Since Bitcoin started in 2009, the market has grown dramatically. Bitcoin alone reached a market capitalization of more than $ 170 billion, while more than a dozen other digital assets reached a market value of more than $ 1 billion.
As a result of this amazing growth, some users, pioneers and investors have become billionaires, joining the richest in the world. However, due to the volatility of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, any wealth held in crypto can fluctuate greatly.
Despite strong growth in the market since the beginning of the year, Forbes recognizes only four cryptocurrency billionaires until April 2020 – less than half the number listed in 2018.
Of course, there are likely to be other billionaires who own Bitcoin in addition to those who have enriched themselves with it – but we are looking specifically at those who made a fortune with cryptocurrency.
Today, two of the four billionaires known in the crypto market have founded cryptocurrency exchanges, while the other two are behind two large companies.
And no, despite the fact that they are about to be the subject of a movie called Bitcoin Billionaires, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are not on the list; until last year, its combined net worth was $ 1.45 billion. The Winklevoss twins are two separate individuals, not an entity – and individually, they are not billionaires, so they don't make the list.
4. Brian Armstrong
Brian Armstrong, 37, is currently the youngest billionaire in the cryptocurrency market. He started his career in 2012 after co-founding Coinbase, a San Francisco cryptocurrency company.
The exchange is currently valued at up to $ 10 billion, making it one of the most successful companies to date in the crypto market. Currently, Armstrong ranks # 1990 on the Forbes billionaire list in 2020, with an estimated net worth of $ 1 billion.
3. Changpeng Zhao
As founder and CEO of Binance, currently the most popular platform in the world, Changpeng Zhao has managed to accumulate an impressive fortune since the launch of the exchange in 2017.
Zhao now has a fortune valued at $ 1.2 billion, most likely made up of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Binance's native currency – Binance Coin (BNB).
2. Chris Larsen
The second richest is Chris Larsen, co-founder of Ripple – a blockchain-based payment settlement and remittance system that uses XRP for international transactions.
Before creating Ripple, Larsen also co-founded several other multimillion dollar companies, but these only contributed to a small fraction of his current $ 2.6 billion fortune.
1. Micree Zhan
Despite being arguably the least known name on this list, Micree Zhan is by far the richest, having accumulated a net worth of $ 3.2 billion in June 2020. Zhan is an electronic engineer and co-founder of Bitmain, a hardware manufacturer in Bitcoin mining.
The company was recently the subject of a dispute between Zhan and co-founder Jihan Wu, who saw Zhan hire a squad of armed guards to take control of the company after being ousted last October.
* Translated and republished with authorization from Decrypt.co
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