Changpeng Zhao is 44 years old.
He spent more than 30 years in Canada, where he grew up.
He is a Canadian citizen who founded the largest cryptocurrency trading platform in the world in terms of trading volume.
Binance.com is a growing company, present in many countries around the world, directly or through subsidiaries. Zhao has built a company that plays a vital role in the new economy which is the cryptocurrency industry. Many retail investors in the United States use Coinbase (CURRENCY ) to buy or sell cryptocurrencies. Many others around the world use Binance even more to trade their coins, including bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH), the top two cryptocurrencies by market value.
The rise of Binance has made Zhao a billionaire and one of the central figures in cryptocurrencies. He is with Sam Bankman-Fried, another young crypto billionaire at the forefront of the industry.
“We have been anchored as a Chinese company”
In January he sat on a fortune worth $ 96 billion. But that has declined as cryptocurrency prices drop, which have been going through a rough patch for several months after the euphoria of late 2021. Zhao’s fortune is now estimated at $ 29.6 billion as of Sept. 1, according to Bloomberg. Billionaires Index.
This cryptocurrency evangelist, who travels regularly to defend the industry, has become such an inescapable figure that he is now only known by his initials CZ. He is ubiquitous on social networks where he is always ready to answer questions from fans and critics of cryptocurrencies as well as to comment on industry news and issues.
He and Binance are pushing for greater transparency in an industry still held back by public distrust. Basically, it is difficult to lose CZ and Binance.
It appears that all this energy and activity does not protect him from racism, particularly the anti-Asian racism that has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic.
CZ, who was born in China, seems fed up. The CEO just made it known by denouncing on Twitter the fact that his company still presents itself as a Chinese company, which it is not. And as it points out, Beijing currently bans most cryptocurrency exchange platforms.
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“And now we are being labeled a ‘Chinese company’, even though cryptocurrency exchanges are explicitly banned in China,” CZ exclaimed on Twitter on Sept. 1, after a Twitter user pointed out that a Fortune India article it portrayed him and Binance as Chinese or of Chinese descent.
“Just because of my Chinese ethnicity? I thought we (our civilization) were better than that. I’ve been Canadian for over 30 years. 😂”, added CZ.
Childhood in China but adulthood in Canada
Basically for CZ, it is because it is an Asian heritage that it is presented as Chinese. If he had been any other color, he would have been presented as Canadian.
CZ’s anger was welcomed by many users on Twitter, with some going so far as to say they contacted Fortune to complain.
“I was completely shocked when I read this !! I had sent an email to Fortune India about it. Very disappointed with this article,” commented the user who warned him in the first place.
“They fear what they can’t control … And Binance has been adopted around the world 🌎 as the best exchange, so if people around the world love Binance it’s borderless,” said another user.
“I had to retweet this🌏,” commented another user.
CZ was born in China on September 10, 1977, in the coastal province of Jiangsu, located north of Shanghai. Both of his parents were teachers. His father moved to Canada in 1984 after being accepted at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver to resume his studies. He was joined by CZ, then a teenager, and his wife after the Chinese government’s crackdown on the Tianamen Square protests in 1989.
After graduating from McGill University in Montreal, CZ joined Bloomberg where he developed software for futures trading. He was appointed head of Bloomberg Tradebook Futures R&D team, but left the company in 2005 and moved to Shanghai to start Fusion Systems, which provides some of the fastest high-frequency trading systems for professionals. .
It was in Shanghai that he first heard about Bitcoin.
After a stint at Blockchain.com as head of technology, he created Binance in 2017. The company registered in the Cayman Islands in 2017 and the Seychelles in 2019. CZ promised that the company will announce where it will be based soon.