Binance was founded by Changpeng Zhao, a Chinese man whose parents emigrated to Canada in the early 1990s. A computer scientist by training, the founder of the world’s number one cryptocurrency exchange platform works at the New York Stock Exchange and Bloomberg, among others. A look back at the journey of the inventor of the Binance exchange who became a billionaire in just a few months.
Born in 1977 in the Chinese province of Jiangsu, Changpeng Zhao (or simply CZ) grew up in a family of teachers, whose life path was turned upside down following the events that shook the country between April 15, 1989, and June 4, 1989: the Tian’anmen Square protests. It was a large-scale movement bringing together students, intellectuals, and workers, inclined to denounce corruption and to demand political and democratic reforms.
The parents take the risk not to support the Chinese Communist Party which engages in a broad process of police repression. Under the orders of Changpeng Zhao’s father, the family fled the persecution and took refuge in Vancouver, Canada. Young Changpeng continued his studies at school and then at the University of Montreal. He graduated from the Faculty of Computer Science while taking a keen interest in stock market trading. A first step towards Binance.
Changpeng Zhao first worked at the New York Stock Exchange, where he set up a trading order system. He then moved to Bloomberg’s financial department (Bloomberg Tradebook), where he developed software for trading platforms. His professional development was crowned by four consecutive promotions, leading him, in 2005, to take charge of the coordination of three teams of developers, based in New Jersey, London and Tokyo.
The future creator of Binance decided to leave his comfort zone by leaving Bloomberg to open his own company in Shanghai, called Fusion Systems. For eight years, he worked as a developer of several exchange services. Changpeng Zhao’s encounter with the world of crypto-currencies came in 2013, when he read a white paper written by Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin.
Changpeng Zhao in the Forbes ranking
The CEO who created Binance appears, as of February 2018, in third place on the list of “richest people in cryptocurrencies” compiled by the famous Forbes magazine. His assets, in net worth, are estimated at $1.4 billion as of September 2018. This does not prevent some pitfalls such as the hacking of Binance on May 7, 2019. An operation that will have seen 7000 BTC ($40 million USD) stolen, while Changpeng Zhao had indicated on Twitter that it was safer to leave his cryptocurrencies on the exchange.
This made the community angry. Despite this, the stolen customers did not lose anything, as Binance has a SAFU (Secure Asset Fund for Users) fund that is used for reimbursement in case of such incidents.
The year 2017 was marked by the rise of ICOs (Initial Coin Offering), a fundraising mechanism that takes place during the start-up phase of the project. The way it works is simple: the investor injects money and in return receives digital assets (tokens) that can be exchanged for cryptocurrencies. Changpeng Zhao seizes this opportunity to create Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, in July 2017. He manages to raise $15 million following an ICO. Initially, he had invested $10,000 from his own pocket to develop his platform and brought in some of his staff from OKCoin.
Changpeng Zhao – Binance
To stand out from his competitors, Changpeng Zhao also created Binance Coin (BNB), his own cryptocurrency.
Used by the members of the Binance platform, it allows to reduce transaction costs or to convert token dust, leftovers of transactions that would be lost without this mechanism, because it does not cover withdrawal fees. And the success is there, since in less than a year, Binance has become the first virtual currency exchange platform in terms of daily volumes. To learn how to buy Binance Coin, click here.
Changpeng Zhao in the Forbes ranking
The CEO who founded Binance appears, as of February 2018, in third place on the list of “richest people in cryptocurrencies” compiled by the renowned Forbes magazine. His assets, in net worth, are estimated at $1.4 billion as of September 2018. This does not prevent some pitfalls such as the hacking of Binance on May 7, 2019.
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