How crypto-exchange made its creator the richest man in Asia

This month, the title of Asia’s richest man was passed on to a newcomer. On January 9, Bloomberg valued the assets of Changpeng Zhao Binance, founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange. According to the publication, Changpen is worth $ 96 billion. And in the list of the richest people in the world, Changpeng was ranked 11th, behind Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle. Changpeng could be even richer, Bloomberg warned. Its net worth is based on owning 90% of Binance, which could generate $ 20 billion in revenue last year (Changpeng said in November that the exchange at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore processed $ 170 transactions on the 24th. millions, and in the worst days that number is $ 40 billion). At the same time, the valuation did not take into account Changpeng’s personal assets in cryptocurrencies, as there is no information about them.

Changpeng himself reacted with great joy to Bloomberg’s assessment. “Unfamiliar view: Instead of wealth valuations, there should be a charitable valuation,” he wrote on his Twitter account, nicknamed CZ on the net (Changpeng Zhao’s initials – known online as CZ, not Changpeng). ). When asked to comment on their valuation, Changpeng only replied to Bloomberg that cryptocurrencies are highly variable and that you don’t have to judge a person’s wealth by them. , because they are quotes. they are constantly changing. ” He added: “I don’t care about money and valuations.”

Estimates of Changpeng’s situation are also varied. In March last year, the Hurun Report listed $ 8 billion. A month later, Forbes wrote that it was $ 1.9 billion (according to the magazine, Changpen’s stake in Binance is 30%). In November, China’s Caijing magazine reported that Changpen was worth $ 90 billion, but did not specify how it calculated the figure.

It’s very difficult to judge Changpeng’s business. Its cryptocurrency exchange does not disclose financial results. Also, it’s not clear where it works. Binance originated in China and from there had to move to Japan and then to Taiwan and Malta. However, the Maltese financial regulator assured him that the stock market had not informed him. Lawyers for the exchange said in documents that he was registered in the Cayman Islands. But the local financial regulator did not confirm this in response to a request from The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), and a spokesman for the exchange told the newspaper that Binance is not in control of those islands. Changpeng recently lived in Singapore, but in December last year, Binance’s local delegation withdrew its application to register an exchange in this city-state. Changpeng told Bloomberg in 2020 that the company’s headquarters are where they are today: “After all, headquarters is just a concept.” The exchange has about 3,000 employees, scattered around the world and generally working from home.

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