Despite the current downturn and inherent volatility within the cryptocurrency markets, one aspect remains consistent – billionaires have been created at an unprecedented rate as a result of the new financial and digital world.
Here is a list of the 5 wealthiest people in the cryptocurrency space.
1. Satoshi Nakamoto
Worldwide searches, investigations and more conspiracy theories than area 51. The creator, or creators, of Bitcoin, with a personal fortune of over one million BTC – worth roughly $20bn at the peak of the great 2017 bull run. Even at today’s valuations, this Bitcoin wallet is valued at $6.4bn. Satoshi also claims the unenviable accolade of not being able to spend any of the fortune, due to intense levels of surveillance from both governments and organized crime.
2. Chris Larsen
Famously the executive chairman and co-founder of Ripple, the company harnessing digital currencies and interledger technology to reduce payment costs and increase transaction speed. Part of Chris Larsen’s fortune is tied up in Ripple’s native digital asset XRP, with personal holdings of 5.19 billion of the cryptocurrency. Chris also has a 17% stake in Ripple. Again, at the peak of the 2017 bull run his total net worth was valued at over $37.5bn, making him more wealthy, albeit briefly, than Rupert Murdoch, Kim Kennedy, and even Mark Zuckerberg. His fortune is now a more modest $7.5bn to $8bn.
3. Joseph Lubin
A key Canadian founder of Ethereum and ConsenSys, Lubin has amassed cryptocurrency holdings of roughly $5bn. Inspired by Nakamoto’s seminal Bitcoin whitepaper, Lubin believes that cryptocurrency and blockchain have the power to create a ‘shared infrastructure’ that can serve as the ‘organizing principle for Earth, the world, the planet’.
4. Chanpeng Zhao
The founder of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, with over six million users. A prolific supporter of the cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem and vocal perma-bull, well known for engaging with his fans on social media. Following the launch of the exchange in 2017, Zhao has achieved a personal fortune of nearly $2bn. This amount will grow as Binance goes from strength to strength.
5. Cameron and Tyler Winklevos
(Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunch)
Dynamic former Olympians who famously sued Mark Zuckerberg for ‘stealing’ their HarvardConnection idea to start Facebook. After securing $65m in damages, they funded venture capital projects which included investments in Bitcoin. Whilst the total amount of their Bitcoin holdings remains undisclosed, it has been suggested by anonymous sources that at one point the Winklevoss brothers owned almost 1 percent of the total circulating supply of Bitcoin. This puts their cryptocurrency wealth between $1bn-$3bn. Following the recent successful launch of a fiat-backed stablecoin on their Gemini platform, their personal cryptocurrency wealth and fortune are likely to increase substantially.