Binance CZ’s Net Worth Soars To $37.2B Amid Legal Trouble

The former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has seen his personal wealth skyrocket by $25 billion this year. The actual number is even higher when including his crypto holdings.

Changpeng Zhao

Binance CEO or not, Changpeng Zhao keeps getting richer. The ex-head of the largest cryptocurrency platform has seen his personal wealth skyrocket by approximately $25 billion in 2023 to an estimated $37.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Still, though, CZ’s wealth is far below its peak of $97 billion at the beginning of 2022.

A nearly 200% rebound – compared to January 2023 – in CZ’s net worth is attributed to his majority stake in Binance. In fact, Zhao’s wealth is even bigger since he owns a portfolio of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Binance Coin, which hasn’t been included in Bloomberg’s estimations. Considering that Bitcoin has more than doubled in value this year, Zhao’s actual fortune may have grown by another few billion dollars, depending on the size of his crypto holdings.

By total net worth, Zhao ranks 37th in the field but holds fourth position in the finance category. Sorted by YTD change, the index ranks CZ as 15th but number one in finance. One might argue that Changpeng Zhao’s industry also qualifies as technology, but Bloomberg ascribes only one category to a name.

It’s also worth noting that “techies” are leading the billionaire field with eight positions in the top ten, topped by Elon Musk with a gargantuan $235 billion net worth, followed by Bernard Arnault (consumer), Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, the ex-head of Microsoft, Mark Zuckerberg, and both Google founders separated by Larry Ellison from Oracle.

Zhao net worth
Source: Bloomberg

CZ’s net worth increase is a speedy recovery from the losses he suffered after the regulatory crackdown on Binance. Nevertheless, the ex-head of the exchange is still dealing with legal challenges. Earlier in December, Binance was hit with a staggering $2.7 billion penalty, while CZ was fined with $150 million for violating the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations.

Currently, CZ awaits sentencing, due in February 2024, after pleading guilty to a number of charges.