The crypto industry has proven to be highly lucrative for scores of individuals across the world. Retail investors who entered the market at the right time made hundreds of thousands of dollars in months.
However, even the most substantial returns pale in comparison to the wealth innovators amassed by building crypto-related platforms and solutions. The platforms that did well turned their founders into some of the wealthiest people in the world.
Proof of this comes from Hurun India's Rich List, which contains 17 billionaires from the crypto industry. This article will quickly run through the top 10 names on this list. Tag along to see how many of them you know.
Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance. (Image: Reuters)
1. Changpeng Zhao:
Popularly known as CZ in the crypto community, Zhao is the founder and CEO of Binance, the largest crypto exchange in the world. The Chinese-Canadian businessman has an estimated net worth of $23 billion. Binance was launched in 2017 and has been on the frontlines of crypto trading ever since.
2. Samuel Bankman-Fried (SBF): An MIT trained graduate, SBF founded the crypto exchange FTX back in 2019. Since then, FX has been led through bludgeoning growth and has touched a daily transaction volume worth $10 billion among over 1 million users. SBF is also known to have initiated the handshake between crypto and sports. His net worth is estimated to be $21 billion.
3. Brian Armstrong: At the helm of yet another popular crypto exchange -- Coinbase -- Brian’s net worth currently stands at $10 billion. Coinbase aims to facilitate on-ramp (buy crypto with fiat currency) and off-ramp (sell crypto to gain fiat currency) transactions freely, thus creating an accessible financial system for all. Coinbase boasts a user base of over 89 million users spread over 100 countries.
4. Chris Larsen: Larsen is the current executive chairman and ex-CEO of the popular cryptocurrency Ripple. He is known to have been an angel investor and co-founder of several Silicon Valley start-ups. His current net worth stands at $6.7 billion. Ripple is famously known for its “real-time gross settlement system”, which is sought after by many banks across the globe.
5. Jed McCaleb: The founder of Ripple, Stellar and Mt. Gox (which shut down later in 2014) is an entrepreneur, a programmer, and a philanthropist, all rolled into one. Until 2013, he served as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Ripple before he moved on and founded Stellar. His current net worth amounts to $3.8 billion, and he serves as the CTO at Stellar. Stellar aims to achieve extremely cheap cross-border, off-ramp transactions between any pairs of currencies.
6. Barry Silbert: Founder of the Digital Currency Group (DCG), Barry Silbert is at the zenith of a five-organisation conglomerate, all of which are crypto-focused. A lion’s share of DCG’s revenue comes from the most prominent global Bitcoin investor, Grayscale, which currently manages $28 billion worth of crypto assets. Barry’s current net worth is pegged at $4 billion.
Entrepeneurs Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. (Image: Reuters)
7. & 8. Tyler & Cameron Winklevoss: Most famously known for suing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, the Winklevoss twins are founders and investors of Winklevoss Capital and crypto exchange Gemini. The brothers founded Gemini in 2015 as an exchange that simplifies crypto trading for beginners as well as veterans. The Winklevosses are estimated to be worth over $4.2 billion each!
9. Michael Saylor: He is the co-founder of MicroStrategy, a business intelligence and mobile software solutions firm famous for holding the largest Bitcoin reserve on earth. Saylor is said to have ignited Tesla chief Elon Musk’s interest in cryptocurrencies back in 2020 over a Twitter conversation. He is a proponent of Bitcoin himself and often expresses himself on Twitter. His present net worth is $1.3 billion.
10. Matthew Roszak: Valued at $1.9 billion, Roszak is the founder of Bloq, a blockchain platform that designs blockchain-based apps for other global businesses. He was previously associated with SilkRoad Equity where he was charged with insider trading by the SEC, whom he settled it with later.
First Published: IST