BNB Makes CZ the Richest Inmate in U.S. History

CZ has become the wealthiest inmate in U.S. history after BNB surged to a record all-time high.

Azcnews Bnb Makes Cz The Richest Inmate In U.s. History

Binance Coin (BNB), the native token of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, recently hit an all-time high of $725 on June 6, just a week after the exchange’s founder, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), was sentenced to four months in prison in the U.S.

This surge in Binance Coin’s price has made CZ the wealthiest individual ever to be incarcerated in a U.S. federal prison. Despite his legal troubles, the token’s market capitalization surpassed $109 billion last week, according to CoinGecko.

Does the rise in BNB reflect the exchange’s resurgence?

Reports suggest that the price trajectory of Binance Coin mirrors the fortunes of the exchange itself, as the total value of assets on the platform has climbed from around $80 billion at the beginning of January to $125 billion currently.

This growth has further solidified Binance’s dominance in the cryptocurrency industry, despite a challenging year that culminated in the company paying a record $4.3 billion fine to settle with U.S. authorities.

Bnbusdt
Bnbusdt

BNB holders benefit from reduced trading fees on the Binance platform. The token is also used to pay fees on Binance Smart Chain, a blockchain widely utilized by cryptocurrency applications, including games and exchanges.

Kaiko analyst Dessislava Aubert noted that BNB’s recent price surge was preceded by trading patterns in the derivatives market in late May, followed by increased spot demand in June, with buy orders consistently outpacing sell orders between June 2 and June 5.

While BNB is traded on several centralized exchanges, Bloomberg highlights that Binance remains the dominant platform, accounting for 85% of BNB’s global trading volume.

Binance founder CZ’s assets exceed $38 billion

As previously reported, Binance has faced allegations of anti-money laundering (AML) violations and sanctions breaches, including failing to prevent groups like Hamas, Al Qaeda, and other militant organizations from accessing the exchange. Zhao agreed to pay a personal fine of $50 million as part of the settlement agreement.

However, this amount is relatively small compared to Zhao’s estimated net worth of $38.5 billion, primarily held in BNB. Zhao has previously stated that he is a significant shareholder in Binance.

Changpeng Zhao
Changpeng Zhao

Known as “CZ,” Zhao is currently ranked as the 40th richest person globally, with his net worth increasing by $4.1 billion in 2024 alone, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Related: Join the Challenge to Grab a Share of 200 BNB

Although the extent of Zhao’s BNB holdings has not been disclosed, a 2017 whitepaper from BNB’s initial coin offering (ICO) revealed that 80 million tokens, valued at approximately $56 billion today, were allocated to the founding team.

Overall, despite the legal and regulatory challenges faced by Binance and its co-founder, the rise in BNB’s value demonstrates continued interest and confidence in the token and its associated ecosystem.

At the time of writing, BNB is trading at $610, down nearly 20% from its peak of $720 on June 6. However, the token has seen a significant increase of 170% year-to-date.

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