Always wearing black with the Tshirt of its company, Changpeng Zhao is considered as one of the most influential faces in the blockchain ecosystem. In today’s episode of “Iconic faces”, we are going to speak about the man who sold his house in Shanghai to go all in Bitcoin, the crypto-rich who does not own any cars, yachts nor fancy watches.
Born in Jiangsu province, in China by the end of the 1980s, Changpeng Zhao did most of his schooling in China. Later, he moved with his family to Vancouver, Canada because of his father exile. In his teenage years, due to financial family problems, Zhao supported his family by working in different industry jobs including being a McDonald’s employee, flipping burgers, and working at a gas station in overnight shift.
Changpeng Zhao attended McGill University in Montreal, Canada, one of the top universities in the work, where he majored in computer science. In addition to what he was studying at his university, he was learning more about future trading, the stock market and the way that they operate. He spent time, building a system for matching trade orders on the Tokyo Stock Exchange
After graduating in 2001, Zhao joined Bloomberg Tradebook as head of future development. Considering the fact that the company was a leading agency broker offering trading solutions for equities, options, and futures, this was the real boost for CZ’s professional experience in terms of trading skills. Despite getting promoted three times in less than 2 years, the 27 years old Changpeng decided to quit for a new experience: starting his own company.
CZ moved to Shanghai in order to cofound Fusion Systems in 2005, a company that is specializing in ultra-low latency trading systems for brokers. His project developed trading systems for companies, and it quickly became popular among traders and broker, responsible closing and deploying systems at Credit Swiss, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and more. After the success of Fusion Systems.
In 2013, Zhao learned about blockchain, exactly, Bitcoin from a venture capitalist that plays with him poker. After bouncing around different crypto projects, he joined Blockchain.info as a head of the development for eight months, where he became close to Bitcoin evangelists like Roger Ver and Ben Reeves. After that, he co-founded OKCoin, a platform for spot trading between fiat and digital assets, and worked as chief technology officer for less than a year.
Just after his experience with OKCoin, CZ founded BijieTech, a company that provides cloud-based exchange systems to exchange operators. Since founding in Sept 2015, the company powers more than 30 exchanges in Asia. In its first year, BijieTech closed 36.1million RMB($5.33Million USD). BijieTech has never accepted any outside investments.
Within two years, Zhao moved away from BijieTech in order to start his flag project: Binance. Actually, he remained a shareholder of BijieTech. However, he relinquished all of his management duties to a new CEO. Despite its young age compared to other cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance became the biggest exchange market in the world in a period under 6 months. Its initial coin offering was Binance Coin (BNB) that started at around ¢11 and now is valued around $10. It was over $24 in January 2018. Today, Binance supports about 120 coins, working with more than 100 wallets and 240 trading pairs. About the coin listing, Zhao explained that his team “received over 5000 applications for coin listings”, but they are trying to accept only projects that have strong credibility, user base, and liquidity
CZ today’s success is obviously backed by around 20 years of experience. A very inspirational story that shows the importance of hardworking.