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Number of crypto billionaires hits record in 2022; see list

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The number of billionaires working in the crypto economy has never been higher. According to a Forbes survey published Tuesday, there are at least 19 billionaires who have made money from cryptocurrency and blockchain technology on the world’s annual list of billionaires. By way of comparison, in 2021 there were 12.

Newcomers to the list include the founders of the infrastructure company Web3 Alchemy and the founders of the OpenSea NFTs marketplace.

Meanwhile, the three richest on the list are Changpeng Zhao, Sam Bankman-Fried and Brian Armstrong, who run some of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.

1 Changpeng Zhao (Canada)

  • Net worth: $65 billion
  • Source of wealth: Binance

As might be expected, the richest person in the crypto economy is the founder and CEO of Binance CZ. He is currently the 19th richest person in the world covering all markets.

According to Forbes, CZ owns at least 70% of Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange by traded volume.

By 2021, the exchange is estimated to have generated an estimated revenue of over $16 billion. As a result, Forbes raised its assessment of CZ’s wealth to $1.9 billion last year.

It is worth noting that in February, Binance announced a strategic investment in Forbes of nearly $200 million.

2 Sam Bankman-Fried (USA)

  • Net worth: $24 billion
  • Source of Wealth: FTX

As Forbes reported, SBF moved from Hong Kong to the more crypto-friendly Bahamas in late 2021, taking its FTX exchange valued at $32 billion. FTX’s US operations were also recently valued at $8 billion.

Although he appears on the list of the richest in the world, Bankman-Fried promised to give away his entire fortune throughout his life. He owns about half of FTX and over $7 billion in FTT, the platform’s native token.

3 Brian Armstrong (USA)

  • Net worth: $6.6 billion
  • Source of wealth: Coinbase

The Coinbase CEO and Founder is the third richest among the billionaires in the crypto market. His exchange went public in April 2021 valued at $100 billion, but today, that figure has halved. However, Armstrong – who owns 19% of the company – is still one of the richest on the market.

4 Gary Wang (USA)

  • Net worth: $5.9 billion
  • Source of Wealth: FTX

Gary Wang is co-founder and chief technology officer of FTX and holds a 16% stake in FTX’s global business and over $600 million in FTT. Before entering the cryptocurrency market, he was a software engineer at Google, where he helped build the Google Flights online booking platform.

5 Chris Larsen (USA)

  • Net worth: $4.3 billion
  • Source of wealth: Ripple

Larsen is the co-founder and CEO of Ripple, issuer of the XRP token, the 8th largest on the market. Since December 2020 Larsen has faced a lawsuit filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the SEC, against Ripple, which alleges that Ripple’s initial coin offering was an illegal offering and sale of unregistered securities.

6 and 7 Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss (USA)

  • Equity: $4 billion each
  • Source of Wealth: BTC

The Winklevoss twins might be Mark Zuckerberg’s college enemies, but they turned their $65 million deal with Zuck into digital gold, amassing cryptocurrency fortunes of approximately $4 billion each.

They started buying BTC in 2012, launched the Gemini exchange in 2014, and bought the NFT auction platform Nifty Gateway in 2019.

8 Song Chi Hyung (South Korea)

  • Net worth: $3.7 billion
  • Source of wealth: Upbit

Chi-hyung is the founder of South Korea’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, Upbit. He is estimated to own about a quarter of Upbit’s parent company Dunamu, which was valued at $17 billion last November.

9 Barry Silbert

  • Net worth: $3.2 billion
  • Source of wealth: Digital Currency Group

The 9th richest of cryptocurrencies is the founder of the investment group Digital Currency Group, Barry Silbert. His investment firm controls Grayscale, which manages around $28 billion in cryptocurrency assets, as well as crypto news portal CoinDesk.

10 Jed McCaleb (USA)

  • Net worth: $2.5 billion
  • Source of Wealth: Ripple, Stellar

According to Forbes, McCaleb made most of his fortune from Ripple Labs and XRP, the project he co-founded in 2012. However, after a falling out with Larsen, he left the project in 2013. He has since sold much of your XRP. He then founded the Stellar cryptocurrency.

11 and 12 Nikil Viswanathan and Joseph Lau (USA)

  • Equity: $2.4 billion each
  • Source of Wealth: Alchemy

Nikil Viswanathan and Joseph Lau are the co-founders of the decacorn Alchemy blockchain. They met in 2011 at Stanford and have since built more than 10 products together.

In 2017, after learning about blockchain technology, they launched Alchemy as a toolkit for blockchain entrepreneurs and developers.

Today, the platform is a leading developer for Web3 applications, including the OpenSea NFTs marketplace and decentralized exchange Kyber, and in February, the company reached a valuation of $10.2 billion.

13 and 14 Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah (USA)

  • Net worth: $2.2 billion
  • Source of wealth: OpenSea

Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah co-founded OpenSea, an early entrant in the growing NFT market. OpenSea raised capital in January with a valuation of $13.3 billion. Finzer and Atallah each hold an estimated 18.5% stake in the company.

15 Fred Ehrsam (USA)

  • Net worth: $2.1 billion
  • Source of wealth: Coinbase

Ehrsam is a co-founder of Coinbase and now runs the investment firm Paradigm. He left Coinbase in 2017 but remains on the board and still holds a 6% stake in the company.

16 Kim Hyoung-nyon (South Korea)

  • Net worth: $1.9 billion
  • Source of wealth: Upbit

Kim Hyoung-nyon is executive vice president of South Korea’s Dunamu and owns about 13% of the country’s top cryptocurrency exchange that he co-founded a decade ago with fellow billionaire Song Chi-hyung.

17 Michael Saylor (USA)

  • Net worth: $1.6 billion
  • Source of Wealth: MicroStrategy

The founder of business software company MicroStrategy could not be left out of the list. As Forbes highlighted, Michael Saylor turned the company into a BTC proxy.

In 2020 alone, MicroStrategy bought over 70,000 Bitcoins at $1.1 billion, using cash reserves and borrowed funds. MicroStrategy’s stock has quadrupled in the past two years.

18 Matthew Roszak (USA)

  • Net worth: $1.4 billion
  • Source of wealth: BTC, other cryptocurrencies

Billionaire Matthew Roszak built his fortune directly with BTC and other cryptocurrencies. According to Forbes, he started buying BTC in 2012 and participated in the first initial coin offerings, buying tokens like Mastercoin, Factom and Maidsafe in 2013.

Furthermore, it has invested in several cryptocurrency startups, including Coinbase and Kraken.

19 Tim Draper (USA)

  • Net worth: $1.2 billion
  • Source of wealth: BTC, other cryptocurrencies

Lastly, venture capitalist Tim Draper is the last billionaire on the list, who has also made wealth from BTC and other cryptos. He first invested in BTC in 2012, and in 2014 he bought 29,656 Bitcoins for $632 each BTC in an auction of confiscated cryptocurrencies from the Silk Road illicit goods market.

From McDonald’s Clerk to One of the Richest in the World, Binance’s CZ Story

All content in this article is for informational purposes only and in no way serves as investment advice. Investing in cryptocurrencies, commodities and stocks is very risky and can lead to capital losses.

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