Cryptocurrency billionaire Changpeng Zhao has vaulted from obscurity to the cover of Forbes magazine in just 8 months.
The founder of Binance, who goes by the name of CZ, has steered his company to a $200 million profit in its second quarter of existence and built a personal fortune of nearly $2 billion.
The exchange has an ability to process 1.4 million transactions a second on a peak day this year. It was processing 3.5 billion new orders and trades.
The 41-year-old Chinese-Canadian coder, who wears a black hoodie, like some cross between Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, owns a large chunk of the company. But before fame and fortune turned in his favor, CZ flipped burgers at McDonald’s and worked overnight shifts at a gas station in Vancouver to cover the household expenses.
His first summer job was in Tokyo exchange as a trader. CZ was offered work by the same company, after he finished college. He spent the next four years in this company before moving to New York.
Then, in 2013, Zhao learned about Bitcoin from a venture capitalist with whom he played poker. His interest steered him to dig deeper into the cryptocurrency space and by the end of last year, he had decided to make his move.
Despite all the regulatory headwinds surrounding digital currencies globally, CZ told Bloomberg earlier this year that he’s as optimistic as he’s ever been about cryptocurrencies.