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Binance’s CZ has poker to thank for $96 billion Bitcoin fortune

Binance CEO Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao originally bought into Bitcoin after being convinced during a poker home game in 2013.

The 44-year-old found out about Bitcoin during a three-handed game of poker with Bobby Lee, then CEO of BTC China, and renowned investor Ron Cao. Both men persuaded him to invest 10% of his net worth into Bitcoin, which at the time was worth less than $100.

He went on to launch Binance – currently one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges with a daily trade volume of more than $57 billion.

According to Bloomberg, CZ’s net worth stands at $96 billion but that excludes his cryptocurrency portfolio, with speculators estimating that his personal holdings of BNB exceed the $10 billion mark alone.

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CZ’s original foray into Bitcoin provides another clear example of a crossover between the gaming industry and cryptocurrency.

A group of traders hosted a $1 million buy-in poker tournament late last year during the BTC Miami conference, while a tournament last summer raised $100,000 of Ethereum for charity.

A key topic that plagues both industries is regulation. Online poker has been restricted across several parts of the globe while some regions have outright banned the sale or use of cryptocurrencies.

However, The United States appears to be warming to both sectors, with plans being lobbied to build a mega-casino in New York that would feature a cryptocurrency trading floor.

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