Crypto Personalities: Changpeng Zhao – Binance

Crypto Personalities: Changpeng Zhao – Binance


  • Zhao’s pivotal role in founding Binance in 2017 transformed it into the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange within a short time frame.
  • Despite Binance’s significant growth and expansion under Zhao’s leadership, his tenure ended abruptly with his resignation due to legal issues in November 2023.


Changpeng Zhao (CZ) was born in the Chinese province of Jiangsu in 1977, and relocated to Canada at the age of 12. During his adolescence, Zhao took on various jobs, including roles at McDonald’s and a service station, to provide for his family.

He pursued his higher education in computer science at McGill University in Montreal, where he refined his skills. Subsequently, he embarked on a career developing trading software for prominent entities such as the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Bloomberg Terminal.

After launching Binance in July 2017, Zhao rapidly grew it into the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume.

2013 – 2017

Zhao began his career in software development, gaining valuable experience by working on trading software for prestigious institutions such as the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Bloomberg Terminal. This period likely involved refining his skills in computer science and finance, laying the groundwork for his future connections in the cryptocurrency industry.

In 2013, Zhao made his entry into the cryptocurrency industry by joining the development team for the Bitcoin blockchain explorer at This marked his initial involvement in the burgeoning world of digital assets and blockchain technology.

In 2014, Zhao served as the chief technology officer (CTO) of Okcoin, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange.

The most significant milestone of Zhao’s career during this period was the founding of Binance in 2017. This marked the beginning of a new chapter, as Binance quickly rose to prominence, becoming one of the largest and most influential cryptocurrency exchanges globally.

2017 – 2023

Between 2017 and 2023, CZ (Changpeng Zhao) continued to lead and expand Binance. Under CZ’s leadership, Binance expanded its services globally, becoming one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in terms of trading volume and user base. Binance launched new features, including futures trading, margin trading, staking, and decentralized exchange services.

In 2020, BNB coin was moved to the Binance Smart Chain. BNB later evolved into a multifunctional asset used for various purposes within the Binance ecosystem, including token sales, payments, and staking.

Binance made strategic acquisitions and partnerships to expand its reach and services. For example, in 2019, Binance acquired WazirX, an Indian cryptocurrency exchange, to strengthen its presence in the Indian market.

In November 2023, Zhao resigned as CEO of Binance after pleading guilty to a money laundering charge in the United States. 

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