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China's Unluckiest Number Was 4-Tunate for CZ

Changpeng Zhao's fate has become weirdly entwined with the number "4", which he used to silence his critics.

CZ 4 changpenq zhao hour

For a while now, Changpeng Zhao has been obsessed with the number 4.

It initially began in January 2023, when CZ was still riding high as Binance's CEO.

The billionaire declared that "4" would be used as shorthand to dismiss "FUD, fake news and attacks."

It became a rather arrogant way of shutting down criticism of the exchange — and responding to unflattering media coverage.

CZ hasn't posted this for quite a while — especially since the shock news last November that he was stepping down as Binance's CEO, and pleading guilty to money laundering charges.

Nonetheless, it seems the embattled entrepreneur's fate has become weirdly entwined with this number... in more ways than one.

First, it was announced that Binance was to pay $4 billion penalties for egregious violations in U.S. law — among the largest in the country's history.

That came after the exchange facilitated illegal transactions between American customers and sanctioned users in Iran, Syria and Russian-occupied Ukraine.

Things became weirder still when CZ was sentenced for his crime in a Seattle courtroom, with a lenient judge deciding to put him behind bars for far less than the recommended guidelines of 12 to 18 months.

How many months, we hear you ask?


The irony hasn't been lost among crypto enthusiasts on X, formerly Twitter, who also noted that CZ is now set to become the richest man ever sent to prison.

CZ was born in China, a country that's pretty superstitious when it comes to numbers.

And because the word for "4" sounds similar to the one for death, it's considered hugely unlucky — so much so that some Chinese buildings lack a fourth floor, and motorists avoid license plates containing the dreaded number.

In Changpeng Zhao's case, "4" has turned out to be pretty fortunate.

While $4 billion is a pretty big fine for Binance to swallow, it hasn't proved fatal for the exchange's operations. A much bigger headache for the trading platform remains that it's banned from operating in several major economies.

And given CZ could have theoretically faced 10 years behind bars, four months in a low-security prison is not to be sniffed at.

The entrepreneur could easily start plotting a comeback later this year — unlike Sam Bankman-Fried, who's set to be in jail until he's well in his 50s.

As he awaits the beginning of his sentence, CZ has offered clues as to what's next — heavily hinting his Binance days are behind him:

Amid reports he's already plotting a comeback, there's little doubt CZ will be back 4 more.