Binance’s founder and CEO, Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao, is reportedly dealing with extreme swings in his fortune. This has brought his net worth down to $17.2billion, according to a Bloomberg report today.
This comes in the background of the tribulations faced by the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange as uncertainties and regulatory challenges continue to persist within the crypto industry.
Binance has found itself in the crosshairs of US regulators, facing lawsuits over a range of alleged violations. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Binance, Zhao and Binance.US in June, saying they illegally listed unregistered securities in the form of several cryptocurrencies for trading and investment by investors.
The exchange then hit back at the regulator, filing a motion for the dismissal of the charges brought against them by the US regulatory watchdog. It put forth arguments from Binance Holdings and CZ saying that the SEC has “overstepped its authority” in pushing the lawsuit.
Another lawsuit was filed against it by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), accusing Binance of various violations, including inadequate money-laundering controls and inflated trading volumes.
On top of this, the broader crypto market has experienced significant turbulence too. This has been mirrored in the fortunes of those who have heavily invested in it, CZ being one of them. His wealth has now reportedly plunged by about $11.9bn.
This was attributed to a 38% revenue slash faced by Binance, as estimated by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. It calculated Binance’s revenue based on trading data from the spot and derivatives markets using data tracking sites such as CoinGecko and CCData.
Data has revealed that the exchange has been struggling with a stark decline in trading volumes this year. The founder’s current net worth now pales in comparison to his former financial status when it hit a peak of $96bn in January 2022.
Binance’s market share has also seen a drop, slipping from a peak of 62% of crypto trading in the first quarter to 51% by the end of the third quarter, as per CCData.
Recently, the exchange had tagged Q3 as a “challenging quarter” for crypto in its quarterly ‘Market Pulse’ report as the total market capitalisation saw a decline by 8.6%. This came amidst tricky market conditions for the sector as it experienced significant volatility.
Despite all of these setbacks, Binance continues to have a stronghold in the cryptocurrency industry. It recently set up a trading platform in Hong Kong, as reported by South China Morning Post (SCMP).
Called HKVAEX, it took reins in December 2022 and launched its trading platform in February 2023. According to sources familiar with the matter, the platform was set up by Binance to pursue a crypto licence in Hong Kong.