Changpeng Zhao, commonly known as CZ, is the founder of Binance, one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency platforms. His journey from the inception of Binance in 2017 to his recent resignation has been a rollercoaster ride, filled with both remarkable achievements and significant challenges
Resignation and Settlement
Changpeng Zhao, also known as CZ, was born on February 5, 1977, in Lianyungang, Jiangsu, China. He immigrated to Canada with his family when he was 12 years old. Zhao attended McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, where he majored in computer science. After graduating, Zhao worked for a subcontractor of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, developing software for matching trade orders. He later worked at Bloomberg Tradebook where he was a developer of futures trading software.
In 2017, Zhao founded Binance, which quickly became the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. The platform’s success can be attributed to its wide range of offerings, including trading services for a vast array of cryptocurrencies. This rapid growth and success significantly increased Zhao’s wealth.
However, Binance faced scrutiny from regulators worldwide, with allegations of operating unregistered exchanges, broker-dealers, and clearing agencies. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed 13 charges against Binance and Zhao, including allegations of misrepresenting trading controls and oversight on the Binance.US platform. Furthermore, Binance was accused of secretly allowing high-value U.S. customers to continue trading on the Binance.com platform, despite public claims that U.S. customers were restricted from transacting on the platform.
Resignation and Settlement
In November 2023, Zhao agreed to resign from Binance and pay a $50 million fine as part of a guilty plea in US federal charges. Binance also agreed to plead guilty and to pay $4.3 billion in fines. His resignation was part of a settlement over charges for anti-money laundering and other violations, including allowing transactions with Hamas. This decision marked a significant turning point in Zhao’s journey, potentially impacting his fortune.
The aftermath of Zhao’s resignation has sent ripples through the cryptocurrency world. Questions have been raised about the future of Binance and the broader implications for the cryptocurrency industry. Despite these challenges, Binance remains one of the most influential crypto exchanges, and Zhao’s impact on the industry is undeniable.
The impact of Zhao’s resignation has been significant. More than a billion dollars were pulled out of Binance in a single day, according to the largest cryptocurrency exchange’s founder Changpeng Zhao, as investors across the sector continue to react to the collapse of its rival FTX. The price of BNB, Binance’s native crypto token, has dipped about 2% since.