Indian billionaire and business tycoon Mukesh Ambani has been toppled from the top of the list of Asia’s richest people, and his position has been taken over by the chief executive officer of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.
What Happened: Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao is now the richest Asian and commands a net worth of $96.9 billion, according to the dynamically compiled Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
India’s Ambani, whose flagship ventures are oil and petrochemical businesses, is narrowly behind Zhao with a net worth of $96.8 billion.
Zhao’s net worth is calculated based on the valuation for his 90% stake in Binance but does not include his cryptocurrency holdings due to the volatility associated with cryptocurrencies, according to Bloomberg.
Bloomberg’s billionaires list is led by Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk. The Tesla chief’s net worth amounts to $282 billion.
Coinbase Global, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:COIN) Brian Armstrong also features on the list, and is placed 275th.
Related Link: Binance Review
Why It’s Important: Binance, founded in 2017, is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of daily trading volume. It was originally headquartered in China but later opted to move out of the country due to increasing regulatory scrutiny.
The exchange is facing increasing legal and regulatory scrutiny across multiple jurisdictions, including the Cayman Islands, Japan, Malaysia, Malta, Thailand, the Netherlands, U.K. and Pakistan. Global regulators have also expressed concerns about illicit activities on the platform.
In response, Zhao announced in September the crypto exchange will restructure around a single centralized business.
“We need to have clear records of stakeholders’ ownership, transparency and risk controls,” Zhao reportedly said in an interview with South China Morning Post.