Just over a week after a major Chinese media outlet claimed that the Binance Founder and CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao is the world’s richest ethnic Chinese person, another report has emerged that questions the logic of the original report.
In an article published by news outlet Yijian Finance, the integrity and reliability of Caijing magazine’s original publication on the subject was questioned.
As reported, Caijing magazine published a Weibo post in late November listing the rich “Top 5” of the world’s richest Chinese, with Zhao topping the list by virtue of the fact that stocks were thought to of Binance were worth so much.
Citing data from anonymous “insiders” as well as previously published information from Forbes that Binance’s value was estimated at $ 300 billion, Caijing magazine noted that Zhao was believed to own 30% of Binance shares. This meant that the founder of Binance was worth about $ 90 billion, he claimed. He added that Zhao “is among the 10 richest people in the world.” The post also noted that Binance’s daily trading volume had reached the $ 76 billion mark.
But the author of Yijian Finance claimed that there were several reasons to suggest that Caijing magazine might have used faulty logic to build its list, namely the following:
- The $ 300 billion valuation appears to come from a November 11 Wall Street Journal article, which quoted “company insiders” as saying that “if Binance went public, it could be worth up to $ 300 billion.” and added that this assessment was made by “former executives” without a name. The “authority” of the anonymous “former executives” and “insiders” was questioned, especially since Zhao has not personally commented on an assessment.
- Zhao has never publicly stated how many shares he owns on Binance. Furthermore, in what appeared to be a rebuttal to Ciajiing magazine’s rich list, Zhao also tweeted shortly after the publication of the Weibo post, which wrote: “Non-liquid valuations [don’t] it means a lot “.
- The list contained factual errors, such as the age of the Tencent founder “Pony” Ma (Ma Huateng).
- To calculate the wealth of super-rich people, the media “cannot rely solely on so-called ‘insiders’, the author added. Instead, such lists “generally” make their calculations based on “stocks and fixed assets of recognized value.” As Binance is not a publicly traded company and ownership of Zhao is not publicly available, the calculations are little more than “just a subjective guess or guess”, with a lack of “objective authority” backed “by data.”
- Daily trading volumes can fluctuate wildly and cannot be used for calculations of this type.
- Rich lists are notoriously difficult to compile and are rarely limited to a “top 5”.
- The timing of the report is suspicious, the author claimed, noting that the “virtual currency industry” is “prohibited in China.” The author accused Caijing magazine of trying to increase web traffic to his site, adding that portraying Zhao as such a wealthy individual was a “dangerous” move.
However, some Chinese netizens have suggested that Zhao’s true wealth could be found within his cryptocurrency holdings. He had previously stated that “100%” of his net worth was “invested in crypto.”
Zhao also stated that his portfolio was made up entirely of bitcoins (BTC) purchased in 2014, as well as undisclosed holdings of binance coins (BNB).
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