If you’re a crypto nomad, you would have heard about Binance one way or the other. It has become a prominent pioneer in all things crypto, NFTs, Web3, and lots more. It is the world’s leading crypto exchange platform on the planet. It all started with one man, Changpeng Zhao, popularly known as CZ. in 2017, he grew Binance into the giant it is today in 6 months.
But how exactly did he start? What did he do to create such a worldwide success? We are going to take a look at CZ Binance and how he built his multi-billion dollar empire.
Young CZ got exposed to programming and coding at a very young age. At a very young age, CZ’s dad spent $7000 on a computer, where CZ spent most of his time learning the essentials of programming.
His exposure to programming resulted from his brilliant dad, who also has a vast knowledge of programming. Pascal, Fortran, and C. CZ were also enrolled in a programming club in high school.
CZ is Chinese by birth and was born in Jiangsu, China, but his family was exiled for being part of the intellectual class. CZ’s parents immigrated to Vancouver, Canada, when he was a teenager.
As you can imagine, his family didn’t have much, so he had to work several jobs, like McDonald’s, to earn money to assist his parents. Things began to change after he graduated college with a degree in computer science from McGill University.
After college, CZ got a job at the Tokyo Stock Exchange. He helped the company build a system designed to match trade orders after he realized he had a knack for creating trading platforms. He followed this progress by developing software for futures trading at Bloomberg.
After completing multiple projects for Bloomberg, and other trading companies, he decided to start up his own company called Fusion Systems. The company was involved in providing several IT solutions and other business consultancy services. The company did relatively well, and he was still a partner of the company till 2013 when he discovered something new – Crypto.
CZ found a new interest, a young and very fragile industry at the time; cryptocurrencies. He learned about Bitcoin in 2013 during a game of poker. Fascinated by the idea, CZ decided to go all-in on Bitcoin, which was risky since Bitcoin was in a volatile state back then.
CZ still saw something in Bitcoin that many people didn’t see. He dedicated his whole life to it by selling his apartment and other valuables to buy bitcoin. The price at the time went down from $600 to $200, which was extremely risky. Before the Bitcoin boom, CZ decided to further his career.
In 2013, CZ joined as the head of the development team in Blockchain at Blockchain.com. The company provides wallets and other crypto-related services. CZ worked for the company and helped develop crypto wallets.
After a year, CZ decided it was time to resign from the company and moved on to an even more prominent position at OKCoin as the Chief Technology Officer. OKCoin is a crypto exchange platform, and Changpeng Zhao loved the idea, but OKCoin didn’t envision what he had in mind, so he left the company to take a bolder move.
Once again, CZ started his own company after quitting OKCoin. Bijie Tech, the company’s name, provided a crypto exchange service to people similar to OKCoin, but only to those in Shanghai. The company lasted for about two years before it went dead. After the catastrophe of Bijie Tech, CZ decided to do something risky.
After CZ’s last company was much of a success, he decided to start again, but the failure was only meant to help his new ambition.
After CZ completed his purchase of bitcoin, the nature of the outcome wasn’t guaranteed as it is with cryptocurrencies in general. After the significant success of bitcoin, CZ saw an opportunity to create a platform where users could safely exchange cryptocurrencies without the risk of scams.
By combining the technology, and a trading platform software, he launched Biance with a $15 million ICO. Creating the platform is one thing, but growing it to the top of the leaderboard is the challenging part. Top executives from his previous company also came aboard to help build his empire.
In a short time, he saw Binance become more and more solidified amongst the crypto community and become the default option for crypto exchange.
During the years Binance has been around, it has been hit with several challenges from all angles, and he has always tried to shift his curve, to fit the needs of the community and the company.
Due to China’s strictest law on cryptocurrencies. The country banned cryptocurrency transactions and any form of financial products related to cryptocurrencies in any way, which is the core of Binance, forcing the company to switch headquarters. The DOJ accused the company of shady cryptocurrency transactions that needed further investigation.
Shortly after, the United States Department of Justice opened an investigation on the company for money laundering accusations, costing the company millions of dollars in shares and many other forms.
Binance faced tremendous challenges after several complications with the Binance Coin BNB, which sank Binance below the ICO price. To combat this, CZ had to think on his feet. He focused on Binance’s true core, decentralization; he also implemented low fees, easy wallet creation, and several currencies support.
Despite the rigorous shaking of the very core structure of the company, CZ has always been an innovative man and open to change, and once again, he had to think on his feet.
To create a proper exchange platform that prioritizes the community, Binance has to make a blockchain where users can build their platform. This is where BNB came to help. BNB started as a utility token to pay fees on Binance and was launched on the Ethereum network, which later switched to its mainnet, further grounding Binance’s dominance as new tokens were created on the platform.
BNB serves as a significant advantage to the Binance ecosystem. BNB was being used everywhere on the platform, which increased liquidity, and the prices went up, helping the company as well.
Besides BNB, Binance also launched several other services, like Trust wallet, that dominated the mobile crypto wallet market. They quickly opened in several other new countries, asserting dominance in those markets as soon as possible.
All of these tactics by CZ have paid off heavily, as the company is now worth well over $300 Billion in total valuation, and CZ himself is now worth $96 billion, making him the 11th richest person on the planet, according to Bloomberg billionaire’s Index.
Today Binance exchange efficiently process 1.4 million transactions within a second, and more coin that exists on the entire crypto market is traded on the platform, defeating any competitors in the world.
The BNB coin, a Binance native coin, is currently valued as the fourth most valuable coin globally, with an astonishing market cap that puts the competition years behind.
The history of CZ and his success story is a story of ups and downs and how perseverance and trusting your guts will successfully get you across the world. The important lesson is that CZ always learned something new and never gave up.
CZ did things differently with Binance before it rose to the top. It is impossible to keep doing the same thing repeatedly and still expect change. By improving the UI, Improving customer service, reducing fees, opening in more countries than any of its competitors, and offering exchange speed and in-house secure wallets, Binance rose with rate.
As he said in a Bloomberg interview, “Back then, even though there were hundreds of new exchanges daily, they were just copying each other, no one made any significant improvements, and I thought we had the chance to make a pretty lovely exchange.” It is essential to learn how to start differently and not simply reinvent the wheel.
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