Changpeng Zhao who goes by "CZ" is a blockchain technology and cryptocurrency entrepreneur based out of Malta. He is best known for his current role as the CEO and Founder of Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange. He was previously the CTO of the cryptocurrency exchange, OKCoin.  
CZ was born in Jiangsu, China. Both of his parents were educators. His family was exiled temporarily after his father, a professor, was labeled a "pro-bourgeois intellect". They eventually emigrated to Vancouver, Canada in the late 1980s. 
According to an interview with Forbes, CZ's only indulgence is mobile phones (he owns three), he sold his house in Shanghai in 2014 to go all in on Bitcoin and doesn’t own any cars, yachts nor fancy watches. 
While studying computer science at McGill, CZ's first summer internship involved working with the Tokyo Stock Exchange. In an interview with CryptoCoin.news, He explained, "The Tokyo Exchange out sourced development work to the company I was placed with and so I got early experience of coding for a trading environment." After he finished college, CZ was offered work by the same company in Toyko and spent the next four years there.  
In 2001, CZ moved to New York City to work for Bloomberg. He developed futures trading software for Bloomberg Tradebook. While at Bloomberg, CZ was promoted three times in less than two years becoming the Head of Tradebook Futures Development, managing teams in New Jersey, London and Tokyo.   
In 2005 he quit Bloomberg and moved to Shanghai to start Fusion Systems with four partners. The company soon became known for building some of the fastest high-frequency trading systems for brokers.  
In 2013, CZ first learned about Bitcoin from Ron Cao, a venture capitalist he played poker with. He learned more about cryptocurrency from Bobby Lee who founded BTCC, China's first Bitcoin exchange. While CZ figured out that cryptocurrency was important in 2013 he could not persuade his partners at Fusion Systems so he left the company. "Ironically they are keen to do something in the space now," he says.  
After leaving Fusion Systems, CZ worked on a variety of prominent crypto projects. He joined Blockchain.info as the third member of the cryptocurrency wallet’s team. As head of development for eight months, he worked closely with well-known Bitcoin evangelists like Roger Ver and Ben Reeves. He also worked at OKCoin as chief technology officer for less than a year, a platform for spot trading between fiat and digital assets. 
In 2015, CZ realized he wanted to start his own exchange. He thought about starting pure play digital asset exchange that would not touch fiat currencies. Without the connection to financial institutions, the risks and regulatory complications that his former colleague Ver warned him about would be lower. 
"So we developed software to run trading exchanges. This is what I knew and I could pull together an experienced team."
For the next two years CZ worked for 30 different exchanges, providing the trading software and support. "Every exchange was different and we learnt about every possible issue," he says. 
In 2017, when CZ decided to build his own cryptocurrency exchange, Binance he had all the experience gathered from his 20 years working in trading software. He had seen first-hand the problems and the challenges facing popular exchanges. In July 2017, to fund the company, Binance sold 200 million Binance Coin coin tokens in an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) raising $15 million.  
From the beginning, CZ focused on scalability when founding Binance. He found that new exchanges would often take the easy way out and focus on either cost or speed. 
Binance was originally built to handle 1.4 million transactions-per-second, this focus on scaling allowed them to grow quickly. By early 2018, Binance had already become the largest cryptocurrency exchange with over 6 million users. The price of Binance Coin also soared as the exchange grew going from around 10 cents in July 2017 to $13 by February 2018.