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Crypto Exchange CEO Now Among World’s Richest. Know his Journey Which Started with Poker

Binance CEO Becomes Rich: A cryptocurrency exchange CEO has turned heads by recently becoming one of the richest persons in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Crypto pioneer Changpeng Zhao, who foundeed the exchange platform Binance, is now worth nearly $100 billion and stands at the 11th position on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, who runs  Binance, has joined the ranks of the world’s top billionaires, with an estimated net worth of at least $96.9 billion, according to new calculations. This is the first time Bloomberg has took his fortune estimation into account, and it has surpassed some of the world’s top businessmen.

The 44-year-old’s journey in the cryptocurrency world started over a friendly game of poker with with Bobby Lee, then-CEO of BTC China, and investor Ron Cao. Both of them urged Zhao, popularly known as CZ among cryptophiles, to invest 10 per cent of his wealth into Bitcoin — an advice that he clearly followed. Zhao sold his apartment to invest in Bitcoin after studying about it, and in the process he started Binance in 2017, which is by far the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world.

Zhao’s projected fortune now is just below that of Oracle founder Larry Ellison. The ascent of the Chinese-Canadian entrepreneur is emblematic of the rapid creation of wealth in the fast-moving world of digital currencies. A Binance spokesperson told CNN Business that “CZ intends to give away most of his wealth, even 99 per cent of his wealth, just like other entrepreneurs and founders.”

Zhao now gives close competition to business moguls like Mark Zuckerberg and Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. In this regard, it must also be noted that all of Zhao’s wealth has not been taken into account in the Bloomberg estimation, a move that could significantly up his position in the index. Zhao’s personal crypto holdings are estimated to be between 28 to 39 billion dollars, according to reports. Apart from this, we should also keep in mind that his brainchild Binance generated at least $20 billion of revenue last year as per a Bloomberg analysis on the company’s trading and fees. The company is accountable for crypto transactions of high and low values, making it the largest exchange in the world despite facing probe.

Zhao is not the only person who is basking in the glory of cryptocurrencies. Last year, other crypto founders also enjoyed huge gains as the value of virtual coins rallied, with ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin and Coinbase founder Brian Armstrong both becoming billionaires.

Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX, another cryptocurrency exchange that has been backed by Binance, pointed Tuesday to an “unprecedented amount of wealth creation that has occurred in the industry over the last few years”, CNN reported.

(With inputs from IANS)

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