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Changpeng Zhao Tops List Of Crypto Billionaires Despite $4.3B Fine
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Changpeng Zhao Tops List Of Crypto Billionaires Despite $4.3B Fine

  • Binance founder, Changpeng Zhao, tops list of crypto billionaires as wealth grows 195.9% to $37.2 billion despite legal issues.
  • His portfolio of Bitcoin and BNB was not included in estimating his wealth.
  • Similarly, the CEO of Coinbase experienced an increase of $5.8 billion in his wealth.

According to data from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the fortune of Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the ousted founder of the Binance crypto exchange, has grown by $24.6 billion in 2023. 

CZ’s wealth witnessed a 195.9% growth to $37.2 billion compared to its value in January, making him the 35th richest person globally.

Zhao’s wealth is attributed to his majority ownership of Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange in terms of trading volume. 

This astronomic growth in the crypto founder’s fortune comes amid Bitcoin’s rebound from the low values recorded in 2022.

However, CZ’s portfolio of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Binance Coin (BNB), are not included in estimating the $37.2 billion attributed to him. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the exact amounts of the tokens are undisclosed.

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Furthermore, Zhao’s current estimated wealth is considerably lower than its peak, which was nearly $97 billion at the start of 2022. 

Furthermore, it has declined from its year-to-date high of $50.4 billion in July, as the Bloomberg Billionaires Index indicated.

Interestingly, the $24.6 billion uptick in Zhao’s wealth is over five times the amount of the $4.3 billion fines imposed on Binance by U.S. authorities. 

In November, Zhao and Binance pleaded guilty to charges related to anti-money laundering and U.S. sanctions violations.

The agreement with the U.S. authorities allowed Binance to continue its operations but required Zhao to retire as CEO and personally pay a $50 million fine while still retaining his ownership stake in the exchange.

Meanwhile, Zhao is not the only prominent crypto figure who has seen his wealth skyrocket amid the crypto market rebound. Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, has experienced a year-to-date increase in wealth of $5.8 billion, reaching a total of $7.2 billion. 

Similarly, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the co-founders of the Gemini exchange, have individually witnessed their wealth surge by $1.4 billion this year.

Despite this year’s financial gain, Zhao’s net worth is still below its peak of nearly $97 billion in early 2022, which was hit hard by the crypto winter brought by the Terra LUNA and FTX collapse.

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