Binance CEO CZ Says He Plans to Give Away Vast Majority of His Wealth

The head of the world’s largest crypto exchange also told the AP in an interview that he personally doesn’t “get” dogecoin, but he’s OK with that.

Nov 17, 2021 at 6:06 p.m. UTC
Updated Nov 17, 2021 at 7:23 p.m. UTC

Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao says he plans to give away up to 99% of his wealth, according to an interview he gave to the Associated Press that was published on Wednesday. The head of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange also said he doesn’t “get” dogecoin.

  • “Personally, I’m financially free. I don’t need a lot of money and I can maintain my lifestyle in this way. I do intend to give away most of my wealth, like many wealthy entrepreneurs or founders did, from [John D.] Rockefeller until today. I do intend to give away 90, 95 or 99% of my wealth,” Zhao said.
  • Zhao said he doesn’t do much personal investing. He purchased some bitcoins in 2014 and said he has held on to most of that stake. He said the majority of his net worth is in the form of BNB (Binance coin) and that he doesn’t personally own equity in any other projects, crypto or non-crypto, to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
  • Forbes has estimated Zhao’s wealth at $1.9 billion, but he is likely worth significantly more given that he is Binance’s largest shareholder. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that former Binance executives think the company could be worth as much as $300 billion if it were to go public.
  • Asked for his takeaway on cryptos that started as a joke but soared in value, Zhao said “to be honest, I don’t get dogecoin.” But he added that “this shows the power of decentralization. What I think may or may not matter. If a large enough number of people in the community values it because it’s cute, because they like the meme, then it has value,” he continued.
  • Zhao also said he thinks the largest factor hindering the growth of crypto is ease of use and not its oft-cited volatility. “[Centralized exchanges] hold custody of people’s coins. (But) how to securely hold your tokens is a fundamental limitation factor. We have not provided easy-enough-to-use tools that are also secure enough today. But I think as the industry evolves, things will get better.”

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