Bloomberg came out with their Billionaires Index last week. And there’s a new crypto name on the list. Changpeng Zhao, commonly known as CZ the founder and CEO of Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange. The big headline was CZ’s net worth is a minimum of $96 BILLION dollars. But what came across as a shock was that CZ aims to be the world’s first trillionaire in the next 2 years.
There’s more to Changpeng Zhao (CZ) than that and he is not who he seems to be. In this video, we look at 10 lesser-known facts about CZ, the man who went from working on a burger store to Forbes’s cover page.
In July 2020, we had the opportunity to have a conversation with CZ in our Spotlight segment. However, there are many more things that we will discover from him in this article.
Fact #1: Where Can You Find CZ?
Most people don’t know that not only is CZ Chinese, but he’s also Canadian. According to his Wikipedia profile, his family moved there when he was a kid. He even went to college there at McGill University in Montreal where he studied computer science.
While not confirmed, we believe he has at least 2 citizenships too, in China and Canada.
But in 2021, CZ bought a home in Dubai also.
Fact #2: Richi Rich CZ
He’s both the richest man in crypto and the richest man in Asia. According to the Bloomberg analysis of Binance, CZ and his $96 billion got higher than anyone else in crypto including Sam Bankman-Fried at $15.5 billion, Brain Armstrong of Coinbase at $9.12 billion, or the Winklevoss twins who are ~$5 billion.
Binance CEO CZ has the world’s biggest crypto fortune – an estimated $96 billion not including personal crypto holdings – according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index https://t.co/v0AbvQYGbE
— Joanna Ossinger (@ossingerj) January 9, 2022
Not only that, he’s the wealthiest man in all Asia surpassing Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries in India. And the truth is that CZ has even more money than this billionaire count as it did not count his crypto holdings.
Fact #3: What does CZ Love more CeFi or DeFi?
Expect 2022 to be a huge year in crypto so here’s something we all hope comes true.
CZ was quoted recently as saying if crypto has 350 million users now, he expects it to quadruple to 1.5 billion users in 2022. That’s a lot of growth in one year. He attributes it to growth in DeFi and NFTs.
Fact #4: CZ Idolizes Warren Buffet
Did you know that CZ plans to give away most of his wealth? Like many ultra-wealthy who decide to go into philanthropy, CZ intends to follow that path. He said it would not surprise him if he gives away 90%, 95% or even 99% like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are doing.
We don’t know if he’s ever admitted this publicly, but he’s a big fan and admirer of Warren Buffett and has one of Buffett’s biographies on his recommended reading list for entrepreneurs.
Fact #5: CZ has All his Eggs in One Basket
CZ Owns No Stock or Equity in Any Other Company, Crypto, or Project. Changpeng Zhao (CZ) says that other than the coins he discloses in the next fact, he owns no stock in any company publicly or privately other than Binance.
Also, he does not own part of any crypto project although Binance Labs and Binance Ventures have investments in other projects. All of those are owned by the company. CZ has no personal investments like this.
This is surprising considering he helped build trading systems to trade in Japanese stocks as one of his first jobs out of college, but he says no. Only Binance.
Fact #6: Besides Binance Exchange, Only Owns 2 Cryptos
Other than his equity in Binance, the only things CZ owns personally are his investments in Bitcoin and Binance Coin (BNB). Even so, these holdings, especially the BNB are probably pretty big.
Fact #7: Poker Introduced CZ to Bitcoin
The story goes that CZ was playing poker with a couple of friends including Bobby Lee, founder of the formerly huge mining company BTCC (BTC China). And it was under Lee’s recommendation that CZ bought his first Bitcoin back in 2013 after this card game.
So in this way, he’s no different than most of us who first heard it from a friend and then went off on our own to explore and learn more about it.
Fact #8: CZ is a Degen
Yes, despite only holding Bitcoin and BNB, CZ is a crypto degen. He sold his apartment in 2013 so he would have more money to buy more Bitcoin. At the time Bitcoin was ~$600 each but dropped down to $200 before beginning its rise to the prices we see today.
Fact #9: Worked at McDonald’s as a Kid
Despite his parents being teachers, when they left China to come to Canada to express their capitalist views, the family struggled at first. As a kid, Changpeng Zhao (CZ) worked several typical teenage service jobs to try to help bring in money for the family including working at McDonald’s. But he holds a computer science degree from McGill University.
Fact #10: Binance Took off in 8 Months
When Binance started in July 2017, it only took until early 2018 for Binance to become the biggest exchange in the world. While some think Binance is doing it by bypassing regulations in some areas, it’s still an amazing accomplishment.
» Binance Becomes First Company in Crypto and Blockchain Industry to Join National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA) https://t.co/wa2tKHqQ4a
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) January 19, 2022
We think it grew so much so fast for 2 reasons:
- Offering p2p trading services in markets where you can’t do a fiat on-ramp and
- Offering many other trading services like options and futures. They were the first big exchange to do this.
You can see some really interesting things like that he is Canadian or that he worked at McDonald’s. Or that, unlike most billionaires, he has not branched out into other investments like stocks, bonds, or real estate. No matter what you might think of him, one thing is for sure, he’s accomplished a lot with Binance in a short period.
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