Changpeng Zhao, CEO of the largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance, gave an exclusive interview to Bloomberg, in which he shared a huge amount of interesting information.
It turns out that the head of the crypto platform is not a fan of borders, loves liquidity and makes the main bet on cryptocurrencies in the future – which, however, is not surprising.
And it’s worth listening to, yet just last year Binance reported a combined revenue of $ 800 million.
Changpeng Zhao: the path to success
Zhao’s father went through the Cultural Revolution in China, but was able to attend the University of British Columbia in Canada in 1984. Due to problems with obtaining a visa, the family of the future creator of the crypto exchange was able to get to another continent only in 1989, where Changpen remained.
The future CEO of the largest cryptocurrency exchange learned to program at a relatively early age on the IBM PC XT 286, which at that time cost more than $ 5,000. The largest family purchase turned out to be really useful – thanks to it, Zhao mastered the basics of programming and, already during his studies at the university, was able to get an internship at a software development company in Montreal.
After a while, Changpen realized that the financial technology sector was making huge investments in new software products. By the way, his transition to working with crypt was quite interesting. Here is Zhao’s line in which he shares details from the past.
In 2013, Bobby Lee, then CEO of BTC China, and his investor [Ron Cao, then at Lightspeed China Partners – editor’s clarification] introduced the concept to a friendly poker game. They advised me to convert 10 percent of my fortune into bitcoins, because their price is ten times more likely to rise than the probability of a fall to zero. I thought this was a pretty serious proposal.
Binance’s purchase of CoinMarketCap last year became one of the largest digital assets in history
Zhao read the cryptocurrency whitepaper and quickly realized the benefits of a blockchain project through his experience in software development. He sold his apartment in Shanghai, quit his job and invested a fairly large amount in BTC.
As you can see, such a radical decision turned out to be very far-sighted. Although, soon after the sale of the house and the investment in Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency rate collapsed seriously. At the same time, Changpen still did not sell the asset and did not record losses. Instead, he chose to walk.
The second important stage in Zhao’s career was working at a crypto startup, which worked closely with crypto exchanges until 2017. Even then, Changpen noticed the shortcomings of the trading platforms of that time: inconvenient design, load problems, lack of clear technical support for users. Zhao tried to fix all these problems at Binance.
By the way, in light of the recent news about Coinbase’s IPO, no other major crypto company is planning anything like this so far. Here is Zhao’s comment on the outlook for Binance going public.
The short answer is no. We are not currently planning to go public and are not planning an IPO. We have enough money so we can grow on our own. We do not need a lot of money, we make a profit.
Most interestingly, Binance as a cryptocurrency exchange operates without offices.
So, we are now about 1600 or 1700 people. The list of workers changes every day due to newcomers. Everyone is a little confused or interested in the structure, given that we do not have offices, but we have people all over the world. But I think this is exactly the mentality that crypto companies should adhere to, because the digital asset industry really has no boundaries. And especially in the current pandemic, everyone is used to working from home.
Finally, an investment strategy from Changpeng Zhao. As you might have guessed, most of his fortune depends on the value of the cryptocurrencies in which he invested almost all of his money. Zhao does not currently own a house, car, or large purchases of the same magnitude. The reason is the low liquidity of real estate and expensive goods.
I don’t have ordinary money, the physical things I own are probably insignificant in terms of my capital. This is a change of concept. I don’t use coins to buy money, I don’t use cryptocurrency to buy houses. I just want to hold cryptocurrency. And I have no plans to convert my coins to cash in the future.
We believe that Changpen’s career and its development is connected exclusively with risks, because many people still doubt the prospects of cryptocurrencies and their ability to become a significantly larger product on a global scale. However, as time has shown, Zhao’s risk was justified. Now he runs one of the most successful cryptocurrency exchanges in the world and is listed on the Forbes list. At the same time, Changpen does not recommend to others to follow his path and invest all the money together with the apartment in the crypt. This is really too dangerous.