Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Illustration by Luis Grañena The largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world can trace its origins to a dimly lit hot pot restaurant on the southern edge of Chengdu. It was June 2017, and Chandler Guo, an early Chinese cryptocurrency mogul who made his fortune mining Bitcoin, was hosting a wedding anniversary party for his wife. Guo remembers it as a raucous event — beer was flowing, and guests spilled out onto the sidewalk, where the restaurant had to set up extra tables and chairs. “All the big people in the Chinese crypto world” were there, he says. The crypto market was feverishly hot at the time — Bitcoin reached a record price of nearly $20,000 in 2017 — and at the party, after numerous toasts and bowls of the spicy Sichuan speciality, talk turned to ‘Initial Coin Offerings’ (ICOs), the crypto equivalent of an IPO, in which a company sells a new coin as a way to raise funds. CZ (left) and Chandler Guo (middle) at the hot pot party in Chengdu in 2017. Courtesy of Chandler Guo Subscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.