Changpeng Zhao or “CZ” as he is more popularly known, is the CEO of Binance and one of the most influential and wealthiest figures in the cryptospace. Forbes listed the 41-year old’s personal fortune to be somewhere around a billion dollars. CZ’s story is probably one of the most inspiring one out there and a testament to what one can do with sheer hard work. In a period of 6 months, this man went from establishing Binance to becoming a billionaire.
Early Life and Education
CZ was born in Jiangsu, China to a family of educators. In the late 80’s his family decided to move abroad to Vancouver, Canada after they were temporarily exiled from China. In order to help out his family, CZ started flipping burgers at McDonald’s and working an overnight shift at a local gas station.
He then attended McGill University in Montreal where he studied Computer Science but he also showed an uncanny ability in futures trading and Stock Market.
After finishing up college he traveled the world for a bit, spending some time in Tokyo and New York. After that, he spent a few years sharpening his skills in trading software before ending up at Bloomberg in NYC. Over there he was in charge of designing and developing software solutions for future trading. His growth was so exponential that by the end of his tenure he was responsible for managing teams in different locations such as Tokyo, London, and New Jersey becoming the Bloomberg Tradebook Futures Development Chief. He left the company after 4 years.
After leaving Bloomberg, he found his first company, Fusions Systems. He would give 8 years of his life to Fusion creating a number of rapid high-frequency trading systems that became popular with many brokers.
CZ’s first foray into the blockchain world was working for Blockchain.info aka Blockchain. Over there he worked with some of the most well-known names in the space, Roger Ver and Ben Reeves. CZ played a vital role in transforming the company to become one of the most important Bitcoin storage services in the world. He improved the company’s credibility in Asia and developed a lot of products for the company’s API. He also took part in the acquisition of ZeroBlock, an information service provider.
He left after a year to join OkCoin. CZ said that his departure was amicable and he was still in friendly terms with the Blockchain team.
CZ joined OKCoin, the largest Bitcoin exchange in China at that time, as the Chief Technical Officer in 2014. OKCoin specialized in fiat-to-crypto asset trading. Unfortunately, the working relationship ended in less than a year with the company owing CZ around $10,000. The split was very inamicable and according to CZ, there was a lot of problem with OKCoin, chief among them being a dispute between the company and Roger Ver.
After leaving OKCoin, CZ was keen on starting his own cryptocurrency company. Taking advantage of the 2017 ICO boom, he launched the Binance ICO which would end up raising $15 million. Leveraging all the experience that he had garnered over the years, CZ managed to create a cryptocurrency exchange platform which had inbuilt scalability features right from the beginning of the project.
Article first appeared on Blockgeeks.com