Changpeng Zhao, Brian Armstrong, the Winklevoss brothers, and Vitalik Buterin are their names. They are often in their thirties or forties, and are young and brave. These are the new billionaires, with fortunes that dwarf those of the founders of Facebook or Google…
It took until 2020 for an entrepreneur from the cryptocurrency industry to get to the lists of the world’s largest riches monitored by media such as Forbes or Fortune. Chris Larsen was the co-founder of Ripple and the developer of the XRP currency.
As of 2021, there were seven of them to feature in the Forbes 400, which lists the 400 richest American fortunes, and the magazine claimed that they represented 55.1 billion USD between them. And their numbers are only going to grow. Who are these bitcoin millionaires, and how did they achieve such wealth?
In January 2021, Bloomberg magazine stated that Changpeng Zhao, the creator of Binance, had a wealth of more than $100 billion, making him a contender for individuals like Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, and Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google. Changpeng Zhao has become a legend in his own right, and as such, this lanky guy with rimless spectacles is commonly known as CZ. His tweets are closely followed by a community of approximately 5 million followers on Twitter.
CZ, was born in China in 1977, immigrated to Canada as a teenager. He found Bitcoin in 2012 and had an illumination; he is supposed to have sold his flat to buy Bitcoins. However, its crowning achievement came in July 2017 with the launch of the Binance exchange (platform), which distinguished itself from those that came before it by providing a wealth of tools for crypto investors, such as the ability to buy or sell automatically if a currency reaches a certain level. Binance just takes eight months to establish itself as the leading exchange.
With his student appearance and a curly haircut in the style of the 1970s, Sam Bankman-Fried does not fit the typical profile of a financial platform entrepreneur. This young man, born in March 1992, is still at the helm of FTX, an exchange that, like Binance, expands the instruments available to investors.
After graduating from Boston’s elite Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sam Bankman-Fried created FTX in 2019. (MIT). It only took FTX two years to become one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges. In July 2021, Sam Bankman-Fried raised $900 million in cash, increasing FTX’s net worth and, as a result, its founder’s fortune, which Forbes assessed at $22.5 million in 2021.
Brian Armstrong can be easily identified since he, like fellow tech magnate Jeff Bezos, is entirely bald. On the other hand, Armstrong, on the other hand, is younger—he was born in 1983 in San Jose, California—and he has an attitude that constantly seems friendly.
Armstrong got his first taste of business when he was in elementary school and was sent to the principal’s office for launching a candy resale company. He committed himself to the trade in secondhand computers during his high school years. He studied economics and computer science before working for IBM, Deloitte (a global auditing firm), and Airbnb.
He discovered the White Paper outlining the ins and outs of Bitcoin fairly early on, in 2010. He was persuaded, believing that a new financial system, international and open, capable of facilitating innovation and freedom, might arise. He received a $150,000 investment in 2012 to create Coinbase, one of the first exchanges (crypto trading platforms) to arise. Armstrong gambled on simplicity from the start, and Coinbase, although not offering as advanced features as Binance, will become renowned as an exchange for novices. With the assistance of a rookie, Fred Ehrsam, who is also ranked in this category, he convinced banks to construct a bridge between cryptocurrencies and bank money via Coinbase.
Chris Larsen, co-founder of Ripple, was the first cryptocurrency player to emerge from the ranks of the field’s big riches as early as 2020.
Like Bitcoin, Ripple’s currency, XRP, is based on a decentralized network and record known as the blockchain. However, unlike Bitcoin, this money does not need to be mined: Ripple Labs puts it into circulation automatically. Ripple/creators XRP’s have set aside 20% of the money supply for themselves in order to cover the project’s finance demands.
Ripple/XRP has focused mostly on interbank transaction settlement, and numerous institutions have opted to trial it before adopting it. Banks such as Bank of America, Santander, and UBS have selected Ripple to manage a portion of their interbank pay. As a result, XRP has firmly established itself among the top ten cryptocurrencies in the sector. It should be remembered, however, that the SEC (US Securities and Exchange Commission) has been investigating Ripple since the end of December 2020, accusing the company of fraudulently issuing XRP. Chris Larsen’s fortune is expected to be worth $6 billion in 2021.
Ripple was co-founded by Jed McCaleb and Chris Larsen, as previously stated. McCaleb rose to prominence by founding the Mt.Gox site in Tokyo, Japan. It began as a “Magic Gathering” card trading website. In the summer of 2010, McCaleb converted it into a bitcoin exchange platform. However, in February 2011, McCaleb sold Mt. Gox to Frenchman Mark Kapeles.Following the Mt.Gox exchange, there were various setbacks. As a result, Jed McCaleb set out to co-create Ripple with Chris Larsen. His fortune is expected to be worth $3 billion in 2021.
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss are
If you’ve watched the film The Social Network, which tells the story of how Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook, you’ll recognize the Winklevoss twins, twin rowing champions who think they invented Facebook. They sued Mark Zuckerberg in the fall of 2004 for this reason. An agreeable deal was struck in February 2009, at the conclusion of which the Winklevoss twins departed with a sizable nest egg – not revealed but thought to be worth more than $20 million.
Forbes featured the Winklevoss brothers on the cover of its issue dedicated to the world’s billionaires in April 2021. The Winklevosses then convinced Forbes to let them sell an animated NFT of the cover on Nifty Gateway. The piece was sold for $333,333. In 2021, each Winklevoss brother’s fortune was expected to be $4.3 billion.
Mr. Fred Ehrsam
Ehrsam, who was born in 1988, co-founded Coinbase with Brian Armstrong (read above). He departed Coinbase in 2017 to lead the investment firm Paradigm, but he is still a member of Coinbase’s board of directors. In 2021, his net worth was $3.5 billion.
Saylor is the CEO of MicroStrategy, a company that began its cryptocurrency business in August 2020 by purchasing $250 million in Bitcoin. It turns out that Saylor fell in love with Bitcoin after analyzing its potential, and he takes every opportunity to evangelize his audience on the subject, as in this declaration: “Bitcoin is a bank managed by incorruptible software that offers a global, affordable, simple, and secure savings account to all those who have neither the means nor the desire to manage their own investment fund.” You have money, you have savings, you don’t want to lose them, and you want to place them in a bank? “Bitcoin is the internet equivalent of a bank account.
According to Forbes, Saylor’s Bitcoin acquisitions increased to $3.5 billion in December 2021. fortune is predicted to reach over $2.2 billion when he is 56 at the start of 2022, according to Forbes.
Silbert founded Digital Currency Group (DCG), a venture capital business specializing in digital assets. DCG purchased CoinDesk, a popular cryptocurrency information portal, in 2016. He is also the creator of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, a Bitcoin-tracking investment firm. Silbert has invested in over a hundred startups in the area, garnering him the moniker “King of Crypto.” In 2021, his fortune was predicted to be $1.6 billion.
Buterin, who is of Russian heritage, is the developer of Ethereum, the second-most valuable cryptocurrency. He was born on January 31, 1994, making him the youngest person on this list. Buterin was educated in Canada, where he arrived at the age of six. He distinguished himself beginning in 2010 with his active engagement in the Bitcoin community and the publication of various essays on the issue.
In 2013, he proposed that Bitcoin be made programmable, but he was unable to get support from his colleagues. As a result, he set out to build Ethereum, the first programmable money, through the use of smart contracts. Ethereum was created in early 2014 via an ICO (initial coin offering) and soon took off. Above all, Ethereum has enabled the formation of a genuine ecosystem of currencies based on it, such as Matic (Polygon), DeFi (Decentralized Finance) apps, and NFTs, or one-of-a-kind digital pieces of art.
Vitalik Buterin is a well-known figure in the cryptocurrency community, with 3.1 million followers on Twitter. In May 2021, he became a billionaire, with an estimated worth of $1.05 billion.