Changpeng Zhao, the co-founder and CEO of Binance, the world’s leading crypto exchange, has once again contested assessments of his personal fortune. This time, Zhao responded to a Bloomberg report that estimated his wealth at $28.2 billion and ranked him as the world’s third-richest person in finance.
Zhao dismisses wealth estimation
Zhao took to Twitter, stating, “Numbers all wrong,” and added, “I don’t have anywhere near as much. Don’t know why they do this.” He referred to the report as a “4,” his personal code for disregarding FUD, fake news, and attacks.
This is not the first time Zhao, known as “CZ,” has refuted claims about his fortune. In June of last year, the Guardian reported that Zhao’s wealth had decreased by over $75 billion since January, dropping to $20.6 billion, citing Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimates. Zhao questioned the accuracy of these figures, emphasizing that net worth estimations are often imprecise.
Various sources have attempted to estimate Zhao’s wealth throughout the years. In April of last year, Forbes valued his fortune at $65 billion, while in January, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index assessed his net worth at $96 billion, excluding his personal crypto holdings such as Bitcoin and Binance’s own token, BNB. Zhao has stated on multiple occasions that he does not own any fiat currency.
Some analysts have even speculated that Zhao’s net worth could reach $200 billion, potentially making him the wealthiest person in the world, surpassing Elon Musk and Vladimir Putin. Zhao downplayed this notion on Twitter, referring to himself as a “small potato” in comparison.
In 2021, Zhao expressed his intention to donate up to 99% of his wealth. A Binance spokesperson declined to comment on Zhao’s actual net worth.
Legal challenges for Binance and its CEO
Binance has faced regulatory scrutiny in several countries over the years. Last month, both the company and Zhao were sued by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission for allegedly operating an “illegal” exchange and a “sham” compliance program. At the time, Zhao described the lawsuit as “unexpected and disappointing” and disagreed with many of the complaint’s allegations.