Changpeng Zhao

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Changpeng Zhao
Changpeng Zhao (2018).jpg
Born (1977-09-10) September 10, 1977 (age 44)
Jiangsu, China
Other namesCZ
Alma materMcGill University
Known forFounder and CEO of Binance

Changpeng Zhao (Chinese: 赵长鹏; pinyin: Zhào Chángpéng), commonly known as "CZ", is a Chinese-Canadian business executive. Zhao is the founder and CEO of Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume as of April 2018. CZ was born in Jiangsu, China and moved to Canada at a young age with his family.

Zhao was previously a member of the team that developed and also served as chief technology officer of OKCoin.[1] According to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Zhao is ranked 113th richest in the world with a net worth estimated at $14.9 billion as of May 2022.[2][3][4][5][6]

Early life and education[edit]

Zhao was born on September 10, 1977[7] in China’s Jiangsu province. In the late 1980s, he moved with his family to Canada when he was 12 years of age, settling in Vancouver, British Columbia. His parents were both teachers in China. His father worked as a university instructor before he was branded a "pro-bourgeois intellect" and exiled to rural areas shortly after Zhao's birth.[8] In his teenage years, Zhao helped to support his family by working a number of service jobs, including at a McDonald's.[1]

Zhao attended McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, where he majored in computer science.[1]


After graduating university, Zhao received an internship in Tokyo working for a subcontractor of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, developing software for matching trade orders. He then worked full-time for four years at Bloomberg Tradebook where he was a developer of futures trading software.[1]

In 2005, he moved to Shanghai where he founded Fusion Systems,[9] a trading system for brokers known for "some of the fastest high-frequency trading systems for brokers."[1]

Beginning in 2013, he worked for various cryptocurrency projects including and also served briefly as the chief technology officer of OKCoin.[1] In 2014, he sold his Shanghai apartment for about $1 million to use this money on Bitcoin.

After launching the cryptocurrency exchange in July 2017, Binance were able to raise $15 million in an initial coin offering and the exchange started trading eleven days later.[10] In less than eight months, Zhao grew Binance into the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, as of April 2018.[11][10] Zhao also launched blockchain network Binance Smart Chain[when?] that has made significant contribution to the development of the decentralized finance industry.[12]

In February 2018, Forbes Magazine placed him third on their list of "The Richest People In Cryptocurrency" at an estimated $1.1-2 billion.[1][11][13]

In 2022, Zhao invested $500 million through Binance to finance the Acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk.[14]


In a now-deleted tweet, on August 26, 2021, Zhao came under public scrutiny when he said "poor people tries to say bad things about Binance".[15]

In an interview with The New York Times, Zhao said people are getting into crypto as they see it grow, "trade it and make money off it as opposed to using it", but that the market will always self-correct.[16]

On April 6, 2021, Zhao told Bloomberg Markets that nearly 100% of his liquid net worth was in the form of cryptocurrency.[17]

In an interview published on November 16, 2021, Zhao said he plans to donate up to 99% of his wealth, with the intention to follow the feat of other magnates. "I intend to donate most of my wealth, as many other entrepreneurs or founders have done. From Rockefeller to today. I intend to donate 90%, 95%, or 99% of my wealth."[18]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Ambler, Pamela (February 28, 2018). "From Zero To Crypto Billionaire In Under A Year: Meet The Founder Of Binance". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
  2. ^ "New estimates of Binance CEO's net worth make him the world's 11th richest person—and that's before accounting for his crypto holdings". Fortune. Retrieved 2022-01-10.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ "Bloomberg Billionaires Index: Changpeng Zhao". Bloomberg L.P. Archived from the original on 2022-01-12. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
  4. ^ "World's Biggest Crypto Fortune Began With a Friendly Poker Game". Bloomberg L.P. 9 January 2022. Archived from the original on 2022-01-09. Retrieved 2022-01-12.
  5. ^ "Who is Changpeng Zhao? Crypto Wizard Richer Than Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg". International Business Times, Singapore Edition. 2022-01-10. Archived from the original on 2022-01-10. Retrieved 2022-01-12.
  6. ^ "Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao's net worth make him world's 11th richest man". Fortune. Archived from the original on 2022-01-10. Retrieved 2022-01-12.
  7. ^ "ZHAO Changpeng - biography, news, photos, date of birth, press dossier. Personalities". Retrieved 2021-10-18.
  8. ^ "赵长鹏与币安的崛起". 知乎专栏 (in Chinese). Retrieved 2021-11-09.
  9. ^ Russell, Jon (2018-05-04). "Catch Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao at TechCrunch's blockchain event on July 6". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  10. ^ a b Lee, Justina; Nakamura, Yuji; Robertson, Benjamin (2018-03-28). "How a Billionaire Crypto King Built the No. 1 Exchange in Just 8 Months". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  11. ^ a b Cao, Sissi (2018-04-03). "Despite Bitcoin Bubble Popping, Crypto Exchanges Are Making Billionaires Richer". Observer. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
  12. ^ "Opinion: The technology behind cryptocurrencies can spark the innovations to help us shape a fairer world". The Independent. 2021-07-01. Retrieved 2021-07-01.
  13. ^ Ambler, Pamela; Au-Yeung, Angel; Chung, Grace; Kauflin, Jeff; Konrad, Alex; Shin, Laura; Vardi, Nathan (February 6, 2018). "The Richest People In Cryptocurrency". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
  14. ^ "Crypto CEO says Elon Musk has no plan for Twitter, and reveals why he wrote him a $500 million 'blank check'". Business Insider.
  15. ^ SAFU Union ( [@SafuUnion] (November 23, 2021). "@elonmusk @binance @CoinDesk @egreechee @cz_binance Can't expect much, tbh." (Tweet). Archived from the original on May 1, 2022. Retrieved May 8, 2022 – via Twitter.
  16. ^ Lipton, Eric; Livni, Ephrat (2021-07-23). "'I Feel Conflicted': Crypto's Offshore Trading Moguls Talk Shop". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2021-11-25. Retrieved 2021-11-28.
  17. ^ Kharif, Olga (6 April 2021). "Binance CEO Goes All-in on Tokens: 'I Just Want to Keep Crypto'". Bloomberg Markets. Retrieved 1 September 2021.
  18. ^ Shoes, Eloisa (2021-11-17). "Bilionário da Binance vai doar quase todo seu dinheiro". Investidores Brasil - Juntos Podemos Mais (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 2021-11-21.