Billionaire founder of crypto exchange Binance says he's 'poor again' after its luna holdings — once worth $1.6 billion — crashed and are now worth just $2,200

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Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, speaks at the Delta Summit, Malta's official Blockchain and Digital Innovation event promoting cryptocurrency, in St Julian's, Malta October 4, 2018.
Changpeng Zhao, the founder of Binance, joked that he was "poor again" after the cryptocurrency luna took a dive.REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
  • After the crypto token luna crashed, Binance's founder, Changpeng Zhao, tweeted, "Poor again."

  • Binance's luna holdings were once worth $1.6 billion but are now worth about $2,200.

  • Zhao is still a billionaire, according to Bloomberg, and Binance is the largest crypto exchange.

Changpeng Zhao, the wealthy founder of the crypto exchange Binance, joked on Tuesday that he was "poor again" after the exchange's investments in the cryptocurrency luna crashed to about $2,200 from $1.6 billion a month ago.

In a tweet on Monday, Zhao said Binance, the world's largest crypto exchange, held 15 million luna tokens. He said Binance received these tokens in exchange for its $3 million investment in 2018 in the Terra network that luna is based on. He added that its luna tokens were "never moved or sold."

Zhao did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Binance's luna holdings were worth $1.6 billion in early April at the token's peak price. The coin traded at about $0.0001468 on Thursday.

Luna's value has plunged in the past two weeks.

Its implosion started when its sister token, terraUSD, lost its peg to the US dollar; the two tokens' valuations are tied to each other. When terraUSD's price fell, investors rushed to dump their holdings in a scenario similar to a bank run. TerraUSD's plunge, in turn, dragged down luna's price.

The two tokens' free fall was estimated to have wiped out more than $50 billion in paper value, Insider reported on Sunday.

Zhao on Monday urged the Terra team to reimburse its retail investors first. "To lead by example on PROTECTING USERS, Binance will let this go and ask the Terra project team to compensate the retails users first, Binance last, if ever," he tweeted.

Despite his comments, Zhao, 45, definitely isn't broke. Bloomberg estimated his net worth at about $14.8 billion as of Thursday. According to Forbes, the majority of his wealth likely comes from his estimated 70% stake in Binance.

Fortune reported in March that Binance's market value was estimated to be six times that of its nearest competitor, Coinbase. A report published by the financial-services consultancy Opimas said Binance took in about $14.6 billion in trading fees last year, MarketWatch reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider