Worth Over $90B, Is CZ the World’s Richest Ethnic Chinese?

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  • Binance CEO and founder Changpeng Zhao (CZ) might be the richest ethnic Chinese alive, according to speculation by Caijing magazine.
  • CZ owns a 30% stake in Binance, which is valued at $300 billion.
  • Some argue CZ’s net worth might actually match that of Elon Musk’s.

Binance CEO and founder Changpeng Zhao (CZ) might be the richest ethnic Chinese alive, according to speculation by Caijing magazine.

The Chinese outspoken media outlet Caijing made the claim in late December, citing unnamed “insiders,” as well as data accumulated by the prominent American media outlet Forbes. The media noted that CZ owns a 30% stake in Binance and valued the exchange at $300 billion, concluding that CZ is worth $90 billion.

Chinese journalist Colin Wu also confirmed the news, saying that CZ is “worth $90 billion, making him the richest man in Ethnic Chinese and among the top ten richest people in the world, surpassing the founders of TikTok and Tencent.”

Wu added that CZ might actually own way more than 30% of Binance’s shares, even more than 90%. He tweeted:

However, Caijing magazine’s calculation based on CZ’s 30% stake in Binance may be wrong. His stake is far more than 30%, and may even exceed 90%.

It is worth noting that the speculations do not take into account CZ’s Bitcoin and BNB holdings, which are largely undisclosed as of now. Previously, CZ had revealed that the majority of his wealth is in the form of BNB, Binance’s utility token.

At the time of writing, BNB is trading at around $617 per coin, being the third-largest crypto asset with a market cap of over $100 billion. Considering this, some believe CZ should be close to Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who is worth over $285 billion.

“Coupled with the dividends of BNB and Binance Assets, CZ should be close to the world’s richest man,” said Dovey Wan, a Chinese insider.

Meanwhile, seemingly commenting on the estimates, CZ said that “valuations without liquidity doesn’t mean much.”

CZ to Donate Most of His Wealth

In an interview with The Associated Press, CZ revealed that he intends to donate up to 99% of his wealth eventually. He said:

I do intend to give away most of my wealth, like many wealthy entrepreneurs or founders did from Rockefeller [late American business magnate John D. Rockefeller] until today. I do intend to give away 90, 95, or 99% of my wealth.

In the interview, CZ also noted that he does not invest in any other coin to avoid potential conflicts of interest. He added that he acquired some BTC back in 2014, and has held on to most of that ever since.

In late September, the People’s Bank of China announced new measures in an attempt to further cripple the country’s crypto ecosystem. It banned all crypto transactions and even added crypto metrics sites like Coingecko and CoinMarketCap to the list of blocked IPs of the country’s firewall.

As of now, searching any crypto-related term, including Binance, in China’s search engine Baidu will result in “NOT FOUND.”