Keep Calm and Work Hard: The Story of Binance’s CEO From A to CZ

Keep everything simple and work hard

Upon learning that he was selected for the top spot on the list and being asked about his favorite accomplishments in 2019, he was characteristically humble: “Other than just putting together a really good team and then leading them forward, I personally didn’t really do that much. But the team did a lot of really hard work.”

Keep calm and go all-in on Bitcoin

It was in 2013 that CZ began to learn about Bitcoin. He read the white paper and started going to thematic events. Later, at a small conference in Las Vegas, he met some of today’s giants of the industry: Charlie Lee, Matthew Roszak, Vitalik Buterin. There was also a representative of Ripple who taught CZ how to use it. In the process, he transferred some XRP to CZ. When they were done, CZ wanted to transfer the coins back, but heard in response, “You can keep it and you can use it to teach the next guy.” This sparked a wild crypto adventure.

Keep coding and get an MBA

CZ majored in computer science at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. But the last time he was coding something, he said, was a couple of years ago. He has never coded for Binance — all its code is written by others — but he was writing scripts for himself. Now, he admits to not having any time to sit down and stare at a computer screen uninterrupted. It is simply not his current life situation. He called his time very segmented, as he gets interrupted very often.

Keep being number one and go forward

The first interview with CZ I took part in dates back to 2018. Back then, he told us that Binance tries very hard not to be number one, “because being number one creates other problems sometimes, especially with regulators.” In 2020, I asked whether CZ still agrees with that, or if he’d finally given up on trying not to stand out too much.

Keep cool, we are living in a simulation

Binance’s current focus on developing the freedom of money is intended to give people funding power to do more research on biotech, space exploration (this field, CZ leaves to Elon Musk) and AI — all of which, according to CZ, will help our species advance significantly. For example, CZ thinks, the Coronavirus issue could be solved once funding on research is sped up.

Rapid fire questions for CZ

Sea or mountains?

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