Cryptocurrency, Market Research

Changpeng Zhao’s Path to Success: Biography

By Stephen Carter


Reviewed by: Stephen Carter


Changpeng Zhao

There isn’t a single crypto enthusiast who hasn’t heard about Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange platform.

However, not everybody knows much about the founder of the platform, Changpeng Zhao.

This article aims to give a peek into Zhao as a person, his one-of-a-kind ideas, their execution, and his will to learn and move forward from failures.

Who is Changpeng Zhao? – Education and Career

Born in China’s Jiangsu province on 10 September 1977, Changoeng Zhao migrated to Canada at the age of twelve. He started working from an early age, mostly in service jobs, to support his family.

After high school, he enrolled at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, and graduated with a degree in Computer Science.

Right after graduating, he joined as an intern at a stock exchange company in Tokyo and developed software for matching orders in stock trade as demanded by a trader at the company.

Later on, he joined the Bloomberg Tradebook LLC, a capital market company, where he continued working for the next four years and got the opportunity to design futures trading software.

He transitioned to crypto when he decided to accept a job at, as the head of the development team developing crypto wallets.

The company provided cryptocurrency-related services and designed a cryptocurrency wallet that handled around 28% of Bitcoin transactions between 2011 and 2020.

After quitting his job at within the first year, he joined OKCoin, a cryptocurrency exchange, as their Chief Technical Officer.

Although the company was one of the largest exchanges in the world even then, Zhao decided to quit his position since the company’s vision didn’t align with his.

Changpeng Zhao: The Entrepreneur

Changpeng Zhao

Binance is the most well-known entrepreneurship of Zhao, but not the first. He started his entrepreneurship journey right after college when he co-founded Fusion Systems which provided business consultancy services and IT solutions.

He launched the company in 2005 and remained a partner until 2013, the year he joined

His next entrepreneurial venture was Bijie Tech, a company he founded after quitting his job with OKCoin to provide crypto exchange services in Shanghai.

The company was short-lived and the whole network went down within a period of 2 years from 2015 to 2017.

In a way, Bijie Tech was the forerunner of Binance, which was launched in 2017, the same year Bijie Tech disappeared.


This is the most popular and most successful venture of Changpeng Zhao, which he started after getting inspired by similar companies he worked with in the past, including, OKCoin, and his own Bijie Tech.

Zhao’s interest in the crypto field wasn’t sudden but rather cultivated from his interactions with people of similar interests, like Bobby Lee, the founder of

When Lee suggested he invest a part of his earnings in Bitcoin, he went ahead and sold his apartment to put the entire amount in the token.

Even though Bijie Tech disappeared without any explanation, Zhao retained the resources as well as the top management of the company to lay the foundation for a new one.

This was the beginning of Binance. The company was launched in July 2017 and within a span of eight months, he was able to turn it into the largest cryptocurrency exchange in existence.

The same year, he launched a utility token for the platform, Binance coin, that benefits the owners in terms of discounts and trading fees.

Two years later, Binance came up with Binance Smart Chain which is characterized by smart contract functionality and is in competition with Ethereum. The same year, in 2019, he launched the US affiliate of the company, Binance US.

 Zhao remained the Chief Executive Officer of Binance from 2017 to 2023 until he pleaded guilty to money laundering charges in the US.

All this time, until its seventh year from inception, the company maintained its position at the top, under the leadership of Zhao.


Changpeng Zhao is currently worth 33 billion USD and holds the 50th position on the list of the world’s richest people.

He became a billionaire just within 6 months of launching Binance and at one point, his wealth grew up to an amount of $90 billion when he became the 11th richest in the world.

In 2018, he was the third richest person in the cryptocurrency industry with an estimated net worth of about 2 billion.

He is a visionary entrepreneur who still builds strategies to enhance his business into new realms and will forever remain an iconic figure in the crypto industry for his contribution to its evolution.

Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is a software technology expert. He writes about market research on various hot topics like cryptocurrencies, explaining how they started. He's good at making complicated tech ideas easy to understand for everyone.

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