Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao’s story is similar to that of other entrepreneurs, except that it’s different. Co-founder and CEO of Binance, the world’s largest Cryptocurrency Exchange, has shown a new path for cryptocurrency aspirants, who say it inspires them. Euphoria has also found a nesting ground, in the Middle Eastern United Arab Emirates, where cryptocurrency executives are seen alongside Wall Street banking executives, Emirati royals and influencers at the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai in late March.
Although Zhao was absent from the celebrations held by Binance Holdings Ltd. In her ‘virtual home’ in the UAE due to Covid-19, however, his presence was felt in the words of those present. Zhao’s rise from being a software engineer to one of the richest person in the world made everyone look up to him, and even repeat his career. According to a Bloomberg report, following this approach, many are moving to the United Arab Emirates – a country that Zhao describes as the “Wall Street of cryptocurrency” – to change their rules there. His track features local bankers, lawyers, and even senior tech executives considering their own career transitions in the cryptocurrency market.
“We see a lot of interest from employees in traditional financial institutions who want to work for us,” Richard Teng, head of the Middle East and North Africa division at Binance, told Bloomberg in an interview in Dubai. The company, founded by Zhao, is the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume. “We are already recruiting a number of them,” Teng added.
In February, Binance appointed Vishal Sachindran, a former banker at Bank of New York Mellon Corp., as the director of the Middle East and North Africa region in the United Arab Emirates. “Ruby Nakarmi, the firm’s senior advisor in Dubai, joined late last year after nearly a decade as an M&A attorney,” Bloomberg 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 again in 2017, when he launched Abu Dhabi-based digital currency bank HAYVN, with Chris Flinos. He told Bloomberg that many bankers have recently given up their careers to open cryptocurrency investment funds.
Rising global inflation has prompted many investors to consider getting involved in cryptocurrency trading, yet many of those who took the plunge suffered huge losses. The price of Bitcoin has continued to decline over the past few months amid a number of reasons.
However, the UAE’s crypto-friendly policies have made large companies start their businesses in the country, at a time when most other countries have restrictions on business. Bloomberg said that the UAE authorities are trying to create a business-friendly platform, “while also seeking to overcome concerns about volatility and financial crime that hinder the cryptocurrency industry.”
However, Zhao’s contribution here could not be overlooked. “Wherever we go, players in the industry tend to follow,” he said in an interview. With the UAE’s crypto-friendly policies spearheaded by the success of Binance founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the country is likely to make the country a cryptocurrency hub in the coming days.