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  1. 1. What are these cryptocurrencies?
  2. 2. Bitcoin - the story of a technological revolution
  3. 3. Satoshi Nakamoto, who is the creator of Bitcoin?
  4. 4. Vitaly Buterin – the creator of Ethereum
  5. 5. What is blockchain, and how does it work?
  6. 6. What is an NFT token?
  7. 7. What is money?
  8. 8. Cryptocurrencies vs fiat money, which will win?
  9. 9. What is DeFi (Decentralized Finance)?
  10. 10. DeFi: opportunities, advantages and disadvantages of decentralized finance
  11. 11. What is an altcoin?
  12. 12. Stablecoins - What are they?
  13. 13. Cryptocurrency wallet - what is it?
  14. 14. Why do we talk about bull and bear markets?
  15. 15. Security in the crypto market - what rules are worth following?
  16. 16. What is the seed phrase in cryptocurrencies?
  17. 17. Dogecoin and memecoin - what are they?
  18. 18. What is a Ponzi scheme?
  19. 19. What is a Soft and Hard Fork?
  20. 20. Blockchain - examples of use
  21. 21. Is blockchain safe?
  22. 22. What are the types of blockchain networks?
  23. 23. What is blockchain network congestion, and how does it work?
  24. 24. Cryptocurrency wallets: Hot Wallet vs. Cold Wallet - key differences!
  25. 25. Cryptocurrency wallet diversification
  26. 26. Halving Bitcoin - what is it, and how does it affect the price?
  27. 27. Blockchain versus databases: key differences!
  28. 28. How do you transfer cryptocurrencies?
  29. 29. The most important cryptocurrency acronyms/slang you need to know!
  30. 30. The memecoin story: madness or great investment?
  31. 31. What is Ethereum? 
  32. 32. Everything you need to know about gas fees in Ethereum!
  33. 33. Gavin Wood: Blockchain Visionary and Co-Founder of Ethereum
  34. 34. Decentralized Apps – what are they?
  35. 35. What is Proof of Work (PoW) and what is Proof of Stake (PoS)?
  36. 36. What is the Proof of Authority (PoA) consensus mechanism?
  37. 37. What is Proof of Burn (PoB)?
  38. 38. What is a whitepaper? What is its purpose, and how do you write it?
  39. 39. Smart Contracts - what are they?
  40. 40. Know your customer (KYC) and Anti-money laundering (AML) what are they in the cryptocurrency industry?
  41. 41. Blockchain and NFT games - how to make money on them?
  42. 42. Liquidity in the cryptocurrency market
  43. 43. Inflation and its effects on financial markets
  44. 44. What is stagflation and why does it have a negative impact on the market?
  45. 45. What are utility tokens and what use do they have in the cryptocurrency sector?
  46. 46. What is cryptocurrency mining?
  47. 47. What is the mining difficulty?
  48. 48. What is compound interest, and how does it work?
  49. 49. What Are Privacy Coins and Are They Legal?
  50. 50. What is CBDC - central bank digital money?
  51. 51. What is Cryptocurrency Airdrop all about?
  52. 52. Key differences between ICO, IEO and STO
  53. 53. What are decentralized DAO organizations, and how do they work? What are DAO tokens?
  54. 54. What is EURT? How does it work?
  55. 55. What is the difference between Circulating Supply and Total Supply?
  56. 56. Snapshot from the world of cryptocurrencies - what is it?
  57. 57. What is the Fear and Greed index for cryptocurrencies?
  58. 58. APR versus APY: what is the difference?
  59. 59. What is an Initial Farming Offer (IFO)?
  60. 60. What is Regenerative Finance (ReFi)?
  61. 61. Who Is Craig Wright, the Alleged Creator of Bitcoin?
  62. 62. What Is Bitcoin (BTC.D) Dominance?
  63. 63. Michael Saylor, Self-Proclaimed Bitcoin Maximalist
  64. 64. Bitcoin Pizza Day
  65. 65. AI blockchain - a new look into the future?
  66. 66. What is WorldCoin? Everything you need to know about this cryptocurrency!
  67. 67. Azuki NFT collection guide: everything you need to know about it!
  68. 68. The 10 most expensive non-fungible tokens (NFTs) ever!
  69. 69. The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) - the story of the popular NFT collection!
  70. 70. CyberPunks - the story of the most popular NFT collection in the crypto industry!
  71. 71. NFT Art: The digital art revolution - history and examples!
  72. 72. Who is Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance?
  73. 73. Who is Brian Armstrong - CEO of Coinbase?
  74. 74. Who is Galy Gensler and the SEC? How does the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) affect the cryptocurrency market?
  75. 75. Web3's most popular social media platforms! Will they replace the platforms we know?
  76. 76. What is IoT - the Internet of Things?
  77. 77. On-chain analysis in the cryptocurrency world: Everything you need to know about It
  78. 78. Can you pass on your cryptocurrencies after death? How do you pass on a cryptocurrency inheritance?
  79. 79. What is the Howey test? What application does it have in cryptocurrencies?
  80. 80. The use of blockchain technology in the world of sport
Lesson 72 of 80
In Progress

72. Who is Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance?

Changpeng “CZ” Zhao. Founder and CEO of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance. He is an avid Bitcoin enthusiast. Not surprisingly, he has part of his considerable fortune amassed in digital assets.

Who is this interesting person? Let’s have a look at CZ’s CV!

The early life of Changpeng Zhao

Binance’s CEO was born on 5 February 1977 in China’s Jiangsu province. He came from an intellectual family. His parents were teachers and his father was a professor at Hefei University of Science and Technology. At that time, it was one of the leading Chinese universities.

Regarding his emigration to the United States, there are two versions of events. The first says that Zhao’s father was the first to immigrate to the US in 1984. The family joined him in 1989, shortly after the Tiananmen Square massacre.

The second version is equally unoptimistic. As we know, the 1980s were a very turbulent time in communist China. According to the sources, Changpeng Zhao left China with his mother on 6 August 1989 and immigrated to Canada. This was only two months after the Tiananmen Square massacre. CZ and his family camped outside the Canadian embassy for several days to get an expedited visa. They were desperate to leave a country that did not favour opponents of the Chinese Communist Party.

Zhao repeatedly emphasises that he and his parents exchanged ideas while waiting in line at the embassy. These events changed his life and his view of the world forever. At the same time, they opened up unlimited possibilities for Zhao.

After receiving his visa, Changpeng Zhao spent his teenage years in Vancouver. From an early age, he manifested strong mathematical and analytical skills. He was interested in computer programming. Not surprisingly, he decided to study computer science at McGill University in Montreal. After graduation, he did an internship at one of the Tokyo stock exchanges. He later worked for Bloomberg Tradebook in New York for many years, where he developed software for matching trade orders.

Interesting fact 1: Changpeng Zhao first came into contact with the world of computers and programming when his father bought him his first computer. It was a very expensive piece of equipment at the time! We are talking about a 286 DOS model for – a bagatelle – US$ 7,000!

Interesting fact 2: Before CZ’s career took off, he used to take various odd jobs. He even worked at McDonald’s as a chef! Yes, Zhao famously made burgers!

Interesting fact 3: Zhao was 12 years old when he tasted fresh milk for the first time. The event took place after he immigrated to the United States.

CZ’s personal life is little known. The CEO of Binance is not very effusive on the subject. Currently, Changpeng Zhao is not married.

Career Changpeng Zhao

As mentioned, after graduating, he took a job at one of the Tokyo Stock Exchanges. At the time, he worked as a contractor for the Tokyo Stock Exchange. From 2001 to 2005, he worked for Tradebook Futures. However, his work did not give him satisfaction. Eventually, with a group of his friends, he founded an information technology (IT) consulting company. At the same time, he moved to Singapore and launched Fusion Systems.

This is when Zhao’s entrepreneurial nature kicked in. Together with Fusion Systems, he started other ventures. This included Bijie Tech. This was a cloud-based service provider for stock exchanges. Both companies grew strongly.

In 2017, CZ decided to launch its own cryptocurrency exchange, Binance. This coincided with China’s crackdown on digital assets. CZ had two options at the time – close its exchange or move to another country. However, it chose the other option. The company started offering fully remote services. In doing so, Zhao circumvented China’s strict regulations.

The Binance exchange has very quickly become one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges. It is now known worldwide. Binance reached its peak net worth in 2021 during the cryptocurrency boom. The amount is impressive, as it is talking about…USD 100 billion!

Despite this rapid growth, the stock exchange has had some unpleasant incidents:

  • In May 2019, US$40 million worth of BTC was stolen from an exchange.
  • The exchange has had a number of problems with regulators. Among other things, the US conducted a detailed investigation in 2021 alleging money laundering on the Exchange.
  • It is for these regulatory reasons that Binance has a US subsidiary, Binance U.S. This is a separate entity, dependent on the main exchange.

Zhao, however, is not giving up in his entrepreneurship. He is meticulously cooperating with regulators. He has even changed the company’s structure to comply with regulations.

How much is Changpeng Zhao worth?

The net worth of this persona is estimated at USD 15 billion. The sum fluctuates depending on Binance’s valuation. However, Zhao denies these reports and does not disclose such information publicly.

Interestingly, its value was much higher. During the 2021 bull market, Zhao was valued at US$65 billion!

Binance and the failed FTX exchange – what do they have in common?

Binance has a dominant share of the global cryptocurrency market. There is no denying that it poses a major risk to the entire industry. Its collapse would trigger a worldwide crash. Interestingly, this risk has increased with the collapse of the famous FTX exchange.

The Binance exchange has invested in FTX. In 2021, it monetised its capital in exchange for a payout of US$2.1 billion. Part of this payout was denominated in FTT. In early 2022, the balance sheet of Alameda Research, Sam Bankman-Fried’s company, was backed by FTT. It was a native FTX token. At the time, there was a message on X (formerly known as Twitter) from CZ announcing that it planned to sell its Binance position in FTT. The situation made cryptocurrency markets realise the low liquidity of the FTT token. It supported the insolvent FTX-Alameda ecosystem.

Events flowed exponentially. There was a run on the bank, customers wanted to get their money out of FTX. But…the funds were not there, as they had been sent by FTX to Alameda for trading purposes. The whole situation ended with the collapse of the stock exchange.

Zhao has sprung into action. He announced that Binance would take over the collapsed exchange, sending the entire cryptocurrency industry into a stupor. After a quick due diligence process, he quickly reversed his decision. The magnitude of the damage and loss to FTX was too great. The US$8 billion hole in the budget was unmanageable.

After the collapse of FTX, Zhao and Binance are the leaders in the digital asset market. As CEO of the world’s largest exchange, CZ is vocal about the need for all cryptocurrency exchanges to be transparent and improve their tarnished reputation.

Following the collapse of FTX, CZ is pushing for the introduction of a proof-of-reserve model. Under this mechanism, customer assets can be proven using a public blockchain.


Changpeng Zhao’s future is strongly linked to the Binance stock exchange. Not surprisingly, investors expect CZ to manage the exchange well. The collapse of FTX was a landmark fall in the cryptocurrency market, but Zhao is the one who brings hope.

So far, we can hardly accuse the CEO of Binance of anything. He handles every obstacle very well. This only underlines how capable he is!