CZ’s net worth has fallen almost $12 billion along with Binance’s trading volumes – Fortune


Sam Bankman-Fried may be the one on trial, but his archrival, Binance’s Changpeng Zhao, is also under pressure as declining trading volumes have slashed billions from his net worth.
The Binance CEO’s wealth dropped by some $11.9 billion, lowering his net worth to about $17.2 billion, according to the most recent estimate by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The decline represents a major drop from January 2022, when CZ was worth as much as $96 billion, just shy of Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg’s most recent estimated net worth of $105 billion.
The decline in CZ’s wealth is due in part to declining revenue at Binance, as trading volumes have fallen 38% this year, Bloomberg reported. Although Binance increased its market share among crypto exchanges to 62% earlier this year, with a zero-fee promotion on popular trading pairs, once the promotion ended its market share fell to 51% by the end of the third quarter, according to data from research firm CCData.
Binance has been under heavy regulatory pressure in the U.S. that has substantially affected operations. In June, the Securities and Exchange Commission sued the crypto exchange and CZ for allegedly violating securities law. The agency claims CZ and the exchange mishandled customer assets. It also alleges CZ and Binance allowed some U.S. customers to evade protocols meant to keep them on a scaled-down version of the exchange, and instead let them trade on the main exchange available abroad. CZ and Binance have denied the SEC’s charges.
Regulatory scrutiny of Binance has hit its U.S.-based subsidiary hard. In June, Binance.US halted dollar deposits, and earlier this month the exchange halted U.S. dollar withdrawals. Bloomberg’s wealth index has cut the value of Binance.US to zero, despite it being valued at $4.2 billion following a funding round in March 2022.
While CZ’s wealth has dropped substantially on paper, he has previously said he pays little attention to fluctuations in his net worth. In a March 2022 interview with Fortune, the 46-year-old questioned whether such estimates were accurate.
“If they think I am worth that much, that is what they think,” he said at the time. “It’s fictitious pricing.”
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