Changpeng Zhao, The normal Guy Who Conquered Crypto

Paris, (APP – UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 1st May, 2024) During his time at the helm of the world‘s biggest cryptocurrency firm, former Binance boss Changpeng Zhao, who was sentenced to four months’ prison in the United States on Tuesday for money laundering, perfected the humble executive look.

At parties, on stages and in meetings, he was rarely seen without his black polo shirt, emblazoned with the insignia of his firm — complemented by the corporate logo tattooed on his arm.

It was vital to cement the myth of a boy who came from hardship in China and once flipped burgers for a living in Canada — before making a fortune still estimated in the tens of billions.

“I’m a small entrepreneur” and a “normal guy”, the man known in crypto circles as “CZ” told AFP in 2022 when comparing himself to Elon Musk, whose buyout of Twitter (now X) Zhao later backed with $500 million.

Yet there was little normal about Zhao’s leadership of Binance, a company that largely cornered the crypto-trading market before careening into a slew of charges including sanctions busting and illegal trading.

Zhao, who founded Binance in Shanghai in 2017, emerged as the most visible figure in crypto after his great rival Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested in 2022 for masterminding a giant Ponzi scheme.

During his rival’s downfall, Zhao was there to twist the knife, first suggesting he might buy FTX before very publicly withdrawing.

A year later, it was Zhao’s turn for contrition.

He pleaded guilty to violating US anti-money laundering laws and agreed to step down as Binance CEO, the authorities announcing later that the firm would pay a $4.3 billion settlement.
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