Watch out Musk and Bezos — there’s another new billionaire coming for the throne.
Binance founder Changpeng „CZ“ Zhao, whose company is a crypto exchange platform that runs the largest daily trading volume of crypto coins, has joined the ranks of the world’s top billionaires after his net worth hit an impressive $96 billion, per new reports on Monday.
Per Forbes, Binance reached an impressive $2 trillion in total trading volume in 2020.
Zhao’s latest net worth jump places him just below Oracle founder Larry Ellison (whose net worth is listed at $109 billion) and Steve Ballmer, Los Angeles Clippers owner and former CEO of Microsoft who is listed at $112 billion.
Bloomberg notes that Zhao’s true net worth could actually be much larger than anticipated as earnings on his crypto investments and holdings are not being taken into account.
Though Zhao founded Binance in China, it is currently banned there due to regulations against crypto mining and trading in the country.
“Crypto is still in its growth stage,” Binance said in a statement to Bloomberg regarding estimates of Zhao’s net worth and the company’s valuation. “It is susceptible to higher levels of volatility. Any number you hear one day will be different from a number you hear the next day.”
The ever-changing landscape of digital currencies, especially with the newfound fascination and buying/selling of NFTs thrown into the mix, makes hammering down a solid, completely accurate number and estimation of valuation nearly impossible.
“I never view anyone as competition. If I’ve got that mindset, everyone’s the enemy to me, even very different businesses,” Zhao said last July in an interview with The New York Times. “But I have an abundance mentality. I think most things in this world are not limited resources. Money is not. Business opportunities are not. And the crypto industry is not.“
Though Binance does not publicly disclose its earnings or financials, it is estimated that the exchange platform processes around $170 billion in trades a day.