricken areas and helping to educate underprivileged children.
  • for Children: This is a campaign launched by Charity Foundation in 2019, aimed at helping children in need around the world. As part of this initiative, Binance has donated funds to organizations working in education, healthcare, and other areas to support children's development.
  • COVID-19 Relief Fund: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, established a relief fund in 2020 to provide financial support to organizations and individuals affected by the crisis. The company also launched a fundraising campaign, encouraging its users to donate funds, which were then distributed to those in need.

Interviews

Personal Growth

On July 15th, 2022, the first interview given in English by Yi He was released where she highlights the importance of challenging oneself as well as what it takes to become successful. Throughout the interview, she talks about her willingness to challenge herself and take risks in her career. For example, when she left her role in media to enter the industry for the first time, she actually didn't find it too difficult. [17]

"My talent has always been trying to challenge myself. I think a lot of people set limits for themselves so they just keep enjoying life and want to stay where they feel comfortable.”

She also stated that she believes blockchain technology and have the power to existing financial systems. [17]

“I felt it really had the potential to help people globally. I came to the decision to join very fast. I believed it would be the future.”

Yi He also recognizes that success is a team effort and that it is important to hire the best people, highlighting the importance of collaboration. [17]

"The biggest challenge that we face is making sure we hire the best people in the world."
"No one can be successful on their own"

In the interview, she also explained that the reason behind CZ being the face of the company was because he suited the role better than she did, despite the pair of them being the ones who founded the company together. [17]

"CZ is definitely a better candidate to be the public face of the company. He’s like the captain, or the driver and if the company has too many public figureheads that would make people confused."

Investment Strategies

On September 19th, 2022, Yi took part in an interview going over her investment strategies for Binance Labs. Firstly, she stated that the team was looking out for projects that would benefit the company long-term and are still in their early stages. She also believes that the bear market is a good investment opportunity as it helps get rid of projects that lack a solid foundation. [18]

"We all know it’s a good investment opportunity in a bear market, as many teams that only look to make some quick money would be forced out of the industry. It’s good timing now to support those who really want to run a good business and believe in this industry.

Yi also added that the team looks for projects that would benefit the company regardless of the conditions of the market, but make bolder, yet calculated, investment decisions during bear markets.

"We generally figure out what we really want no matter if we’re in a bull or bear market. In a bear market, I think we should make investments more aggressively, but not just for the sake of investing."

Yi highlights that there are three types of companies that Binance Labs is looking at, those that build the infrastructure, those that run all kinds of blockchain applications, and those that provide blockchain-related services.

"There are three types of companies we’re looking at. The first type are those that build the infrastructure. The second type of projects we’d invest in are those that run all kinds of blockchain applications. The third type of companies we’re looking at are those that provide blockchain-related services to support the better development of the industry, such as data security."

Yi's Advice for Women

On March 8th, 2023, Yi He stated that she believes that women need to focus on culminating the mindset to succeed in the space. She said that women should "never set a limit" on themselves, and instead, be assertive, take ownership, and focus on becoming good business leaders regardless of their gender. Yi emphasized that everyone must focus on three key components: mindset, growth management, and decision-making. Yi noted that nearly 30% of senior leaders at Binance are women who used to report directly to the company’s ex-CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao. In an effort to promote education and provide opportunities for women, Binance Charity announced its initiative to provide over 30,000 Web3 scholarships over the next year, with some of the scholarships specifically targeting women-centered organizations in developing countries. [16]

“Forget your gender. Don’t focus on the fact that you’re a woman in a man’s world. Instead, focus on how to be a good business leader, regardless of being a man or woman.”

Regulatory Views

On June 28, 2023, Yi He discussed the global trend of cryptocurrency regulation in a Bloomberg interview, acknowledging its inevitability and potential benefits. Her remarks came amid regulatory challenges faced by and its ex-CEO . Yi He emphasized the importance of compliance, suggesting that Binance's commitment to regulatory alignment sets it apart in the industry. She cautioned against confrontational approaches to regulation, noting that cooperation with government agencies is more effective. Most notably, she stated that if Binance is found guilty of not being compliant with regulations, all crypto trading platforms would be found guilty as well. [21][22]

“If they really took the time to understand our industry, they would see that if Binance isn’t compliant, then practically no other global trading platform or offshore company is.”

In April 2024, Yi “dispelled concerns over the regulatory status” of at the Binance Chinese Meetup held on the sideline of the Token2049 conference in Dubai, according to the company’s newsfeed. Yi said that:

“CZ's current standing in the US is largely peaceful and past regulatory pressures have been internally anticipated. She believes the existing situation to be the most optimal outcome given the circumstances.” [26][27]

CZ is set for sentencing in the United States on one felony charge on April 30, 2024. [27]

Social Media Updates

Yi He took to Twitter on February 6th, 2024, to communicate important updates regarding listing transparency and security measures within the crypto community, in order to demonstrate intend for a proactive stance in addressing scams and fostering a secure trading atmosphere.[24][25]

On June 14, 2024, Yi He took to X to question its CEO, on how he plans to address issues concerning crypto scams present on the platform.[28] According to her, one specific impersonation scam directed users to click on a link purported to give access to Binance-backed memecoins:

"I have not issued any new MEMEcoins. Clicking on the link will result in your money being stolen. Many people were tricked by this hacker link and lost a significant amount of money today. Is there any way to address this issue?" - she wrote[29]

Musk is yet to respond to Yi He’s post on X.com.

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Yi He

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June 19, 2024

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