Zhao Changpeng now ranks 15th in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index with a net worth of US$71.3 billion or the equivalent of Rp1,019.5 trillion (assuming an exchange rate of Rp14,300).
For the uninitiated, Zhao is the CEO of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. The company offers a marketplace in over 600 cryptocurrencies and has over 90 million users by the end of 2021.
He didn’t suddenly become a millionaire. Adapted from SCMP, Friday (4/2/2022), Zhao was born in Jiangsu Province, China. When he was 12 years old, his father who was a university professor was exiled because China was then going through the Cultural Revolution.
The family then moved to Vancouver, Canada. In a post on the Binance blog, Zhao claims to have done odd jobs to support his family, even working at McDonald’s.
Bloomberg notes that Zhao started coding when he was around 16 and later earned a degree in computer science in Montreal at McGill University. He then completed an internship in Japan followed by a stint at Bloomberg’s Tradebook in New York from 2001.
He then moved to Shanghai in 2005 to develop high frequency trading software at Fusion Systems.
His interest in cryptocurrency started in 2013 after discussions about playing poker. He then downloaded the Bitcoin white paper and started learning about the technology.
Zhao then founded Binance in 2017, and by 2018 Binance was already the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world. For the success he has achieved, it is no surprise that he is now dubbed the king of crypto.
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