A Man Named CZ: How Binance's Changpeng Zhao Became the Most Powerful Man in Crypto

 A Man Named CZ: How Binance's Changpeng Zhao Became the Most Powerful Man in Crypto

Changpeng Zhao in front of Crown

After completing high school, CZ decided to study Computer Science at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. 

The fact that he was able to get into McGill University in the first place is a testament to how bright CZ proved himself to be. McGill University has one of the highest average entering grades of any University in Canada. High-schoolers who gain admission into the university almost always have a finishing grade above 90%. 


After college, CZ was selected for an internship in Tokyo. He took the opportunity with open arms and soon found himself working for a subcontractor of the Tokyo Stock exchange. 

CZ didn’t know it at the time, but his experience at the stock exchange would eventually mold his career and give him the financial knowledge needed to build Binance. His job at the time was simple, and it was actually right in his area of expertise. He was to develop matching software for trade orders

Bloomberg Tradebook

In time, CZ  got a job at Bloomberg Tradebook where he developed futures trading software. 

He spent four years at Bloomberg Tradebook and experienced meteoric career growth. He was promoted three times in those four years and became responsible for managing multiple teams around the world. 


He wanted something more and decided that Shanghai was the place to find it. In 2005, he made his move to the city and founded Fusion Systems. 

By this point in his career, CZ essentially had all the skills he needed to build a company like Binance. He was a guru at Computer Science and had spent years in finance and high-stakes trading. It was almost like he was being built for his role in cryptocurrency. 

Fusion Systems and Bitcoin 

CZ spent eight years in Fusion Systems. His company was thriving, his profit margins weren’t bad, and business was booming. But then, a friend introduced him to crypto in 2013, and he immediately knew that it was something he had interest in. 

The friend who introduced CZ to crypto was an investment poker player named Bobby Lee. Lee told CZ that if he invested just 10% of his net worth into Bitcoin, the coin could be worth ten times its value, and CZ would be twice as rich. And if Bitcoin lost all of its value, CZ would have lost just 10% of its net worth. According to Lee, investing in Bitcoin was a no-brainer. 

CZ saw the logic in this argument and believed his friend completely. To prove just how dedicated he was to Bitcoin, CZ immediately sold his apartment to buy Bitcoin and quit his job to switch to crypto. 

CZ spent much of 2013 researching Bitcoin as quickly as he could and he even attended conferences. Because of his immense networking efforts, he soon got on the Blockchain.info team where he worked closely with Roger Ver and Ben Reeves, who were very important figures in the crypto space around 2023. 

After just a year of working at Bitcoin.Info, CZ left to become the CTO at OKCoin. However, he didn’t find success at OKCoin and he left a bit later.

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