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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Binance CEO, Worth $18.5 Billion, Doesn’t Care About Money

  • Binance CEO and founder Changpeng Zhao doesn’t “really care much about money,” per Bloomberg.
  • Zhao is the wealthiest figure in the crypto world, with a current net worth of $18.5 billion.
  • That sum was $96 billion just months ago, before the crypto market began spiraling.

Binance CEO ChangPeng Zhao may be one of the richest figures in the crypto world — and outside of it for that matter — but he said he’s not too concerned with numbers.

He made the comment in an interview with Bloomberg’s Businessweek, published Thursday, while discussing his company’s recent plummet in value amid a market-wide rout for cryptocurrencies that’s seen bitcoin, still the flagship digital token, fall some 70% since November. 

“So there’s a couple of things about me,” Zhao said in the interview, which was conducted in May. “I don’t really care much about money.”

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, has seen soaring valuations since it was founded in 2017 largely thanks to a cryptocurrency fervor sweeping the globe, raising the price of coins and enticing new investors. 

Binance’s US arm also benefitted from a pandemic growth spurt, most recently valued at $4.5 billion in April.

That massive growth helped Zhao’s


net worth

similarly skyrocket. He’s now worth an estimated $18.5 billion,  according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, making him the 80th richest person in the world and the wealthiest person in the industry. 

But both the company and Zhao have taken a hit as crypto prices cooled and so-called stable coins like TerraUSD failed, upending swaths of the industry. 

Zhao’s net worth was $96 billion before the market spiral, a sum that put him in the same ballpark as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Larry Page.

TerraUSD was meant to constantly be pegged to $1, providing a sense of security in an otherwise volatile market while also offering high returns. Not only did Binance offer the coin to its customers, but also held a stake in the coin worth $1.6 billion, an amount that has since been nearly wiped out.

As for Zhao’s personal lifestyle, the exec has a reputation for never hanging his hat in one place for too long, a feat that his company shares.

Binance has long received criticism from regulators for failing to provide a location for the company’s headquarters. It’s an ideological tenet for some decentralized-minded crypto companies to opt out of physical, centralized home bases.

Zhao famously tried to nestle his company in China — before quickly fleeing after the government implemented strict anti-crypto rules — as well as the tax-friendly Cayman Islands.

He only recently decided to settle in Dubai, choosing an apartment and a Toyota minivan, according to Bloomberg. He’s often seen wearing simple, black Binance-branded shirts. 

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