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Changpeng Zhao Net Worth, Crypto and NFT Investments

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According to Forbes, the net worth of Changpeng Zhao is estimated to be $15 billion. He acquired most of his wealth as the CEO of the largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, Binance. In 2022, Forbes estimated the net worth of Changpeng Zhao to be $65 billion. 

Changpeng Zhao

Zhao had a tough beginning that forced his family out of China. According to findings, the Binance boss didn’t inherit any wealth from his family. Instead, he strived all by himself to become successful. Before he founded Binance, Changpeng Zhao worked on various tech startups. 

Likewise, he has been the subject of various controversies. Recently, popular Chatbot, ChatGPT generated results claiming that Changpeng Zhao is a member of the Chinese Communist Party. 

In November 2023, Changpeng Zhao pleaded guilty to all the money laundering charges leveled against him by the U.S. authorities and eventually agreed to step down from his role as the CEO of Binance.

Changpeng Zhao’s Net Worth

Year Net Worth
2020 $1.5 billion
2021 $1.9 billion
2022 $65 billion
2023 $10.5 billion
2024 $15 billion

Early Life

Born on February 5, 1977, in the Jiangsu province of China, Changpeng Zhao had a tough beginning that forced his family away from China. Prior to his birth, Changpeng Zhao’s parents were school teachers in China.

His father, Shengkai advanced further, becoming an instructor at the University of Science and Technology in Hefei, a leading Chinese University at that time. Shengkai and his family lived on the campus of the University during this period. 

Things began to change negatively for Shengkai and his family. Authorities perceived his teaching to be against the communist ideology of the Chinese government, thus, tagging him as a “pro-bourgeois intellect.” Consequently, the Changpeng Zhao family was forced to leave far away from urban areas in China.

The hostility from the Chinese government forced Shengkai to consider moving outside the country. Due to that, he moved to Canada in 1984 to pursue a doctorate. The rest of his family joined him five years later.

Efforts to move away from China were difficult for Changpeng Zhao and the rest of the family. The tough crackdown on those who opposed the Chinese Communist Party compelled many to flee the country then. Changpeng Zhao and his family spent several days outside the Canadian Embassy in China for an expedited visa to leave the country.

At a time, Changpeng Zhao recalled how members of the family took shifts at night to retain the family’s position in the queue. Initially, attempting to relocate from China usually takes up to 7 years owing to the complications in processing travel documents.

But, the tensed situation in country at that time helped simplify the process as they eventually joined Shengkai in Canada. Settling down in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada was a difficult one for the family. The situation was so tough that young Changpeng Zhao had to take menial jobs to assist the family during that period. He worked at a restaurant belonging to McDonald as a fast food clerk. 

Despite the difficulties, Changpeng Zhao picked an interest in computer programming at a young age. This interest gained more ground in Changpeng Zhao after his Father acquired a computer. Thereafter, he enrolled in various computer programming classes before gaining admission into McGill University, Montreal.

There, he majored in Computer Science. Meanwhile, Changpeng Zhao also picked an interest in Mathematics which further complemented his focus on computer programming. 

Career Before Binance

Upon his graduation from McGill University, Changpeng Zhao picked up a contractor role as an intern at the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Thereafter, he worked with Bloomberg for four (4) years between 2001 to 2005 as head of Tradebook Futures Development. As a computer science expert, Changpeng Zhao focused on building Tech Startups.

In 2005, the web tech industry began to gain relevance in China. Owing to that, Changpeng Zhao moved to Shanghai to launch an IT start-up together with five other partners. Before returning to China, he has changed his nationality to Canada after leaving China at a young age. 

The start-up was designated as a “Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprise” (WOFE). During this period, Changpeng Zhao strived hard to keep the business afloat. Things began to improve positively for him and he acquired a condo in Shanghai. Meanwhile, he was forced to pay 25% more tax because he was a foreigner. During this period, the net worth of Changpeng Zhao didn’t gain much boost. 

In China, he also co-founded the Fusion system. Additionally, Changpeng Zhao worked on various projects during this period. In 2013, he worked as the Chief Technology Officer of OKCoin before moving on to work on some other projects. Also, he founded Bijie Tech which provides cloud-based services to exchanges.

According to a revelation by Changpeng Zhao, the firm managed to attract about 30 clients aboard. Most of these clients were mostly exchanges of art and items like stamps, baseball cards, and many more. 

In March 2017, the Chinese government began to clamp down on exchanges that offer such services. Changpeng Zhao’s firm began to struggle as all of its clients went out of business. During this period, there was a general notion that such services provided by Bijie Tech clients could destroy the careers of young minds in the country.

This belief surfaced due to how the older population in China then perceived that everything relating to the Internet and Social Media was harmful to youth. The struggles of the firm gave Changpeng Zhao headway about the possibility of establishing a cryptocurrency exchange. 


With Bijie out of business, Changpeng Zhao mobilized some of his team members to launch Binance on July 14, 2017. Binance managed to raise $15 million from an initial coin offering, and trading began on the exchange eleven days later.

Thereafter, Changpeng Zhao launched the Binance Coin in 2017. The Binance Coin served as a utility token to the crypto exchange. It was designed to give its holders numerous benefits, such as discounts on trading fees.

The project was struggling to kick off properly after the Chinese government’s general clampdown was extended to crypto exchanges. On September 4, 2017, the Chinese government issued a memo declaring that crypto exchanges were no longer allowed to operate in the country.

Later, the Chinese government blocked the platform behind the Great Firewall. The crypto exchange lost most of its employees and users due to the memo. In less than a year after its official launch, Binance was left with few employees. 

Despite the struggles, Changpeng managed to forge ahead and keep the business running. His dedication paid off as Binance grew rapidly to become the largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume in less than eight (8) months after its official launch.

Attaining that height, Binance recorded a market capitalization of $1.3 billion despite stern competition with Coinbase. The success of Binance laid the foundation for the growing net worth of Changpeng Zhao. In February 2018, Forbes listed him third on its list of “The Richest People In Cryptocurrency”. Then, the net worth of Changpeng Zhao was estimated to be around $2 billion.

Furthermore, the clampdown on cryptocurrency exchanges in China forced Changpeng Zhao to consider leaving the country again. Consequently, alongside other team members, he decided to run the exchange without a particular headquarters. Therefore, birthing the idea of working remotely. Despite the uncertainty regarding its future, Binance focused on expansion and establishing itself as a leader in the crypto industry. 

In April 2018, Binance signed a memorandum of understanding with the authorities of Bermuda. The move surfaced as an attempt by the crypto exchange to establish a base in the region. Part of the agreement saw Binance group donate about $15 million to educational programs on Fintech and Blockchain in the region.

Shortly after expanding its services to Bermuda, Binance signed a similar MOU with the Malta Stock Exchange to develop a platform for trading security tokens. In the same month, Changpeng Zhao launched the Binance Charity Foundation. The foundation focused on supporting the advancement of blockchain-oriented philanthropy with a focus on third-world countries.

By June 2018, Binance and three other companies already raised $65 million for sports blockchain company Chiliz. More efforts to gain ground in the industry saw Binance acquire Trust Wallet for an undisclosed amount in July 2018. According to reports, the cryptocurrency exchange paid in cash, Binance stock, and a portion of its BNB token.

The 2019 Setback

The crypto exchange started in 2019 from where it stopped the previous year. In January 2019, Binance collaborated with Israel-based payment firm Simplex. The move surfaced as part of an effort to allow users to purchase cryptocurrency with debit and credit cards.

The exchange launched the Binance Smart Chain in April 2019. The blockchain was designed to rival Ethereum with its smart contract functionality. Likewise, that year, Changpeng Zhao launched the Binance Jersey. Binance Jersey was designed to function as an independent entity from its parent exchange. The exchange intended to grow Binance’s influence in Europe with the subsidiary. 

Binance and Changpeng Zhao suffered a significant setback in 2019 after hackers stole 7,000 Bitcoin worth around $40 million at that time. According to findings, the exploit took place after the security system of Binance was breached.

In an announcement, Changpeng Zhao revealed that the attack took place on May 7, 2019. Reportedly, the hackers employed various techniques to bypass security checks on the exchange. Binance was compelled to halt withdrawals and deposits on the platform as a result of the attack. 

Meanwhile, the issue cast doubts over the future of the exchange. It triggered fear among users who were skeptical about Binance’s competence to effectively safeguard their virtual assets. In addition, the hack resulted in loss of revenue for the crypto exchange and the net worth of Changpeng Zhao dipped within that period. Binance compensated affected customers and resumed withdrawals on May 19, 2019. 

Moving Forward

Binance regained balance months later and the crypto exchange inaugurated perpetual futures contracts services in September 2019. Changpeng Zhao attempted to extend Binance’s business activities to India. Due to that, Binance acquired WazirX, a crypto exchange in India in November 2019. Though, later in 2022, Changpeng Zhao refuted the claims that the deal didn’t manifest. 

In 2019, Changpeng Zhao launched a U.S. affiliate of the cryptocurrency exchange, Binance.US. Binance partnered with its U.S. partner BAM Trading Services to establish the cryptocurrency exchange specifically for users in the United States. The move surfaced in an effort to suit the regulatory demands in the country.

Also, the firm partnered with Paxos to develop its popular stablecoin in 2019. However, the New York Department of Financial Services stopped Paxos from minting new BUSD tokens in February 2023. When the stablecoin project was still active, BUSD was the third largest stablecoin by market cap only behind USDT and USDC. 

In 2020, Binance partnered with a Chinese state-owned enterprise under the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council. Terms of the collaboration saw Binance join a group working on the Belt and Road Initiative. It is worth mentioning that in 2020, Binance and Changpeng Zhao became the subject of numerous controversies.

First, around February 2020, Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) debunked claims that Binance is based in the country. The regulatory body emphasized that Binance is not authorized to provide virtual assets services in the country. 

It is noteworthy that the 2021 crypto bull run boosted the annual revenue of Binance and the net worth of its CEO, Changpeng Zhao. Then, the exchange shifted its focus to providing education about blockchain. The crypto exchange revealed that equipping people with knowledge about the innovation will aid its advancement.

Consequently, the cryptocurrency exchange commenced the provision of educational programs in Africa and some parts of Asia. On various occasions, the exchange held seminars in African countries like Nigeria and Ghana. 

Further, the crypto exchange began collaborating with various bodies in the football sphere. In 2021, Binance sponsored the Africa Cup of Nations held in Cameroon. Its efforts in football birthed collaborations with Cristiano Ronaldo, Laizo, Italian Seria A, Porto, the Brazilian Football Federation, and many others. 

At the initial stage of the of the war between Russia and Ukraine, Changpeng Zhao refused to ban Russian users from using the Binance. He cited that taking such a move is against the financial freedom ideology of the crypto exchange. Meanwhile, the crypto exchange donated $10 million for humanitarian needs in Ukraine.

Eventually, Binance banned Russian users from purchasing euros and dollars through its p2p platform. Consequently, the ban affected European users of the exchange who in turn couldn’t buy the Russian rubles.

In 2022, the exchange intensified its expansion effort into countries in Europe. Consequently, Binance gained approval to commence operations in countries like Italy, Spain, and France. Then, the country revealed its intention of expanding towards European countries like Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands, Portugal, and Austria.

In October of that year, reports revealed that Binance invested $500 million towards the famous Elon Musk takeover of Twitter. Later, Changpeng Zhao confirmed the development stating that the exchange would set up a team to investigate how blockchain and cryptocurrencies could be helpful to Twitter.

Following the insolvency crisis of FTX, Binance offered to acquire the international subsidiary of the rival crypto exchange. Binance intended to provide financial cover for the crypto exchange.

However, Binance walked away from the deal, citing concerns about FTX’s business practices and investigations by U.S. financial regulators. Later that month, Binance made a re-entry into the Japanese cryptocurrency market. The exchange acquired Japan-based Sakura Exchange.

Controversies with Media Outlets

On various occasions, Changpeng Zhao and mainstream media organizations like Reuters, Forbes, and Bloomberg have been at loggerheads. At a time, the Binance boss decried how various publications from the organizations portrayed his personality wrongly. 

On 28 October 2020, Forbes staff sent out leaked documents showing how Binance and Changpeng Zhao bypassed regulations in the U.S. As reported, the Staff alleged that Binance set up an elaborate corporate structure aimed at deliberately deceiving U.S regulators and secretly profiting from investors in the country.

The allegations stated that Changpeng Zhao and Binance initially banned IP addresses from the United States from using the crypto exchange. However, Forbes claimed that the exchange provided a pathway for users to circumvent the restrictions. 

Another Bloomberg Publication dated May 13, 2021, cited people familiar with the issue claiming that Binance and Changpeng Zhao are under investigation by the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service. The report revealed that Binance and its CEO were being investigated for money laundering and tax offenses. 

In February 2022, Binance attempted to purchase $200 million worth of stakes in Forbes. It’s unclear whether the deal managed to scale through. However, there are emerging pointers that the deal suffered a tough setback. Forbes Global Media Holdings cooled plans to go public through a merger with Magnum Opus Acquisition Ltd. Due to that, many suspected that the deal never materialized. 

In April 2022, Reuters in a report accused Binance of collaborating with Kremlin security authorities to reveal users’ details. According to the publication, Reuters stated that Binance agreed to disclose the name and address belonging to jailed Anti-Kremlin activist, Alexie Navalny. As reported by Reuters, Kremlin security operatives intended to nail down those who contributed in Bitcoin to the campaign of Alexie Navalny against Vladimir Putin. 

More so, In June 2022, Reuters alleged that Binance facilitated the laundering of $23 billion. The publication reported that Binance and Changpeng Zhao aided countless transactions from fraudulent sources. Reuters revealed that between 2017 to 2022, over $23 billion from hacks, frauds, and drug transactions were transferred through Binance. 

Again allegations about Money Laundering charges against Changpeng Zhao and Binance surfaced in 2022. Reuters reported that Binance and its CEO refused to cooperate with the investigations. Also, Reuters through the report stated that despite numerous attempts by regulators to meet the leadership of Binance regarding the allegations, the exchange failed to reciprocate.

Reuters alleged that Binance went as far as concealing its headquarters from regulators. The report incurred a stern response from Binance who regarded it as another baseless agenda. 

Another Reuters report in early 2023 indicated that between January to March 2021, Binance.US transferred about $400 million to another company belonging to its CEO, Changpeng Zhao. Reuters alleged that the United States organ of Binance wired the funds through its account with Silvergate Bank to Merit Park, another company belonging to CZ.

On April 4, 2023, Changpeng Zhao was forced to respond to rumors that Interpol issued a public red notice against him. The Binance CEO via his official Twitter handle stated that the picture circulating was photoshopped. 

On April 24, 2023, a fresh controversy regarding Changpeng Zhao surfaced. Bloomberg in a special publication celebrating those who became billionaires through tech and crypto referred to the Binance CEO as a Chinese. Further, the publication alleged that Changpeng Zhao as a rival contributed to the downfall of FTX.

In the article, Bloomberg estimated the net worth of Changpeng Zhao to be around $28 billion. The reports didn’t sit well with the Binance boss who stated that the details were not true. In response, Changpeng Zhao dismissed ties connecting him to China. He emphasized that he’s a Canadian and Binance isn’t a Chinese business. More so, during the first week of May 2023, Changpeng Zhao was subjected to another controversy.

Results from popular chatbot ChatGPT stated that Zhao designed a social media platform for the China National Petroleum Corporation. Due to the result generated by the Chatbot, Binance revealed that it received numerous requests asking if truly Changpeng Zhao is a member of the Chinese Communist Party.

FTX Crisis

Considering their dominance in the crypto market, Binance and FTX were popularly regarded as rivals. Following the collapse of FTX as a result of a reported $8 billion black hole on its balance sheet, some believed that Changpeng Zhao played a prominent role in the meltdown. Reports surfaced that FTX’s balance sheet was dominated by its FTT token. 

Consequently, Changpeng Zhao revealed that Binance would liquidate its holdings of the token to protect the industry. Binance holding of the token was reported to be around I5% of the total FTT in circulation. The news triggered a free fall in the value of the token. Accordingly, many perceived the move was an attempt by Binance to worsen the situation and push FTX out of business.

On November 7, 2022, for the first time since the inception of the crisis, FTX CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried addressed the situation. He assured users of the safety of their assets, claiming that FTX is fine. However, he went on to call on Changpeng Zhao to work with him in saving the industry. The following day, Changpeng Zhao announced that Binance would acquire FTX in a bid to rescue the situation.

Consequently, Sam Bankman-Fried confirmed the deal. He stated that there is an agreement in place with Binance for the acquisition of FTX. Meanwhile, he added that the deal is pending based on due diligence. Things turned around the following day after rumors about the deficit in FTX’s balance sheet intensified more.

Due to that, Changpeng Zhao pulled out from the deal leaving Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire on the brink of a full-blown crisis. Changpeng Zhao defended his action claiming that the issues were beyond the control of Binance. 

On November 10, Sam Bankman-Fried took to Twitter to admit that he had “fucked up, and should have done better.” The cryptocurrency exchange suspended the entry of new users and halted the withdrawal of funds from the platform. On November 11, FTX and its subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Then, Sam Bankman Fried stepped down as the CEO of the crypto exchange with John Ray III taking over. 

Changpeng Zhao, on the other end, predicted that the crypto market will endure a huge meltdown. The collapse of FTX triggered a crisis in the crypto market which forced many businesses in the industry to struggle, while some eventually went out of business. 

After the collapse of FTX, some critics blamed Changpeng Zhao for refusing to help and deliberately pushing FTX out of business. Thereafter, in an email to employees which he later made public, Changpeng Zhao urged members of staff to keep their FTT tokens. He advised them not to sell or buy the token.

Further, Changpeng Zhao urged them not to see FTX’s collapse as a win for Binance. He described the situation as a bad development but believes the industry will recover better.

Ongoing Lawsuits against CZ and Binance

Amid the growing regulatory scrutiny ravaging the crypto industry, Changpeng Zhao alongside his exchange have been subjected to numerous lawsuits and investigations. One of the ongoing lawsuits against CZ and Binance was filed by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

It is worth mentioning that this agency is in charge of conducting oversights on commodities and derivative markets, thereby ensuring compliance to local laws by concerned firms.

Our findings show that CFTC filed its lawsuit against Zhao and Binance in March 2023. The agency accused CZ of running an “illegal” crypto exchange and a “sham” compliance system. CFTC added that the Binance CEO conspired with the former compliance exec of the exchange, Samuel Lim to willfully evade the U.S. law.

As alleged in the lawsuit, the duo made a “calculated strategy of regulatory arbitrage to their commercial benefit.” The agency claimed CZ intentionally directed employees of Binance to help users evade its compliance program.

It is worth mentioning that this lawsuit was triggered by an investigation into the activities of the exchange by a popular media firm, Reuters. The media organization completed its probe of Binance in 2022.

At that time, the U.S. Justice Department was also investigating the firm over possible violation of Bank Secrecy Act which mandates crypto companies to register with Treasury Department and comply with all anti-money laundering laws in the country.

Mr Zhao runs a smaller business in the U.S. identified as Binance U.S. Owing to the ban on Binance in the country, the CEO dissociated the smaller firm from the main exchange.

Recall that Binance is not authorized to run and offer crypto products to residents in the U.S. So, CZ claimed BinanceUS is a separate entity and not affiliated with the main exchange. However, Reuters after the conclusion of its investigation, debunked the claim, stressing that U.S residents are able to access Binance services using VPN to manipulate their whereabouts.

Also, Reuters said Changpeng Zhao and other Binance executives taught VIP customers of the exchange how to evade its compliance program, particularly the KYC system. According to the media outlet, Binance aided money laundering activities, processing over $10 billion for criminals seeking to evade U.S. sanctions.

Reuters cited internal texts, emails and several private conversations among Binance employees to back its claim. It was also alleged that the CEO allowed three American trading firms to run on Binance in contravention of the rules obtainable in the country. Certainly, CFTC banked on the various revelations by Reuters to form the basis of its lawsuit.

It is not in doubt that the ongoing legal pressure against CZ and his exchange has tremendously instilled panic in the industry. Recall that Binance is arguably the biggest crypto exchange across the globe, hosting about two-thirds of all crypto trades in the market. Likewise, its CEO, Zhao has established himself as one of the biggest actors in the sphere.

So, certainly, any trouble encountered by the exchange or its CEO will surely pose a hugely adverse effect. Barely a few days after the news of the CFTC lawsuit dominated the airspace, over $2 billion worth of assets were withdrawn from the exchange. This is a result of the panic about what might become the fate of the exchange amid the legal scrutiny.

Meanwhile, Changpeng Zhao has responded heavily by hiring an array of law firms to defend him and his exchange. According to findings, he hired four lawyers from Latham & Watkins and more than ten lawyers from Gibson Dunn. The CEO described the filing by CFTC as an inaccurate recitation of facts. He insisted that the exchange has never compromised its compliance system.

CZ admitted that the exchange blocked U.S. residents through numerous measures including nationality (KYC), IP (including commonly used VPN endpoints outside of the US), mobile carrier, device fingerprints, bank deposit and withdrawals, blockchain deposits and withdrawals, credit card bin numbers, and many more.

Amid the ongoing CFTC lawsuit, it is necessary to also note that Binance and CZ are facing another separate investigation from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This investigation is geared towards checking if Binance broke any rules while launching the initial coin offering of its BNB token.

Recall that the initial coin offering of the token unfolded in 2019. Amid the ongoing debate over the classification of crypto assets as securities, CZ edited the white paper of BNB. Then, he said the change was to avoid misrepresentation of the token as securities.

Meanwhile, SEC has insisted that most crypto assets are securities, triggering its investigation into the launch of BNB, involving Binance and CZ. It is not clear whether the agency has completed its investigation, but it is yet to file any lawsuit against the exchange.

Away from the U.S., there are indications that CZ and Binance would be facing legal battles in countries like Singapore, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and many more. At the moment, regulators in the said countries are reviewing and investigating the activities of the exchange and its executives over possible regulatory breaches.

The numerous regulatory troubles affecting Binance, at a time, fueled speculations that Interpol has issued a public red notice against CZ. Apart from the fact that CZ debunked the speculation, our background assessment of the site of the International Police showed nothing of such happened.

In November 2023, Changpeng Zhao pleaded guilty to money laundering charges in the United States. Also, he agreed to a $4.3 settlement deal and a personal payout of $50 million. According to reports, the deal is one of the largest corporate penalties in the United States.

Thereafter, he resigned from his position as the Chief Executive Officer of Binance and was immediately replaced by Richard Teng, the regional market head of the exchange. Despite pleading guilty, CZ managed to retain his wealth and stake in the cryptocurrency exchange. 

Changpeng Zhao as an Advocate of Clearer Crypto Regulations

Changpeng Zhao has never been silent when it matters. Today, he is among the critical actors in the industry calling for the implementation of clearer crypto regulations across the globe. Recall that following the collapse of FTX, authorities across the globe have become more intentional about regulating the crypto industry.

Amid this development, CZ has continued to assure regulators of the commitment of Binance to fostering their efforts. However, he admonished them to come up with clear and detailed regulations.

CZ believes critical stakeholders in the industry must come together to make this work. He admitted that regulators across the globe have made slow but remarkable progress in their quest to achieving worldwide regulation of cryptocurrency.

Recently, CZ faulted Kraken CEO, Jesse Powell over claims that regulators have intentionally ignored foreign crypto firms offering services to U.S. residents. Earlier, Powell had described foreign crypto companies as “offshore,” stressing that regulators find it difficult to scrutinize them and instead focus aggressively on local firms.

In reaction, CZ chastised Powell. He said talks about crypto regulations should not be characterized by blame games or unnecessary attention on foreign firms. The Binance CEO said the term “offshore” as used by the Kraken CEO is narrow-minded, self-centred and may pose a threat to the development of the industry. He emphasized the importance of unity among crypto stakeholders in a bid to grow the industry and deliver clearer regulations.

In the past few months, CZ has never minced words about his perception of the numerous regulatory efforts unfolding across the globe. He knows the nature of the regulations initiated by governments and regulators will always significantly impact the future of crypto firms and the industry at large. CZ has a habit of ensuring that his exchange leaves any market with an unclear regulatory system.

Just recently, Binance left the Canadian market, citing complications in its regulatory framework. According to the announcement conveyed by CZ, the “new guidance related to stablecoins and investor limits provided to crypto exchanges” in the market is capable of making the market “untenable.”

However, Binance did not rule out the possibility of returning to Canada if the country softens its regulation and made it more tenable. The exchange said; “while we do not agree with the new guidance, we hope to continue to engage with Canadian regulators aimed at a thoughtful, comprehensive regulatory framework.”

In April, Binance and its CEO wrote to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) to cancel its derivatives license. Binance, in its announcement, cited complexities in the regulatory framework obtainable in the country as the reason for its decision.

It is worth mentioning that the cancellation prevents Binance users in Australia from increasing their various derivatives positions on the exchange. The development also forced affected users to close their existing derivatives positions before April; 2023.

How is CZ leading the fight against rising crypto exploitations with Binance?

Over time, CZ has been at the vanguard of the fight against rising exploitation in the crypto industry. The popular CEO leverages his exchange to freeze any suspicious assets and as well trail the perpetrators. In August 2022, the exchange confirmed the recovery of the assets stolen during the exploitation of Curve Finance.

It is worthy of note that Binance recovered 80% of the funds, equivalent to $450,000 as announced by Zhao. According to our findings, the CEO was the first person to alert the crypto community about the exploitation of the project. This is just one of his numerous efforts towards combating exploitations and scams in the sphere.

Following the hack of KyberSwap, a decentralized exchange, Binance tracked and identified two persons in connection to the attack. CZ said his exchange conducted its independent investigation into the hack to track the suspects. Its investigation showed that the suspects allegedly compromised the smart contracts of KyberSwap to steal $265,000. At that time, Binance also involved law enforcement agencies to arrest the identified suspects.

In 2022, CZ also leveraged Binance to help Axie Infinity recovers over $5.8 million stolen from the latter. In the same vein, the exchange recently collaborated with Huobi to stop the exploitation of Harmony Bridge.

According to CZ, Binance detected the move by the hackers to aid the transfer of their loot through Huobi. Immediately, Binance reached out to Huobi to stop the suspicious transaction. The collaborative effort helped recover 121 BTC, worth $2.5 million at that time.

Over the years, Zhao usually emphasizes the need for all crypto actors to come together to stop the menace of exploitation ravaging the industry. In one of his recent posts, he called on CEOs of crypto exchanges to join him in achieving a scam-free crypto market.

Driven by Zhao’s commitment to curtailing crypto exploitations, Binance recently engaged the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) in its Virtual Asset Investigation Program. Through the program, Binance seeks to orientate the law enforcement agency on how to battle rising crypto scams, particularly in Hong Kong. It also took the initiative further by launching a joint anti-scam campaign across the globe.

According to CZ, the exchange will be collaborating with every law enforcement agency across the globe to strengthen its anti-scam initiative, thereby reducing the rising exploitation in the industry. Certainly, all these efforts depict Zhao as the leader in the ongoing battle against exploitations by crypto actors.

Is Changpeng Zhao Pro Crypto?

Changpeng Zhao has, over the years, established himself as one of the leading advocates of cryptocurrencies. His interest in Bitcoin and the crypto industry at large could be traced to 2013. Then, he got to learn about BTC through a friend who happened to be a venture capitalist.

According to credible sources, his friend engaged him about crypto while they were playing poker games. So, he began to fall in love with cryptocurrencies since then, investing in numerous projects.

Changpeng Zhao aims to facilitate global adoption and access to digital assets. Driven by this ambition, he established Binance in 2017 through a $15 million ICO. A few months after the launch of the exchange, it emerged as the first in crypto exchange rankings. Through Binance, CZ creates enablement for investors to access numerous crypto-oriented products and solutions.

The exchange also has a native token (BNB) and a blockchain network, known as the BNB chain. Today, CZ has been able to successfully expand the offerings of the exchange across the globe, particularly in countries with no regulatory obstacles. According to credible sources, it processes not less than $76 billion in daily trading volume. Without any doubt, we can affirm that the exchange has been able to trigger massive crypto adoption through its activities.

CZ has never doubted the potential of cryptocurrency to thrive against all odds. He believes the industry will always survive every obstacle it faces. It is worth mentioning that the Binance CEO has built a remarkable reputation for himself as a leader in the industry.

Amidst all the challenges rocking the crypto sphere, he usually encourages investors and other stakeholders not to give up. In one of his interviews, CZ said “Many different innovations are coming into the crypto space. There are also failures in this industry, but failures are important in this industry. Failures allow us to learn from them and improve.”

Amid the downturn that plunged cryptocurrencies in 2022, CZ was very vocal, encouraging investors to believe in the recovery of the industry. Then, he commended the industry for its resilience at the peak of the crisis. According to him; “some cryptocurrencies may drop in prices, and some projects may fail, but the industry will stay.” Zhao believes the crypto industry is still at its infant stage and should not be judged by its challenges.

As part of his commitment towards encouraging investors amidst the downturn, CZ usually emphasizes more on the wins greeting the industry. He is notable for criticizing the media for focusing solely on the challenges facing the industry and availing less attention to the wins.

The Binance boss has, over time, taken it upon himself to blow the trumpet of the wins and downplay every negative perspective of the media towards the industry. At the end of each year, he usually releases a public letter to reflect the feats recorded in the sphere.

For instance, in December 2022, Zhao in his letter, reflected on how crypto adoption has improved massively despite the downturn. According to him, scores of multinational brands and countries adopted cryptocurrency as a means of payment in 2022. He also talked about how the underlying technology behind crypto, blockchain has witnessed increasing usage by globally known firms, like JPMorgan, Tesla, Tencent, Google Cloud and many more.

Another major way in which CZ has expressed his passion for the industry is by coming to the aid of struggling projects when necessary. He exhibited this gesture after the collapse of FTX left many projects struggling for survival. Then, he leveraged Binance to launch a $1 billion recovery fund.

While announcing the initiative, CZ said “crypto is not going away. We are still here. Let’s rebuild.” The initiative received the backing of numerous actors in the industry, including Tron founder, Justin Sun. Ever since, the exchange has been investing in numerous distressed projects.

Apart from crypto, CZ is also a notable admirer and proponent of NFTs. He is confident that the NFT market, just like the crypto sphere, is here to stay. Zhao is happy about the growing adoption of the digital asset, saying it helps artists monetize their works and innovations.

He said; “I met an artist recently who used to sell her art pieces for $10,000 earlier through traditional art galleries. Now, by using NFTs, she is selling [them] for $100,000 a piece. We are seeing more and more artists choosing NFTs to monetise their works.”

Due to his love for NFTs, he launched a marketplace for the digital assets. The marketplace is widely known as the Binance NFT marketplace. It is a platform which allows the minting and trading of numerous NFT collections. Over the years, the NFT marketplace integrated several networks including Polygon to expand its offering and enhance global NFT adoption.

The integration of the Polygon network paved the way for the Binance NFT marketplace to launch Sandbox NFT staking program on April 2023. This thus enables users to stake their LAND NFTs held on Polygon to earn rewards.

In January, the marketplace launched a “Fusionist – Bi·Mech” NFT Collection. As revealed, the launched NFT is designed in five rarity forms. These include Bi·Mech – Mythical – Ultra Rare (UR), Bi·Mech – Legend – Super Super Rare (SSR), Bi·Mech – Epic – Super Rare (SR), Bi·Mech – Elite – Rare (R) and Bi·Mech – Normal – Normal (N).

It also launched the Cristiano Ronaldo NFT collection in November 2022. The creation of the collection came into the limelight a few months after Binance partnered with Cristiano Ronaldo to foster the popularity and adoption of NFTs. Our findings show that the NFT is enveloped with a portrait of the football star and is currently trading on the marketplace.

Crypto and NFT Holdings of Changpeng Zhao

According to Bloomberg, Changpeng Zhao is the wealthiest person in the crypto industry owing to his massive net worth. He owns a large number of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and BNB in his personal portfolio.

While there is no official information about the exact worth of his personal crypto investment in the public domain, we rely on the revelations from credible sources that CZ is a Bitcoin whale. A whale in the crypto market is someone who holds a significant portion of a particular token.

We can trace Zhao’s personal investment in Bitcoin to 2014, a year after he learnt about the token from his friend. This thus makes him one of the earliest investors in BTC. The young billionaire had to sell his apartment to start his first investment in the crypto.

At the time he purchased his first BTC, the token traded for around $600. Zhao did not publicly disclose the exact value of the total Bitcoin he bought at that time. However, sources claim he bought $1 million worth of the token at that time.

If this is correct, then the influential Binance CEO must have made mouthwatering gains from his investment as the token upsurged from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars.

According to several reports, the personal investment of Changpeng Zhao in Bitcoin about a decade ago contributes largely to his current net worth. This thus means the Binance CEO is a famous Bitcoin investor. To know more about others in that category, see our list of rich Bitcoin investors across the globe.

Apart from Bitcoin, we can confirm that Zhao holds BNB. It is worth mentioning that this token is the native currency of his crypto exchange. At the moment, the crypto is the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap. It thrives on the landmark successes recorded by Binance. Till this moment, Zhao is yet to publicly announce the worth of his personal BNB holdings. However, we are sure that he owns a significant portion of the token.

We can also confirm that CZ personally holds NFT. But information about the kinds of NFT he holds and value is not in the public domain as of the time of writing. Changpeng Zhao has, over time, advised artists and investors seeking to boost their net worth to invest in the digital assets.

Notably, Changpeng Zhao has also leveraged Binance to invest in numerous crypto and NFT projects, thereby boosting his net worth. Recently, he launched $1 billion in funds to buy distressed crypto projects, including Sakura exchange, NGRAVE, GoPlus, GOMBLE and many more.

More so, CZ has continued to invest in NFTs through Binance, signing spectacular collaborations with notable celebrities, particularly in the sporting world to develop collections and foster their widespread adoption.

Changpeng Zhao’s Net Worth – Our Verdict

We analyze the net worth of Changpeng Zhao, with relevant emphasis on his early life, career and investment portfolio. At the moment, Zhao is regarded as the wealthiest man in the crypto industry. The young billionaire rose from a humble beginning to prominence owing to his determination and consistency.

How he was able to successfully guide his crypto exchange towards global success amid all the challenges is inspiring. Barely a few months after founding Binance, it became the largest crypto exchange in the world. This feat triggered the rise in the net worth of Changpeng Zhao.

Meanwhile, it is not in doubt that Zhao’s journey to success has been enveloped with numerous challenges. At first, his intention was to situate the headquarters of Binance in China. However, the harsh stance of the Chinese authorities, as at that time, forced him to move the exchange to the Cayman Islands.

As the exchange continued to grow in size, more regulatory problems began to set in. Several regulators have subjected the exchange and Zhao to various investigations and lawsuits. It is indeed remarkable that Zhao has been managing the issues, ensuring that they do not impact the operations and performance of Binance. Without any doubt, the outcome of the ongoing lawsuit against Changpeng Zhao will affect his future net worth.

Readers may also be interested in our articles on Bybit founder Ben Zhou, Justin Sun who owns a stake in Huobi exchange, and Coinbase founder Brian Armstrong.


When did Changpeng Zhao establish Binance?

Changpeng Zhao launched Binance, a crypto exchange on July 14, 2017.

What is the current net worth of Changpeng Zhao?

According to Forbes, the current net worth of Changpeng Zhao is estimated to be $15 billion.

Did Interpol issue any public red notice against Changpeng Zhao?

No. Our findings show that Interpol did not issue any public red notice against Changpeng Zhao.