Changpeng Zhao, 44, is worth about $100 billion and owns 90% of Binance and an unknown amount of cryptocurrency. Zhao was previously a member of the team that developed and also served as chief technology officer of OKCoin. In April, 2021, Zhao said that nearly 100% of his liquid net worth was in the form of cryptocurrency. Zhao currently splits time between Singapore and Dubai.

Binance and Binance USA combine to have 4-5 times the trading volume of Coinbase.

Zhao was born on September 10th, 1977, in China’s Jiangsu province. In 1989, he moved with his family to Vancouver, Canada when he was 12 years old. His parents were both teachers in China. Zhao attended McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, where he majored in computer science.

Zhao received an internship in Tokyo working for a subcontractor of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, developing software for matching trade orders. He worked four years at Bloomberg Tradebook where he was a developer of futures trading software.

In 2005, he moved to Shanghai where he founded Fusion Systems and it was among the fastest high-frequency trading systems for brokers.

Beginning in 2013, he worked for various cryptocurrency projects including and also served as chief technology officer of OKCoin. OKCoin is a platform for spot trading between fiat and digital assets.

In 2017, Zhao left OKCoin to launch a cryptocurrency exchange named Binance. The company was launched in July 2017, after raising $15 million in an initial coin offering. In less than eight months, Zhao grew Binance into the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, as of April 2018. Zhao also launched blockchain network Binance Smart Chain and has been a key player in developing the decentralized finance industry.

In September 2019, the exchange began offering perpetual futures contracts, allowing leverage as high as 125 times the value of the contracts. In November 2019, Binance acquired Indian bitcoin exchange WazirX.

Background on some Other Notable Canadian billionaires

The list of richest Canadians has long been dominated by older wealth like the Thomson family. David Thomson, 64, inherited the Thomson media empire from his fathe, Kenneth Roy Thomson, 2nd Baron Thomson of Fleet. Ken Thomson owned newspapers and retail chains. Ken died in 2006 with $22 billion in net worth and his heirs now have $41 billion. Roy Thomson was Ken’s father. Roy got into radio, TV and newspapers. In the 1970s, Roy Thomson joined with J. Paul Getty in a consortium that successfully explored for oil in the North Sea. By the early 1950s, Roy owned 19 newspapers and was president of the Canadian Daily Newspaper Publishers Association, and then began his first foray into the British newspaper business.

The CEO of Shopify, Tobias Lütke (41), is also one of the richest Canadians. He is worth about $9.7 billion. Lütke, a coder with a love of snowboarding, was visiting Whistler, B.C. from his native Germany when he met Fiona McKean. At the age of 21, Lütke moved from Germany to Ottawa to be with McKean. Tobias now lives in Ottawa.

SOURCES- Binance, Wikipedia, Coinmarketcap
Written by Brian Wang,

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