Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the founder and CEO of global cryptocurrency exchange Binance, is one of the most influential crypto personalities today, but his story is a true rags-to-riches story.
CZ was born in a town in Jiangsu, Shanghai, and her family immigrated to Vancouver, Canada, in the 1980s when she was 12 years old. He studied computer engineering in college and spent the next several years building trading systems for popular exchanges like the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Bloomberg Tradebook.
CZ left her lucrative job in 2005 to start her own company and returned to Shanghai. In 2013, after eight years of building his company, CZ finally came across Bitcoin (BTC), which changed everything for him.
The Bitcoin bug bit CZ, and in 2014 he decided to go all-in on the nascent digital currency, selling his house and buying BTC at an average price of $600 per coin. The price of Bitcoin fell shortly after and crashed to $200, but CZ’s belief in the technology helped him through the bear market. After two years, the price went up again.
CZ started his own crypto company nearly four years after encountering Bitcoin, launching Binance in July 2017 at the height of the initial coin offering era. Five years later, Binance is one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges in terms of daily transaction volume.
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