Breaking: Binance CEO “CZ” Tests COVID-Positive During El Salvador Visit

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao on Saturday said he had tested positive for COVID-19 during a recent visit to El Salvador. It was not immediately clear whether the executive was still in the country.

Zhao, know more commonly by his initials “CZ”, was recently in El Salvador along with several other notable names in the crypto industry. The country is gearing up to launch the first ever Bitcoin bond, a move that is widely anticipated in the crypto community. But the issuance was delayed, with the government citing recent market volatility, and that further work was needed on the project.

CZ posted his COVID test results on twitter, calling it “bad timing.” Zhao was earlier this week spotted in the company of El Salvador President Nayib Bukele, although it was unclear if the President had also tested positive. Samson Mow, architect of the Bitcoin bond and another figure CZ was seen interacting with this week, said he was “fine.”

El Salvador has also witnessed a small spike in COVID-19 infections since February, data showed.

CZ touring Latin America

CZ visited several Latin American countries over the past two weeks, with El Salvador being his most recent stop. The executive attended a crypto-related conference  in Brazil, and was also seen interacting with government heads from Rio De Janeiro and Sao Paulo- two of the country’s largest cities.

The executive also met government heads from Uruguay. While the topic of these meeting was unclear, they fuelled widespread speculation over Binance possibly pushing further into the continent.

Bitcoin proponents have forecast a wave of crypto adoption following El Salvador’s move to legalize the token last year. While such a wave is yet to materialize, several prominent figures in Mexico and Argentina have expressed interest in crypto adoption.

Binance eyes Brazil expansion

Binance recently said it is interested in expanding in Brazil. While the exchange already operates in Latin America’s largest economy, proposed regulatory changes may require Binance to seek more clearances from the government.

The exchange recently signed a preliminary agreement to acquire a Brazilian securities brokerage, and has plans to purchase banks in the country.


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