Changpeng Zhao (CZ) is one of the most influential crypto market figures. Notably, he is the CEO of the largest Centralized Exchange, Binance, amongst others accolades.
Who is Changpeng Zhao?
Changpeng Zhao, who is known as CZ in the crypto community, is the founder and CEO of Binance. Binance exchange is considered as the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, averaging $500 million in daily trades and controlling 25% of the decentralized exchange market share. CZ became one of the few crypto billionaires due to his worth from $1 to $2 billion. However, this number of crypto billionaires is increasing.
A brief history
CZ was born in 1977 in Jiangsu which is an industrial province in China. Both of his parents are educators. In the late 1980s, CZ and his family moved from China to Vancouver, Canada. When he was a teenager, he flipped burgers and worked at the local gas station to support his family.
Following the work he did to support his family, CZ went to McGill University where he majored in computer science. He also has a passion for the stock market and futures trading.
Then, after graduating from college and traveling around the world in 2001, CZ found himself working for Bloomberg in New York. During his 4 years there, CZ was promoted three times and took responsibility for managing many teams around the world. However, CZ became impatient and tired of working at Bloomberg and finally decided to quit.
CZ then started the Fusion System, a high-frequency trading tool for brokers. CZ spent 8 years at Fusion System before leaving in 2013 and then discovering Bitcoin.
CZ’s Relationship to Cryptocurreny
In 2013, with the guidance of a friend, CZ was introduced to Bitcoin. He immediately felt interested and spent much of his time time researching Bitcoin, participating in Bitcoin forums and even attending a few Bitcoin conferences. In the same year, CZ was also introduced to Blockchain.info where he worked closely with Roger Ver and Ben Reeves.
After just one year, CZ left Blockchain.info and joined OKCoin as the company’s CTO. However, CZ left OKCoin before he had spent a full year working at the company, according to a reddit post.
Yet during this time, CZ had been planning to develop his own company during this time since first being introduced to Bitcoin. He aimed to create an exchange platform. In July 2017, CZ launched the Binance ICO mobilizing $15 million. CZ ensured that his company would be able to scale up, an important focus of CZ.
In 6 months, Binance grew to become the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world. Meanwhile in 2017 the Chinese government banned exchange platforms, forcing Binance and CZ to relocate to Japan and having the majority of users from Japan and the US.
What is Binance?
Binance is the world’s largest online centralized financial exchange platform where users can trade cryptocurrencies. The platform offers a variety of options for cryptocurrency investments, including the most commonly traded coins. Binance provides a crypto wallet for traders to store, send and receive their electronic funds. Binance platform has its own blockchain-based token – Binance Coin (BNB) that users can buy, sell, and hold.
What is Binance Smart Chain?
Beside Binance, Zhao also launched a blockchain network named Binance Smart Chain that has made significant contributions to the development of the world of DeFi. Binance Smart Chain (BSC) is a blockchain network built for running smart contract-based applications. In 2018, Binance announced the Binance Chain, which is a high-speed blockchain to carry out more extensive transactional data offering a trading volume of 24 hours/day and 7 days/week.
Binance Smart Chain was introduced in 2020, providing users with a platform to build and develop decentralized applications. BSC runs in parallel with Binance’s native Binance Chain (BC), which allows users to get the best of both worlds: the high transaction capacity of BC and the smart contract functionality of BSC. The Binance smart chain is unique because it provides the ability to create, edit, and process new smart contracts and complex decentralized applications.
- 2013: Changpeng Zhao learned about Bitcoin.
- 2013: Later in the year, Changpeng Zhao joined Blockchain.info with Roger Ver and Ben Reeves by the end of 2013
- 2017: Zhao left OKCoin to launch a cryptocurrency exchange named Binance
- 2018: Binance has grown to become the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange
- 2018: Forbes placed CZ third on their list of “The Richest People In Cryptocurrency.
- 2020: Binance acquired CoinMarketCap in April
- 2020: Binance launched its crypto credit card
- 2021: CZ expressed his goal to expand into Africa.
Significance in cryptocurrencies
CZ is one of the most prominent figures in cryptocurrency. As a founder and CEO of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily transaction, Zhao has an enormous devotion to the era of the peer-to-peer money. Shouldering great responsibility in developing the digital currency, he has been credited for his impact and influence. His twitter page has amassed a following of over 2.6 million followers and his (usually funny) daily twitter posts bring huge attention to his page. If the coin market is going well, he is probably tweeting optimistically about it.