Binance Markets Now
Binance CEO: Regulation helps crypto credibility, but it's not 'a magical pill'
01:21 - Source: CNN Business
Hong Kong CNN Business  — 

Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao is once again in the global spotlight, this time as the self-appointed white knight of crypto as the industry is embroiled in crisis.

The Canadian billionaire has made headlines this week for offering to come to the aid of entrepreneurs who are facing a cash crunch, in efforts to help “rebuild” the sector.

Zhao, who goes by his initials “CZ,” made his pitch just days after rescinding an offer to help bail out one of the biggest firms in the space, FTX. The company went bankrupt two days later.

Zhao announced Monday that to mitigate any further damage from the collapse of FTX, his team would establish “an industry recovery fund, to help projects who are otherwise strong, but in a liquidity crisis.”

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, would welcome other industry players who’d like to participate as cash investors, he said on Twitter.

“Crypto is not going away. We are still here,” Zhao added. “Let’s rebuild.”

Humble beginnings

Zhao launched Binance in July 2017 in China, gradually building it into the world’s largest crypto exchange.

In September of that year, according to a company blog, most of its employees left the country after the Chinese government issued a memo banning crypto exchanges. Zhao said it was “before Binance could even be properly established” or incorporated in the country.

Four years later, in September 2021, the Chinese authorities declared all cryptocurrency-related business activities illegal and vowed to clamp down on illicit activities involving digital currencies.

According to company blog posts, Zhao was born in China, lived in the central province of Anhui, and, at age 12, emigrated to Canada with his mother in 1989. He described waiting for three days outside the Canadian embassy for a visa, taking turns with his family at night to keep their place in line.

Zhao spent his teenage years in Vancouver and previously worked at McDonald’s to help support his family.