Who is the world’s richest crypto entrepreneur with a net worth of US$96 billion?
Changpeng Zhao is the CEO of Binance, which operates one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency portals. In December 2021, Binance.sg announced that it will wind down operations in Singapore and close by February this year.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, is the world’s richest crypto entrepreneur with a net worth of US$96 billion (S$130 billion).
Zhao, also known as CZ, ranks 11th among the world’s richest people, even overtaking Asia’s richest billionaire, Mukesh Ambani. This is the first time that Bloomberg has estimated Zhao’s fortune. The 44-year-old’s personal crypto holdings were excluded from the estimation.
Zhao’s net worth rivals the wealth amassed by tech billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. On the list, Zhao stands just behind Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle, whose net worth currently stands at US$109 billion.
Binance generated at least US$20 billion in revenue last year, according to a Bloomberg report. However, it has faced issues reconciling with the world’s regulators.
In December 2021, Binance announced that it would close its digital token exchange in Singapore. The company’s subsidiary, Binance Asia Services, had withdrawn its application to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for a license to operate a regulated cryptocurrency exchange in the country. Binance.sg is winding down operations and closing by Feb 13.
Zhao was born in China’s Jiangsu province. At the age of 12, his family moved to Vancouver, Canada, where he took on various odd jobs to keep his family afloat, including flipping burgers at McDonald’s.
He studied computer science at McGill University in Montreal and later landed finance jobs in Tokyo and New York. He learned about crypto during a poker game with Bobby Lee, CEO of BTC China and investor Ron Cao, and later founded Binance in 2017.