2018’s Top Crypto Richest Individuals in the World
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When Bitcoin was first introduced onto the scene in 2009 by a Satoshi Nakamoto, who by the way still remains a mystery to the world, nobody knew how much of a big deal it would be ten years later. It still seems like yesterday people were just wrapping their head around the idea of currency as the piece of paper in their pockets. Today, they are amazed at the idea of storing wealth digitally through the use of cryptocurrencies. With the existence of blockchain-driven wallets and exchange platforms, gaining wealth has been made possible for investors and traders alike. Cryptocurrency trading has amassed wealth so much that it recently caught the attention of Forbes, a world-renowned reporter on matters finance.
Cryptocurrencies have recently been on the receiving end of backlashes from several governments, financial institutions and top investors with claims that they are highly favored by drug dealers. Forbes made the decision to release this list in an effort to redeem cryptocurrency’s name and legitimize it as a real asset on the economic stage. The list that will be featured here involves a number of individuals including innovators, investors, developers and founders of digital currency exchange platforms and big-time institutional investors and financiers.
Below is a complete breakdown of each individual and why they managed to be featured on the list.
Chris Larsen (Net worth: $7.5-8 Billion)
Designation: He is the current chairman and former CEO of Ripple Labs, a cryptocurrency platform that facilitates international payments for banks using blockchain technology. He is also known for co-founding and developing a string of Fintech apps.
What made Chris Larsen one of the richest in Crypto?
Chris Larsen is a co-founder of Ripple Labs. He owns 5.2 billion XRP, a token launched by Ripple Labs. Ripple Labs itself is said to control over 61 billion XRP of the available 100 billion XRP which equates to about $95 billion. He is also rumored to have a 17% stake in the company which had a recent valuation of $410 million. His 17% stake plus personal holdings of 5.2 billion XRP equates to a net worth of around $37.3 billion. Chris is also said to have co-founded the online mortgage lender, e-loan, in 1997 and Prosper in 2015 which is currently valued at $1 billion. All these have made him the cryptocurrency richest title in the whole world.
Joseph Lubin (Net worth: $1-$5 billion)
Designation: He is a co-founder of Ethereum and a founder of ConsenSys, a venture production studio for the Ethereum platform. Prior to this, he had begun his career working in different sectors such as software engineering, neural nets, robotics, and machine vision. He was also part of Goldman Sachs’ private wealth management.
What made Joseph Lubin one of the richest in Crypto?
Back in 2014, he made the decision to fund the Ethereum blockchain platform. He is actually rumored to be among the top buyers in the Ethereum crowd sale. He also holds a majority stake in his company ConsenSys which provides the following services:
- Security audits.
- Token launches.
- The launch of crypto-businesses such as Gnosis, Singular, adChain, Grid+ and BlockApps.
ConsenSys has over 600 employees and is operational across 28 countries. Cryptocurrency industry insiders believe Joseph Lubin to be the largest holder of Ether. They have valuations of as high as $10 billion.
Changpeng Zhao (Net worth: $1.1-$2 billion)
Designation: He is the current CEO of Binance.
What made Changpeng Zhao one of the richest in Crypto?
Soon after learning about Bitcoin, Changpeng Zhao, sold his house in Shanghai in 2014 so as to completely immerse himself in the Bitcoin hype. In a time-frame of fewer than seven months, CZ, as he is commonly known, was able to create the largest crypto-exchange platform. Back in July, his BNB (Binance) token was going for a mere 10 cents. Currently, it goes for $13 and has achieved a market cap of about $1.3 billion. He is rumored to have the biggest stake of BNB coins. Binance has staggering 6 million users with 38% of these being US citizens. At the moment, Binance supports 120 coins, 100 plus wallets, and 240 trading pairs. It’s capability to handle 1.4 million transactions per second with 6 million users has made it the largest crypto-exchange platform in the world.
The Winklevoss Brothers (Net worth: $900 million-$1.1 billion)
Designation: They are both co-founders of Winklevoss Capital.
Age: Both are 36 years old.
What made the Winklevoss brothers one of the richest in crypto?
Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss are mostly known for suing Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg on claims that he stole their idea of a social network. They settled for a $65 million settlement of Facebook stock and cash. With the $65 million dollar cash they had, they decided to invest in Bitcoins and bought about 120,000 back when the price of one Bitcoin was less than $10. It was in 2012 that they did this. They also racked in about $350 million or so from other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum. Apart from this, they built a New York-based cryptocurrency exchange known as Gemini. Gemini recently processed $300 million in daily transactions. That’s how they managed to get into the list of richest individuals in cryptocurrency.
Matthew Mellon (Net worth: $900 million- $1 billion)
Designation: Individual Investor
What made Matthew Mellon one of the richest in crypto?
Matthew Mellon is an heir to one of America’s greatest banking fortunes founded by his great-great-great grandfather Thomas Mellon. Matthew was also a former chairman of the New York Republican Party’s Finance committee. Despite sharp warnings from friends and family, Matthew managed to immerse himself in the then infant cryptocurrency industry. He had prior investments in Bitcoin which he later sold but eventually settled for the Ripple token XRP. He was an early investor in Ripple and practically spent $2 million to acquire them. He particularly liked XRP because it was among the cryptocurrencies working within the banking system. His current XRP worth is $1 billion.
Vitalik Buterin (Net worth: $400-$500 million)
Designation: Creator of Ethereum.
What made Vitalik Buterin one of the richest in crypto?
As a teenager, Buterin launched the Bitcoin Magazine. He later dropped out of college so that he could accept the Thiel Fellowship which gives young people $100,000 to do something new rather than spend time sitting in class. Afterward, he started traveling on his Bitcoins but later realized a lot of limitations with the cryptocurrency. He later created the Ethereum blockchain platform which has fuelled the Initial Coin Offerings agenda and has reached a market cap of $100 billion. At the moment, Buterin collaborates with companies likes of Microsoft, BP, and JP Morgan.
Brendan Blumer (Net worth: $600-$700 million)
Designation: He is the CEO of Block.one
What made Brendan Blumer one of the richest in crypto?
Blumer’s journey into the digital assets space started when he was at the age of 14 where he would sell magic weapons and characters in online games such as World of Warcraft and Ever-quest. In 2005, his company, Gamecliff, was acquired by Brock Pierce’ (IGE) Internet Gaming Entertainment. In 2007, he founded Accounts.net which sold game avatars. It surpassed $1 million revenues per month. In 2010, he launched Okay.com which was a data sharing platform for real estate brokers within the Asian region. In 2016, both Brendan Blumer and Dan Larimer started working on Block.one. While operating from Hong Kong, Blumer successfully pulled off one of the biggest token sales with $1 billion raised for EOS.IO. It challenged the Ethereum platform. Last year, the EOS coins market value reached a staggering $10.9 billion and eventually leveled to 8.8 billion recently. Blumer owns an estimated 15% of Block.one.
Anthony Di Lorio (Net worth: 750 million-$1 billion)
Designation: Co-founder of the Ethereum platform. He is also the founder of Jaxx and Decentral.
What made Anthony Di Lorio one of the crypto richest?
In 2012, Anthony started a Toronto Bitcoin Meet up Group on his quest to find other likeminded fellows. That’s where he met Ethereum’s founder, Vitalik Buterin. Having a few hundred thousand dollars from previous business enterprises, he decided to fund Ethereum’s legal counsel and coding before the platform went public. He helped build the Ethereum platform which is currently worth $100 billion. He also invests in other digital currencies such as Vechain, Qtum, and Zcash. His strategy targets investing in a new crypto-asset early, wait until the asset grows, level off and then pour gains into another promising crypto-asset.
Tim Draper (Net Worth: $350-$500 million)
Designation: He is the founder of Draper Associates.
What made Tim Draper one of the richest in crypto?
Tim’s interest in digital currency started 15 years ago in South Korea when he met a father who had bought his son a virtual sword using real cash. The idea was so etched in him that when he heard about Bitcoins, he was hooked. Draper invested $250,000 of his cash in buying Bitcoins back when the price was about $6. Unfortunately, he lost it all in the collapse of Mt Gox in 2014. Luckily enough, fate was on his side since in the same year; the US Marshall Service auctioned about 32,000 Bitcoins that had been confiscated from Ros Ulbricht who operated the online black marketplace known as Silk Road. Tim acquired the Bitcoins at a price of less than $20 million. He has made investments in over 40 more cryptocurrencies since then.
The above list of people gives a clear and concise view of the kind of returns that good investment opportunities are capable of providing for the early adopter. A major takeaway that we can learn from the most-rich people in cryptocurrency is that making an early investment decision earlier on before others catch on is the best way to stay ahead of the rest. The most common characteristic that people on this list have is the ability to take advantage of opportunities and risks where others are incapable or afraid to venture. Cryptocurrencies are turning out to be amazing digital assets that if used wisely, might as well replace traditional fiat currency and introduce the world to newer problem-free systems.
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