Former Binance CEO CZ’s net worth soars despite legal troubles


  • Despite legal issues, ex-Binance CEO CZ’s net worth soars $25B in 2023.
  • Crypto leaders like Brian Armstrong and the Winklevoss twins also gain wealth this year.
  • CZ’s plea deal could limit prison time to 18 months.

In a year marked by legal challenges and regulatory scrutiny, Changpeng Zhao, widely known as CZ, the former CEO of Binance Holdings, has witnessed a significant increase in his estimated net worth, surging by nearly $25 billion. 

This remarkable boost in wealth comes despite Binance’s agreement to pay $4.3 billion in fines to US authorities and CZ’s guilty plea to criminal charges in November.

CZ’s resilience amid legal battles

Despite the ongoing legal troubles surrounding Binance, CZ’s net worth has risen to an estimated $37 billion in 2023. This substantial increase can be attributed to his controlling stake in Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, which he co-founded. 

In November, both CZ and Binance pleaded guilty to charges related to anti-money laundering and US sanctions violations. However, they reached a comprehensive settlement that allowed the exchange to continue its operations. 

As part of the agreement, CZ agreed to pay a personal fine of $50 million and stepped down as CEO, while retaining his ownership stake in the company.

A glimpse into former Binance CEO’s legal future

Despite facing the possibility of up to 10 years in prison, CZ’s plea deal may limit his sentence to a maximum of 18 months, potentially sparing him from more severe penalties faced by other prominent individuals involved in cryptocurrency-related crimes. This legal situation has undoubtedly cast a shadow over CZ’s financial success in 2023.

However, it’s worth noting that CZ’s current net worth remains significantly lower than its peak of nearly $97 billion at the beginning of 2022. Furthermore, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, it has decreased from its year-to-date high of $50.4 billion in July.

CZ is not the only billionaire benefiting from the crypto industry’s resurgence in 2023. The positive sentiment in the market, combined with the resolution of the Binance settlement and the potential approval of Bitcoin spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has contributed to the wealth growth of other prominent figures in the crypto space.

Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase Global Inc., has seen his wealth increase by $5.8 billion year-to-date, reaching a total of $7.2 billion. Coinbase’s shares have surged by approximately 400% throughout the year, and Armstrong holds an estimated 16% stake in the company.

Fred Ehrsam, the co-founder of Coinbase, has also experienced substantial wealth growth in 2023. He added $1.8 billion to his net worth, bringing it to approximately $2.5 billion.

The Winklevoss twins, famous for their co-founding of the Gemini Trust crypto exchange and their significant holdings of Bitcoin, have each seen their wealth balloon by $1.4 billion in 2023, individually reaching $2.7 billion.

In stark contrast to these success stories, Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX crypto exchange who is currently imprisoned and has been convicted of massive fraud, has seen his estimated net worth plummet to $0. This comes after reaching a peak of $25.9 billion in March of the previous year.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Lacton Muriuki

Lacton is an experienced journalist specializing in blockchain-based technologies, including NFTs and cryptocurrency. He dabbles in daily crypto news rich with well-researched stats. He adds aesthetic appeal, adding a human face to technology.

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