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Net-worth update: Here’s how much CZ owns of Binance coin (BNB)

Net-worth update: Here's how much CZ owns of Binance coin (BNB)

According to an exclusive Forbes report on June 14, Binance founder Changpeng Zhao (CZ) owns a staggering 64% of the circulating supply of BNB Chain (BNB), formerly Binance coin. Moreover, Forbes estimates CZ’s net worth to be $61 billion. This makes him the 24th richest person in the world, just after Julia Koch and his family.

The report, conducted in conjunction with Gray Wolf Analytics, reveals that CZ amassed his BNB stockpile in two ways. Firstly, he and the founding team received 80 million tokens from the total supply of 200 million BNB during Binance’s creation in 2017.

“Forbes’s forensic analysis of the wallets that received these tokens […] indicates that the company holds 46.2 million of the original 80 million tokens,” the report states.

CZ is credited with 41.6 million BNB from this amount due to his 90% ownership of Binance.

Forbes on-chain analysis: Tracking CZ’s BNB wallets

Secondly, an investigation published by Forbes and Gray Wolf in October 2023 showed that Binance’s ICO was initially undersubscribed. Consequently, CZ and his company funneled unsold shares into wallets he controlled.

Today, these wallets hold an estimated 58 million BNB, worth $35 billion at today’s price. Given CZ’s 90% ownership of Binance, he would have just over 52 million additional BNB from this portion.

BNB all-time price chart. Source: Finbold

In total, Forbes believes CZ owns nearly 94 million BNB tokens. However, the report applied a 50% liquidity discount to his stake, as there is little chance Zhao could get near the full value if he tried to sell. Currently, BNB’s trading volume is about $1.6 billion worth of tokens per day.

Changpeng Zhao’s guilty plea

Despite CZ’s guilty plea and settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2023, which included a $50 million fine and his stepping down as CEO, Binance’s dominance among crypto exchanges worldwide has increased.

According to The Block, its share of the total spot market has risen to 42% in the six months since he left the company, up from an average of 38% in the two months before his settlement.

As CZ serves his four-month sentence in California’s Lompoc II federal correctional facility, BNB has been on a tear in 2024, surging 100% and outpacing other top cryptos such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and Solana (SOL). This surge has contributed significantly to CZ’s growing net worth, which now stands at $61 billion, according to the Forbes net worth index.

The report also highlights the lack of transparency surrounding Binance’s inner workings, as the company has never undergone an audit. Additionally, more than 53% of all BNB trading occurs on Binance’s own exchange, raising questions about the token’s true liquidity and value.

Despite these concerns, CZ’s wealth grows as he watches his BNB billions increase from behind bars. The former CEO’s story serves as a testament to the cryptocurrency industry‘s unpredictable and often controversial nature.

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