McDonalds worker became crypto billionaire after playing lucky poker game

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A man who went from working at McDonald's to being worth almost £75 billion says the start of his rise to riches was all down to a game of poker.

Changpeng Zhao, 44, whose family were booted out of China and moved to Canada when he was 12, helped his parents make ends meet as a teenager by flipping burgers and doing overnight shifts in a gas station.

After studying computer science at university, he got a job at the Tokyo Stock Exchange and went on to set up his own company where he developed trading software systems for brokers.

In 2013 CZ, as he is known to his friends, was at the poker table with two cryptocurrency experts and mined them for all the information he could get on the new financial phenomena.

He subsequently decided to go "all-in" and dedicate his life to Cryptocurrencies, even selling his Shanghai apartment to buy Bitcoins.

Soon after their value plummeted from £442 to £147 but he decided not to cash in and instead created his own currency exchange, called Binance, where people can trade cryptocurrencies.

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It has now become the most popular trading site on the planet.

But despite a personal worth around the £75billion mark, observers say Mr Zhao lives quietly, owning no supercars, yachts or fancy watches. He told financial company Bloomberg: “I don’t care about wealth, money or rankings.”

And not every turn of the card has been successful. Binance has been banned from operating in various countries, including the USA and UK, as governments try to crackdown on cryptocurrencies.

A spokesperson for Binance said the company is “working with regulators around the world and we take our compliance obligations very seriously.”

And despite being worth £75billion, according to Bloomberg's Billionaire's Index, that figure does not even include his own personal holdings of Bitcoin and other currencies.

He remains bashful about his loot, a statement from Binance saying: "Crypto is still in its growth stage. It is susceptible to higher levels of volatility. Any number you hear one day will be different from a number you hear the next day.”

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And despite his dizzying rise to riches, CZ still has some way to go to rank among the world's biggest hitters.

The Bloomberg Index puts Elon Musk at number one with £194billion, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos second with £138billion, and French luxury goods supremo Bernault Arnault third with £126billion.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates is next with £100billion, followed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg with £92billion.

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