Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, also known as “CZ,” became the wealthiest crypto billionaire with an estimated net worth of $96 billion – and that’s without counting his personal crypto holdings.
According to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Changpeng Zhao ranks 11th among the world’s richest people as Binance retains its position as the biggest crypto exchange in terms of the trading volume.
Zhao, the 44-year-old crypto entrepreneur, overtook Asia’s richest billionaire, Mukesh Ambani, despite Bloomberg excluding his personal crypto holdings, such as Bitcoin and the exchange’s in-house Binance Coin tokens.
Per Bloomberg’s estimation, Zhao stands just behind Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, whose net worth currently leads by roughly $11 billion. While this was the first time Bloomberg estimated CZ’s fortune, Binance’s growth trajectory signals a possibility of exceeding tech goliaths such as Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
The CEO of the biggest cryptocurrency exchange Binance by daily volume, dwarfed other crypto billionaires in the space, like Sam Bankman-Fried and Brian Armstrong; all of them are CEOs of the leading crypto exchanges.
Sam Bankman-Fried, with a net worth of $15.4 billion, is the CEO of FTX cryptocurrency exchange, which last year made historical partnerships in sports such as with the MLB and the naming rights of the stadium of the Miami Heats.
Brian Armstrong, with a net worth of $8.93 billion, is the CEO of Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange, which started trading publicly on the Nasdaq exchange in April 2021.
Binance exchange, founded in 2017, has been at the heart of the global cryptocurrency boom over the last year. Zhao has said that, on a good day, the exchange sees trading volumes of around $170 billion.
At the same time, the company is suffering intense regulatory pressure around the world as watchdogs try to get to grips with the opaque crypto world.
For example, the Netherlands’ central bank has said Binance is not in compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) laws, and the UK has cracked down on the exchange’s ability to offer services to British customers.
Zhao said in July last year he welcomes regulation and that Binance is pivoting to become a fully regulated financial institution.
Recently, Binance CEO revealed he bought his first home in Dubai, a city he describes as “very pro-crypto.” He also confirmed that Binance has decided on a location for its global headquarters, hinting where Binance’s HQ will be located.