Has anyone become a billionaire through cryptocurrency investing? Crypto billionaires, really? Come on man, no one’s making billions off cryptocurrencies…are they?
In the early 2010s, cryptocurrency, mainly Bitcoin, started making headlines, but generally, these headlines were skeptical of cryptocurrency’s viability.
Fast forward to 2021, and while many people–especially older generations–still hold some of that skepticism, cryptocurrency has proven to be a profitable investment, with some investors and founders in the cryptocurrency space making millions and even billions.
No doubt that the world of cryptocurrencies has revolutionized since its infancy, and people are making serious cash off digital currencies. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the most successful folks in the cryptocurrency field who now have become crypto billionaires:
1. Vitalik Buterin
The 27-year-old Buterin was born in Russia and later emigrated to Canada. He is the founder of Ethereum, a blockchain launched in 2015, with a current price of over $3000 per ether.
Ethereum’s market capitalization is over $300 billion, second only to Bitcoin. In 2014, at the age of 20, Buterin won a $100,000 fund from Peter Thiel for people under 23 to pursue projects outside of academia. Buterin has recently shared some of this immense wealth by donating $600,000 of Ether to COVID relief efforts in India.
2. Changpeng Zhao
Another Canadian immigrant, Changpeng Zhao, who goes by CZ, is the Chinese-Canadian founder of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.
As of August of 2021, Zhao was worth $1.9 billion. Binance’s 2020 trading volume reached $2 trillion, and their Binance Coin is the third-largest cryptocurrency in the world.
3. The Winklevoss Twins
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are famous for suing Facebook, the film The Social Network, and their rowing exploits. The twins began investing in Bitcoin in 2012 and now they are crypto billionaires.
As of 2021, the duo’s estimated worth is around $3 billion each. In addition to their Bitcoin investments, the Winklevoss Twins launched the crypto exchange Gemini.
4. Sam Bankman-Fried
With a net worth of $8.9 billion, the 29-year-old MIT graduate is one of the most impressive members of this list.
Bankman-Fried is the founder of both the quantitative trading firm Alameda, as well as the FTX exchange. He made headlines in recent years by donating to the Biden campaign, as part of a newer, more civic-minded billionaire class.
5. Brian Armstrong
The CEO and co-founder of Coinbase is currently worth about $6.5 billion. One of the leading US crypto exchanges, Coinbase went public earlier this year getting a tremendous valuation of $100 billion.
Before starting Coinbase in 2012, Armstrong was a software engineer for Airbnb. Though the journey has not been easy, as Armstrong revealed in the book Kings of Crypto, he has certainly overcome all odds to become the top dog of the cryptocurrency arena.
7. Chris Larsen
Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen’s net worth currently sits around $3.4 billion. Larsen co-founded Ripple in 2012 to solve issues surrounding international bank payment blockchains.
Larsen likes to give away some of his massive fortune. A recent example is his $25 million donation to San Francisco State University in 2019.
7. Michael Saylor
Microstrategy CEO, Saylor used lessons learned from the dot com bust to get a head start on the crypto trends. Saylor is currently worth around $2.3 billion, thanks to early investments in Bitcoin.
Before founding Microstrategy in 1989, Saylor was a rocket scientist. He graduated from MIT on an Air Force scholarship.
8. Matthew Roszak
Thanks to early investments in Bitcoin in 2011, Matthew Roszak has accrued a net worth of $1.5 billion. Roszak is the chairperson of blockchain company Bloq.
The 48-year-old Chicago native is also the founder of Tally Capital – a private investment firm focused on crypto and blockchain. His portfolio comprises investments in top crypto companies such as Binance, Block.one, Blockstream, Genaro, Orchid, Polymath, Rivetz, Spacechain, and more.
9. Tim Draper
In 2014, venture capitalist Tim Draper invested in cryptocurrency seized from the Silk Road Black Market. This investment of $18.7 million is now worth $1.5 billion.
Draper, among other ventures, has also founded Draper University – famous for its Hero training program, and invested in companies like Hotmail, Skype, Tesla, SpaceX, and Twitter, among many others. A little fun fact: He is also the oldest crypto billionaire on this list.
10. Fred Ehrsam
The 33-year-old Coinbase cofounder Fred Ehrsam’s 6% stake in the company is currently worth $1.9 billion. Coinbase was founded to make Bitcoin more accessible and user-friendly than it had previously been.
Since leaving Coinbase in 2017, Ehrsam has taken the lead with investment firm Paradigm, focusing on crypto investments.
So there you have it, ten of the top crypto billionaires.
Ten billionaires who have proved the skeptics wrong. They have proved that cryptocurrencies are both viable investment opportunities, and are here to stay. The world of cryptocurrency is just starting to open up, and time will tell just how long-lasting and successful this technology becomes.
I would like to know your views on cryptocurrencies. Do you think it’s a viable form of investment and that it could become a medium of exchange soon? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below.
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