Binance CEO Plans to Commit Fortune to Philanthropy

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao may be one of the richest people in the world.

Binance CEO Plans to Commit Fortune to Philanthropy
Cover by Akio Kon/Bloomberg.

Key Takeaways

  • In a Wednesday interview with the Associated Press, Binance CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao revealed he intends to donate up to 99% of his wealth.
  • Forbes magazine estimates CZ's net worth at around $1.9 billion.
  • However, based on CZ's Binance equity holdings alone, his real net worth is likely substantially higher.

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Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the wealthiest person in crypto, has said he intends to donate up to 99% of his wealth.

CZ Says He Plans to Donate Most of his Wealth

Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, founder and CEO of Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, revealed intentions to give away up to 99% of his wealth. In a Wednesday interview for The Associated Press, he said:

“Personally, I’m financially free. I don’t need a lot of money, and I can maintain my lifestyle in this way. I do intend to give away most of my wealth, like many wealthy entrepreneurs or founders did from Rockefeller until today. I do intend to give away 90, 95, or 99% of my wealth.”

While Forbes magazine estimates Zhao’s net worth at around $1.9 billion, that figure is likely significantly understated. According to former Binance executives, Zhao is the majority shareholder of Binance.US, and as per his own admission, the largest shareholder of Binance, which is not publicly traded but is estimated to be worth around $300 billion. 

While being a “decent-sized shareholder” in Binance, Zhao also revealed that he holds “some Bitcoins,” which he purchased in 2014, and that most of his net worth is in Binance Smart Chain’s native coin, BNB. “The other asset I hold, which is the majority of my net worth, is BNB,” Zhao told the AP, adding “I personally do not own equity in any other project, crypto or not crypto. I do this very deliberately because I don’t want any potential conflicts of interest.”

Despite being the richest person in crypto, and possibly one of the richest in the world, Zhao doesn’t live a particularly lavish lifestyle. He keeps most of his wealth in crypto, doesn’t own a car or a house, and travels to company meetings on an electric scooter. 

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