Crypto Biz: Here’s what you need to know about CZ’s $96B net worth, Jan. 6–13

Changpeng Zhao is crypto’s biggest billionaire, Bitfarms purchased more than $43M worth of BTC and PayPal plans a stablecoin project.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, also known as “CZ,” is now the world’s 11th richest person, according to Bloomberg. The crypto entrepreneur has amassed a $96 billion fortune on the back of his booming exchange business and the rapidly appreciating value of Binance Coin (BNB).

CZ’s wealth offers a startling reminder of just how lucrative crypto has become for early adopters. It’s also a sign of things to come as digital assets become more mainstream over the next decade. (If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ll also be counted as one of crypto’s early adopters.)

This week’s “Crypto Biz” delves into CZ’s net worth, the latest developments concerning Binance Labs, the growth of another Bitcoin (BTC) treasury and PayPal’s stablecoin plans. For a comprehensive breakdown of business developments over the last week, register for the full newsletter below.

Binance Labs invests in Oasis ecosystem fund

Oasis Network’s $200 million development fund received another contributor this week in Binance Labs, the venture capital arm of CZ’s crypto exchange. Although Binance Labs didn’t disclose how much it invested in the Oasis Ecosystem Fund, head of investment Bill Chin touted the network’s Web3 capabilities and “privacy-preserving features” as reasons for backing the initiative. On the same day that Binance Labs made its announcement, Oasis Network saw the launch of its first decentralized exchange in YuzuSwap. The DEX’s total value locked exceeded $100 million in its first 24 hours of operations.

CZ’s net worth surprises everyone

According to Bloomberg, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao is crypto’s biggest billionaire and Asia’s richest person with a reported net worth of $96 billion. He’s “only” $11 billion shy of 10th ranked Larry Ellison, who’s worth $107 billion. CZ’s net worth is largely attributed to the overwhelming success of Binance, which is the world’s largest crypto exchange by volume. Despite a massive regulatory shake-up in 2021, the firm is ramping up efforts to obtain operational licenses to maintain its global presence.

Bitfarms adds BTC to its treasury

Canadian crypto mining firm Bitfarms has made it abundantly clear that it’s trying to hoard as much Bitcoin as possible. Earlier this week, the firm said it had already acquired 1,000 BTC this year, bringing the total value of its holdings to $177 million. “Our guiding company strategy at Bitfarms is to accumulate the most Bitcoin for the lowest cost and in the fastest amount of time for the benefit of our shareholders,” said Bitfarms CEO Emiliano Grodzki. “With the dip in BTC while mining hardware prices remain high, we seized the opportunity to move cash into BTC.”

Related: Top 5 bullish Bitcoin stories of 2021

PayPal readies stablecoin project

PayPal’s embrace of digital assets appears to be broadening after a senior executive at the company confirmed the presence of an in-house stablecoin project. Dubbed “PayPal Coin,” the new stablecoin will reportedly be backed by U.S. dollars and bring more transactional functionality to the crypto space. No timeline was provided for the rollout of such a project, although PayPal’s vice president of crypto Jose Fernandez da Ponte has previously stated that further regulatory clarity would be needed before any stablecoin is given the green light.

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