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Cryptogambling / Bloomberg Billionaires Index: Binance’s Changpeng Zhao hits $37B in 2023

Bloomberg Billionaires Index: Binance’s Changpeng Zhao hits $37B in 2023

Publish Date: 27/12/2023
Video: Changpeng Zhao (CZ) from Binance talks Cryptoexchanges & Future of Crypto Currencies

Changpeng Zhao (CZ) from Binance talks Cryptoexchanges & Future of Crypto Currencies

Former Binance CEO Changpeng β€œCZ” Zhao gained a significant increase in wealth this year by nearly $25 billion, as reported by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Even after stepping down as CEO and admitting guilt to U.S. criminal charges, Zhao’s wealth experienced a significant increase during that time.

Zhao’s current wealth exceeds $37 billion, ranking him as the 35th richest person worldwide, per the index. His significant fortune primarily comes from his major ownership in Binance.

Despite its diminished market share, Binance profited from heightened trading volumes during the crypto market’s rebound. Zhao also owns Bitcoin and Binance’s coin, BNB, although these holdings aren’t counted in the Billionaires Index.

In 2023, as Bitcoin rallied over 160 percent after a market downturn in 2022, Zhao led a group of crypto entrepreneurs whose estimated wealth surged.

In response to the news, Campbell Harvey, a finance professor at Duke University who studies digital-asset markets, said that crypto investors believe in the long-term potential of cryptocurrency.

β€œInvestment in crypto is not for the faint of heart; you need to be prepared for the spectacular ups and downs. There is a reason that these investors are billionaires, and it is not luck. They are not tempted to dump their holdings in down markets. They believe in the long-term opportunities this space offers,” said Harvey.

Zhao’s wealth is far below its highest point of nearly $97 billion in early 2022, and it’s also lower than its peak this year of $50.4 billion in July, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Crypto rebound boosts wealth for multiple billionaires

Other billionaires also profited from the 2023 crypto rebound, not just Zhao. This rebound was driven partly by the Binance settlement, which relieved pressure from the market and by optimism regarding the potential approval of U.S. exchange-traded funds directly investing in Bitcoin.

Besides Zhao, several other notable figures have emerged as significant winners in the 2023 crypto rebound.

Coinbase Global Inc.’s CEO, Brian Armstrong, has experienced a substantial rise in wealth, soaring by $5.8 billion year-to-date to reach $7.2 billion, as indicated by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. With Coinbase’s shares surging nearly 400 percent this year, Armstrong is estimated to hold approximately a 16 percent stake in the company.

Meanwhile, Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam has seen his estimated wealth swell by $1.8 billion in 2023, reaching a total of approximately $2.5 billion. Ehrsam holds an estimated 5 percent stake in Coinbase.

Co-founders of the Gemini Trust crypto exchange, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, have individually experienced a $1.4 billion surge in their wealth this year, reaching a total of $2.7 billion each.

Gemini has been involved in a legal dispute with crypto lender Genesis over a joint crypto-lending program. The New York Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Gemini and DCG, accusing them of committing customer fraud totaling $1.1 billion.

Furthermore, Barry Silbert, the founder of DCG, saw his wealth grow by $1.5 billion this year to an estimated $2 billion. DCG has undergone significant changes, selling off or closing businesses following Genesis, a subsidiary, declaring bankruptcy in January.

Unlike other crypto industry figures who experienced a rise in their wealth, Sam Bankman-Fried, the imprisoned former CEO of FTX crypto exchange convicted of substantial fraud, currently holds an estimated net worth of $0. His worth peaked at $25.9 billion in March of the previous year.

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