Forbes recently published a list of the world’s wealthiest people regarding cryptocurrency. There are currently 19 people in the world who possess an equivalent of above $350 million in crypto assets. The top owners of digital assets around the world profit from cryptocurrency in many ways, but most of these richest individuals in crypto are founders of cryptocurrency exchange platforms and large cryptocurrency projects.
Others are either individual investors or part of investment organizations, and some have set up mining services that have high cryptocurrency profitability. The unique thing about all these individuals that are richest in crypto is that they are all the sorts to “HODL” (hold on for dear life), that is, that they hold on to their digital assets through any downturns in the cryptocurrency market and aren’t keen on making crypto-to-crypto or crypto-to-fiat trades.
The Billionaire’s club
- Chris Larsen, Co-founder of Ripple: $7.5 to $8 billion
- Joseph Lubin, Co-founder of Ethereum: $1 billion to $1.5 billion
- Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance: $1.1 billion to $2 billion
- Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Co-founders of Gemini: $900 million to $1.1 billion
- Matthew Mellon, Individual investor: $900 million to $1 billion
- Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase: $900 million to $1 billion
- Matthew Roszak, Co-founder of Bloq: $900 million to $1 billion
- Anthony Di Iorio, Co-founder of Ethereum: $750 million to $1 billion
- Brock Pierce, Chairman of Bitcoin Foundation: $700 million to $1 billion
- Michael Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital: $700 million to $1 billion
- Brendan Blumer, CEO of Block.one: $600 million to $700 million
- Dan Larimer, CTO in Block.one: $600 million to $700 million
- Valery Vavilov, CEO of Bitfury: $500 million to $700 million
- Charles Hoskinson, Co-founder of Ethereum and IOHK (Cardano): $500 million to $600 million
- Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple: $400 million to $500 million
- Barry Silbert, CEO of Digital Currency Group: $400 million to $500 million
- Vitalik Buterin, Creator of Ethereum: $400 million to $500 million
CEO, and Founder of Ripple (XRP), Chris Larson is the wealthiest person regarding digital assets, as he is undisputedly the number one largest cryptocurrency owner in the world. No one else on the Forbes list even comes an inch close to Larson’s net worth. Personally, Larson owns 5.2 billion XRP. The astonishing thing here is that in early 2018 Ripple’s average value was $0.80 to $1.00. If Ripples attains the price level of Bitcoin, or even to the level of Ethereum, Larson will very readily become the world’s richest person with a possibility of becoming the world’s first trillionaire. Joseph Lubin (Ethereum co-founder) and Changpeng Zhao, the founder of Binance, have proudly taken the next positions in the list with estimated net worth in excess of $1 billion respectively.
Another thing worth noting about this list is that not all the individuals on it made their wealth early on. While some did invest in Bitcoin’s early days, around 2009 to 2012, many people won big either by working on the Ethereum team or investing in ETH. This is important because ETH’s ICO (Initial Coin Offering) didn’t happen until July 30, 2015.
The world’s largest cryptocurrency owners are also very young. The age of the 19 wealthiest people in crypto on the average is only 42; in contrast to the 67 year-average age of the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans. Another interesting fact to note is that all the people on the crypto list are men, while women took two spots at the top of 2018 list of the world’s billionaires.
Net worth of crypto billionaires to fluctuate wildly
With price instabilities and the emergence of new cryptocurrencies, the rankings for the wealthiest individuals in crypto is expected to change a lot in the following years. For instance, the volatility of the cryptocurrency market price in January and February 2018 was much more significant compared to blue chip stocks or assets like gold. That implies that the rankings could fluctuate drastically, even on a weekly basis.
Promising new digital coins continue to rise every day. A handful of them has the technology and resources to overtake the current most valuable coins.
Apart from that, new, decentralized exchange services are rising to compete with top-tier centralized exchange services like Binance and Coinbase. These changes could conveniently place founders of new exchange platforms on top of the cryptocurrency wealth rankings.
As the cryptocurrency market proceeds in its rapid development, it will be fascinating to see which people will become the wealthiest digital assets owners in future, and who from the current Forbes list may drop out of the rankings.