Owing to how cryptocurrencies are increasingly being embraced in mainstream culture, crypto billionaires are also on the rise. Recently Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao became the newest billionaire with an estimated net worth of $96.5 billion. To put it into context, his net worth now surpasses that of Oracle founder, Larry Ellison and that of Indian tycoon, Mukesh Ambani. Changpeng “CZ” Zhao is not the only crypto billionaire to emerge recently. Coinbase founder Brian Armstronng and a host of other people have seen their net worth skyrocket to an unprecedented amount. Here are the top 10 richest crypto billionaires in the world.
10. Jed McCaleb – $2 Billion
Jed McCaleb is a pioneer in the blockchain field and is the co-founder of Ripple, Stellar, and Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange. Mt. Gox was the first major Bitcoin exchange, which he sold in 2011 before it was hacked. In 2014, he founded Stellar, after leaving Ripple due to disagreements. Ripple turned out to be a great competitor of Stellar which helps ease up cross-border payments. As of January 2018, his stake in Ripple was estimated to be worth $20 billion, making him one of the richest people in the world.
9. Micree Zhan – $3.2 Billion
Micree Zhan was ranked by Forbes as the 9th richest self-made billionaire in 2019. At one point, he was the richest cryptocurrency billionaire in the world. Along with Jihan Wu, Micree Zhan was the co-founder of Bitmain Technologies which is the largest digital currency mining firm in China. Despite being ousted from the firm in 2019 after a longstanding power struggle with Jihan Wu, Micree Zhan still remains the firm’s largest shareholder.
8. Fred Ehrsam – $3.5 Billion
Fred Erhsam is the co-founder of Coinbase and although he left the firm in 2017, he is the leader of cryptocurrency investment firm, Paradigm. Despite leaving Coinbase, Fred Ehrsam is still a board member in the company and owns a 6% stake which is worth a reported $1.9 billion. The 34 year old studied at Duke University where he graduated with a distinction in B.S. Computer Science with a minor in economics. He briefly worked as a foreighn exchange trader at Goldman Sachs and with a current net worth of $3.5 billion, he is one of the richest crypto billionaires in the world.
7. Joseph Lubin – $5 Billion
Joseph Lubin is a Canadian-American blockchain technology expert who has founded and co-founded several companies as well as contributing heavily to Ethereum. Lubin is also the founder of ConsenSys which is an Ethereum blockchain production studio. Lubin has always been a firm believer in the growth of blockchain technology after reading the Satoshi Nakamoto Bitcoin. Joseph Lubin is estimated to have a net worth of $5 billion.
6. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss – $6 Billion
In 2013, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss announced that they have approximately $11 million worth of bitcoins. At the time, it was suggested that the twins could purchase bitcoin for as low as $10 per coin. With the price of bitcoin soaring to an all-time high of $58,000, the twins are estimated to have a combined net worth of $6 million.
5. Michael Saylor – $6 Billion
With over 40 patents to his name, Michael Saylor is a great entrepreneur and investor. In the last few years, he has become popular for investing massive amounts of cash into Bitcoin. He personally owns 17,732 BTC, which translates to about $1.1 billion. In 2020, his firm, MicroStrategy, purchased 21,454 bitcoins at a price of $250 million and is already adding to its stash. At the moment, the firm has accumulated 122,478 bitcoins which are valued at $6 billion at crypto holdings current price.
4. Brian Armstrong – $9.6 Billion
Coinbase is the largest cryptocurrency firm in the US, and at the helm is Brian Armstrong, who co-founded the company alongside Fred Ehrsam. Brian is a California native, and he attended Rice University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and economics. He has worked as a developer with IBM and Airbnb as a software engineer. Brian Armstrong gained interest in Bitcoin after reading the Satoshi Nakamoto white papers. He co-founded Coinbase with Fred Ehrsam in 2012 to enable Bitcoin enthusiasts to trade bitcoin easily. He currently owns a 19% stake in Coinbase and is valued at $9.6 billion.
3. Sam Bankman-Fried – $22.5 Billion
Sam Bankman-Fried is a well-known effective altruist who accumulated a $22.5 billion net worth in four years. He is the founder of a Bahamian-based cryptocurrency exchange platform, FTX. He vouches for Solana, which he considers to be much better than Ethereum due to its plans to accommodate mass adoption. At 29 years old, Sam Bankman-Fried is also the youngest person after Mark Zuckerberg to enter the Forbes 400.
2. Satoshi Nakamoto – $46 Billion
Decoding Satoshi Nakamoto has been one of the hardest things over the last more than one decade. The creator of Bitcoin still remains a mystery of the digital age to this day. Satoshi Nakamoto is responsible for creating and authoring the bitcoin whitepaper. With crypto holdings estimated to be in the region of 750,000 to 1.1 million BTC, Satoshi Nakamoto is estimated to be worth $46 billion, making him the 15th richest person on earth. Although his identity is still unknown, Satoshi Nakamoto is definitely one of the richest crypto billionaires in the world.
1. Changpeng Zhao – $96 Billion
Changpeng Zhao is a Chinese-Canadian businessman who happens to be the founder of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange platform, Binance. According to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Zhao is worth an estimated $96 billion, surpassing the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page. The scary bit is that this wealth does not consider his personal crypto holdings. Despite the recent declines in cryptocurrencies and the firm being banished from China, Binance has continued to soar, and so does Changpeng Zhao’s wealth.