With a net worth of $96 billion, the CEO of Binance, Changoeng Zhao, more commonly referred to as CZ, is officially the wealthiest crypto billionaire.
According to Bloomberg, CZ claimed the 11th spot among the world’s wealthiest people as Binance held its place as the biggest crypto exchange by trading volume.
Despite Bloomberg excluding CZ’s personal crypto assets such as Bitcoin and the exchange’s primary Binance Coin (BNB) tokens, the 44-year old crypto boss surpassed Asia’s richest billionaire, Mukesh Ambani. It is noteworthy, however, that since Zhao’s assets were excluded in the $96 billion number, it is extremely probable that his net worth is significantly understated.
CZ has been estimated to rank slightly behind the co-founder of Oracle, Larry Ellison, who has about a billion US dollars more than the crypto mogul, according to Bloomberg. While Bloomberg is estimating Zhao’s net worth for the very first time, the growth trajectory of Binance suggests that it might overtake IT gurus like Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
At the moment, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin are ranked in the list of billionaires at the 5th, 6th, and 7th spots respectively, with Tesla boss, Elon Musk clinging the first position with an estimated net worth of $263 billion. By Bloomberg’s index, the 44-year old’s business competitors include FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (with a net worth of $15.4 billion), and Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong (with a net worth of $8.9 billion).
Reports from Coingecko have it that Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, techniques to analyse the bitcoin market with a 24-hour trading volume raking as high as $106 billion as of January this year. Bloomberg can confirm that Binance made at least $29 billion in sales in 2021.
Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView have it that the price of BNB has increased by nearly 1,300 percent in the last year, and should BNB growth continue at this rate and pace, CZ will become the first crypto mogul to make the top 10 billionaire’s list.
The success of Binance can be attributed to the relentless efforts of Zhao to get working licenses across various international jurisdictions. Regulatory challenges notwithstanding, Binance continues to collaborate and acquire new companies to remain a leader in the crypto trading sector.
The renowned crypto exchange recently completed the acquisition of Swipe, a popular Visa Card provider with well over 70 million locations worldwide. Furthermore, Binance announced the signing of a whopping $1billion initiative to accelerate the development of the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) ecosystem and boost mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency.
Despite their impressive growth, Binance’s performance demonstrates the immense wealth being made in the unfettered cryptoverse, yet controversy has surrounded the company.
Binance, having been kicked out of China, where it was founded originally, is now being probed by regulators around the world. The United States Department of Justice and the IRS, Internal Revenue Service are constantly investigating to establish whether Zhao’s Binance Holdings Ltd is into money laundering and tax evasion. All attempts to get spokesmen of the Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Service probed abortive as they wouldn’t comment on the story.
On the brighter side though, despite hits and issues from other countries, CZ is fast keying into the United Arab Emirates market, meeting with the nation’s royalty in Abu Dhabi who are greatly invested in bringing his billionaire dollar company to the UAE. CZ’s recent appearance in the UAE is a good one for both the country and Binance itself, as an endorsement from such a blooming nation goes a long way for the company.
Binance’s future could also be determined by its ability to succeed in an agreement with global regulators and find an appropriate location for its headquarters.
Bloomberg estimated Binance’s revenue from spot and other trading volumes, presuming Zhao’s owns up to 90% of the company. Bloomberg estimated Binance’s worth based on publicly traded competitors. Binance, however, disputed the correctness of the projections, and their CEO, Zhao, wouldn’t respond to Bloomberg. Zhao maintains that discussions about his growing wealth seem to him like a distraction and that he’d planned to give out the bulk of his wealth before he dies anyway.