Binance CZ discussing AI investments with Sam Altman (OpenAI)

Changpeng Zhao, the founder of Binance, is considering investing in data centres that specialise in artificial intelligence (AI) as part of his search for fresh investment prospects.

Binance CZ and Sam Altman
Image Credit: BBC News
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The specifics of Zhao’s discussions with Altman are limited, with the sources indicating that Zhao, the former Binance leader, has a particular focus on artificial intelligence. As per the article, Zhao initially encountered Altman in 2023, prior to resigning as the CEO of Binance. Following the leadership changes at OpenAI in late November, Zhao and Altman conducted another round of discussions.

In December 2023, Zhao verified during a discussion with Ronghui Gu, a computer science professor at Columbia University, that he had engaged in communication with Altman.

Gu stated in an interview with the New York Times that both Zhao and Altman share the belief that artificial intelligence (A.I.) would greatly contribute to the advancement of technology and human knowledge.

Additionally, Gu stated that the creator of Binance expressed his interest in investing in the expansive data centres that fuel artificial intelligence (AI) applications. However, it is still uncertain whether Zhao’s preferred investment target is OpenAI or its competitors.

Zhao publicly discussed his post-legal ambitions in November, expressing his intention to invest in web3, decentralised money, and artificial intelligence.

“After that, my current thinking is I will probably do some passive investing, being a minority token/shareholder in startups in areas of blockchain/Web3/DeFi, AI and biotech.”

Changpeng Zhao

Meanwhile, U.S. prosecutors are requesting a prison term of 36 months for Zhao, emphasising the seriousness of the offences he is accused of. They contend that implementing such a penalty would discourage Zhao and other individuals from violating U.S. laws in order to achieve financial benefits.

Zhao, who admitted guilt for breaching the Bank Secrecy Act in November 2023, is presently awaiting sentencing, which is set for April 30th. Although he was released on a $175 million bond, a U.S. judge refused his request to fly to Dubai because of apprehensions about his considerable fortune and the possibility that he may flee.

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