Changpeng Zhao, known as CZ, is a Canadian multibillionaire with a net worth of $10.2 billion. His net worth could be higher since its growth relies on crypto exchange rates. He is a software developer who founded the largest cryptocurrency exchange platform, Binance.
Are you curious about the exponential growth of one of the biggest names in the crypto industry? Explore the inspiring journey of Changpeng Zhao, the brain behind Binance. Understand how his net worth skyrocketed with the crypto boom.
Changpeng Zhao Biography
Early Life and Education
Changpeng Zhao was born in Jiangsu province, China. He immigrated to Canada with his family at the age of 12 and settled in Vancouver, British Columbia. His parents were school teachers in China. His father was an instructor at a university before being exiled to rural China shortly after CZ’s birth.
During his early years in Canada, CZ took menial jobs to support his family. He worked at fast food joints and gas stations, among other places.
Zhao graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, with a degree in computer science.
According to Zhao, he is not a Chinese-Canadian but a Canadian. He acquired a Canadian visa and left his birth country in 1989 after the Tiananmen Square protests. Zhao confirmed in 2022 that he has been a Canadian citizen for well over 30 years.
In 2005, CZ returned to China and purchased an apartment in Shanghai, which he sold in 2015 to acquire Bitcoin. In 2017, the Chinese government banned the crypto exchange, forcing Changpeng Zhao to leave the country.
Zhao says he intends to follow the steps of other wealthy entrepreneurs and donate 99% of his net worth to charity.
According to different sources, Zhao had a long-term intimate relationship with a Binance co-founder, Yi He. She is a former travel television host. Yi He later gave birth to a boy in the U.S.
Changpeng Zhao lives in Dubai, UAE. He states that the world is not yet advanced to the point of self-ruling. He believes it has not advanced to the point of living without rules.
Changpeng Zhao began his business career in 2005 when he moved to Shanghai, China. He founded Fusion Systems, a high-frequency trading system. In 2013, Zhao learned about Bitcoin from a friend who advised him to invest lightly in the industry.
Instead, CZ put all he had into Bitcoin. He sold his apartment in Shanghai and invested the money in Bitcoin against his family’s wishes. In 2013, he co-developed Blockchain.info and served as the chief technology officer at OKCoin.
In July 2017, Zhao launched his own company, Binance, with an initial coin offering that brought in $15 million. Trading began on the platform eleven days later. Within 180 days, Binance had grown to the largest digital asset exchange platform in the world. In the same year, Zhao launched the Binance coin, a utility token that offers various benefits to its owners.
In February 2018, Forbes named Zhao the third richest person in cryptocurrency. In April 2019, CZ introduced the Binance Smart Chain, a smart contract feature directly competing with Ethereum. In 2019, he launched Binance.US, a Binance United States affiliate. In 2021, he withdrew an application for a crypto exchange in Singapore.
Between March and June 2023, Zhao and Binance received lawsuits from two American agencies. In March, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The lawsuit accused Zhao and Binance of evading United States law and breaching derivative rules.
The agency said in the lawsuit that Binance gave leeway to money laundering operations. It pointed out internal communications and transactions by a Palestinian militia, Hamas.
In June, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused Zhao and Binance of violating securities rules. These accusations and lawsuits caused Changpeng Zhao’s net worth to suffer a massive loss of $1.4 billion.
Take a Look at How a McDonalds Worker Founded The Largest Cryptocurrency Exchange:
How Did CZ Start?
When Zhao and his family moved to Canada, he worked in various establishments to support his family. Even refereed in volleyball games and worked at a gas station. After college, he started work as an intern at the Tokyo Stock Exchange. He coded software that assisted traders in matching their orders while trading.
After the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Zhao moved to the Bloomberg Tradebook. He worked with Bloomberg for four years as a developer of futures trading software.
Changpeng Zhao Net Worth Growth
When he learned about Bitcoin from his friend in 2013, Zhao saw its potential and invested all his finances. He sold his Shanghai apartment to make his initial investment in the digital currency. In 2017, he founded an exchange development company called BijieTech. BijieTech provided Asian traders with cloud-based trading services.
He left the company behind in 2017 and began working on the project that would become Binance. His rise to exponential wealth began when Binance raised $15 million on its initial coin offering. Under his leadership, Binance became the largest crypto trading platform in the world. As of 2021, The crypto company traded over $70 billion daily.
The company has helped skyrocket Changpeng Zhao’s net worth to billions of dollars in less than ten years of its inception. His current net worth ranges between $10 billion and $20 billion. It is even believed to be way more than that since its growth depends on price fluctuations in the crypto market.
Zhao is a cryptocurrency mega-billionaire, a tech mogul, and a thought leader in the crypto market. Changpeng Zhao’s track record of success speaks for itself. Like Mark Zuckerberg, Zhao became rich overnight when he launched his company, Binance, in 2017. Within 180 days of trading, Binance was the largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume.
As an influential person in the crypto community, Zhao has built a considerable following on his social media handles. He provides insights into the future of cryptocurrency finance via Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
How Did Changpeng Zhao Lose Money?
Changpeng Zhao suffered a huge wealth loss in June 2023 when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission cracked down on his crypto company. The crypto billionaire lost $1.4 billion.
How Many People Own 1 Bitcoin?
According to statistics published by Cointelegraph, there are almost a million people holding a whole coin. Precisely, the world has 950,000 people with a whole bitcoin.
With an impressive track record in the cryptocurrency industry, Changpeng Zhao continues to add billions to his net worth. He continues to shape the future of cryptocurrency finance and crypto assets with his company, Binance. His commitment to the industry continues to unravel new techniques for creating wealth from the crypto industry.