Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, commonly known as CZ, has made headlines once again as one of the world’s wealthiest individuals. According to Bloomberg’s latest selection of the 25 financial titans who made their wealth through “computer-driven trading companies,” CZ was ranked third, with a net worth of $28.2 billion.
The majority of CZ’s wealth comes from his cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, which he founded in 2017. Binance has quickly become the largest crypto exchange in the world, controlling over 50% of the market and boasting more than 120 million users. Despite not publishing its financial data, Bloomberg estimates Binance’s annual revenue to be around $12 billion as of April 5, 2023.
CZ’s rise to prominence in the world of cryptocurrencies began when he was introduced to Bitcoin by crypto entrepreneur Bobby Lee at a poker game in Shanghai. He then went on to work on trading systems before launching Binance, which quickly became a favorite among traders due to its low fees and high trading volumes.
However, Binance’s success has not come without controversy. In November 2022, FTX, another cryptocurrency exchange, collapsed, leading to increased regulatory scrutiny of the industry. Binance and CZ have come under fire for breaking trading and derivatives laws, with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission filing a lawsuit against them.
Despite this, CZ’s wealth has continued to grow, with Forbes estimating his net worth at $10.5 billion as of April 26, 2023. However, given Binance’s refusal to publish its financial data and the ongoing regulatory challenges it faces, it is difficult to determine the accuracy of these estimates.
Nevertheless, CZ remains a prominent figure in the cryptocurrency world, and his wealth and success serve as a reminder of the significant impact that cryptocurrencies are having on the global economy. As the industry continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how CZ and Binance fare in the face of increasing regulatory scrutiny and competition from other exchanges.