Cryptocurrencies have had a wild year in 2021. Popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, etc. reached their all-time high in 2021. The global market cap reached great heights. Not just that, many people made fortunes out of this gold rush, seven people became billionaires via crypto, bringing the total number of crypto billionaires to 19 as per the Forbes Billionares list. Let us take a look at them individually.
19. Tim Draper, $1.2 billion
Tim Draper, based out of the United States, is a venture capitalist by profession. He started investing in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from the year 2012.
18. Matthew Roszak, $1.4 billion
Maththew Roszak is an early adopter of Bitcoin, who started investing since 2012 and also participated in initial coin offerings of altcoins like Mastercoin, Factom, etc. He has also invested in cryptoexchanges like Coinbase and Kraken.
17. Michael Saylor, $1.6 billion
Originally a dot-com era billionaire, Saylor saw his riches sink during the dot-com meltdown and in the aftermath of an accounting controversy. Then Saylor found Bitcoin and now he has made his company a Bitcoin proxy, buying it at every dip. Moreover, he has also been taking loans to buy more Bitcoin.
16. Kim Hyoung-nyon, $1.9 billion
Hyoung-nyon is the executive vice president of South Korea's Dunamu crypto exchange. He currently owns about 13 per cent stake in the exchange, which he cofounded ten years ago.
15. Fred Ehrsam, $2.1 billion
Fred Ernest Ehrsam is an American businessman and investor. He is a co-founder and managing partner of Paradigm Capital, a cryptocurrency investing firm. Additionally, he co-founded Coinbase, a Bitcoin exchange.
13 and 14. Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah, $2.2 million
OpenSea is a secondary NFT marketplace was cofounded by these two. In January, OpenSea received funding, valuing the company at $13.3 billion, up from $1.5 billion six months before. Finzer and Atallah own roughly 18.5 percent of the company between them.
11 and 12. Nikil Viswanathan and Joseph Lau, $2.4 billion
Viswanathan and Lau are the co-founders of blockchain decacorn Alchemy, a toolbox for blockchain entrepreneurs and developers. Alchemy powers Web3 applications like OpenSea and decentralised exchange Kyber. The company raised $200 million in February at a $10.2 billion valuation, fewer than four months after raising $3.5 billion.
10. Jed McCaleb, $2.5 billion
The majority of McCaleb's wealth was amassed through Ripple Labs and XRP, the payments-focused cryptocurrency project he co-founded in 2012. McCaleb quit the project in 2013 after arguing with Larsen and other team members. In accordance with the terms of a 2014 separation agreement with Ripple Labs, McCaleb has now sold a significant portion of his XRP in periodic increments. He founded Stellar and currently serves as its Chief Technology Officer.
9. Barry Silbert, $3.2 billion
Silbert has developed a broad cryptocurrency business as the founder of Digital Currency Group. The company owns Grayscale, which manages $28 billion in crypto assets, as well as CoinDesk, a popular crypto news and events website. DCG has invested in over 200 crypto companies through its subsidiaries. Before Bitcoin, Silbert sold stock trading business Second Market to Nasdaq for an undisclosed price in 2015.
8. Song Chi-hyung, $3.7 billion
Chi-hyung is the founder of Upbit, South Korea's largest cryptocurrency exchange. He has benefited from the country's $46 billion cryptocurrency business. He is thought to own around a quarter of Upbit's parent company, Dunamu, which was valued at $17 billion.
6 and 7. Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss, $ 4 billion each
Former rivals of Mark Zuckerberg, these twin brothers have amassed crypto fortunes worth around $4 billion each. Following the debut of Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange, the brothers have continued to add to their digital asset portfolios.
5. Chris Larsen, $4.3 billion
Larsen is the co-founder and executive chairman of blockchain company Ripple. XRP, which is the native token of the blockchain is currently the 8th largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
4. Gary Wang, $5.9 billion
Wang,is the co-founder and chief technology officer of FTX crypto exchange. He owns 16.5 percent of FTX's global operations as well as more than $600 million in FTT, the exchange's native token.
3. Brian Armstrong, $6.6 billion
Brian Armstrong is the founder and CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, which he founded in 2012. He is an entrepreneur and investor.
2. Sam Bankman-Fried, $24 billion
Bankman-Fried is the creator and CEO of FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange. He also manages assets through Alameda Research, a quantitative bitcoin trading firm he launched in October 2017, which he co-founded with his brother.
1. Changpeng Zhao, $65 billion
Zhao is the founder and CEO of Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. He used to once work at McDonalds flipping burgers but now, he is the richest crypto billionaire.
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