Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao’s story is similar to those of other entrepreneurs, except it is different. The co founder and chief executive officer of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has showed a new path for crypto business aspirants, who say he inspires them. The euphoria has also found a place to nest, in the middle eastern country of the United Arab Emirates, where crypto executives were seen alongside Wall Street banking executives, Emirati royals and influencers at Dubai’s premium Burj Al Arab hotel in late March.
Though Zhao was absent in the festivities held by Binance Holdings Ltd. in its “de facto home” of the UAE due to Covid-19, his presence was felt in the words of the attendees of the party. Zhao’s ascent from being a software engineer to one of the richest person in the world has everyone look up to him, and even replicate his career. According to As per a Bloomberg report, following his suit, many are moving to UAE — the country Zhao describes as the “Wall Street of crypto” — to shift their bases there. His path has local bankers, lawyers and even big tech executives mulling their own career shifts to the cryptocurrency market.
“We see a lot of interest from employees in traditional financial institutions who want to work for us,” Richard Teng, the head of Middle East and North Africa at Binance told Bloomberg in an interview at Dubai. The company, co founded by Zhao, is the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume. “We’re actually recruiting a number of them,” Teng added.
“In February, Binance tapped Vishal Sacheendran, a former Bank of New York Mellon Corp. banker, as its UAE-based director of MENA. Robbie Nakarmi, the firm’s senior counsel in Dubai, joined late last year after almost a decade as a mergers and acquisitions lawyer,” Bloomberg has said in its report.
But these names are not the only ones. Ahmed Ismail, who was a banker at Bank of America and Jefferies in Dubai changed his career back in 2017, when he launched the Abu Dhabi-based digital currency bank HAYVN, with Chris Flinos. He told Bloomberg that several bankers have recently ditched their careers to open cryptocurrency investment funds.
The rising global inflation has pushed many investors to think of divulging into the digital coin trading business, yet several who took the plunge have faced steep losses. The price of Bitcoin has kept going down over the past few months amid a number of reasons.
However, the UAE’s crypto-friendly policies have made large firms start their business in the country, at a time when most other nations are imposing restrictions on the business. The UAE authorities are trying to create a business-friendly platform, Bloomberg said, “while also seeking to navigate concerns about volatility and financial crime dogging the crypto industry”.
However, Zhao’s contribution cannot be overlooked here. “Wherever we go, the industry players do tend to follow,” he had said in an interview. With the crypto friendly policies of the UAE, topped by success of Binance founder Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao, is likely to make the country a crypto hub in the coming days.