Whether or not you think cryptocurrency is a vast Ponzi scheme based around pretend computer money which only has as much value as is pumped into it by speculative investors, one thing remains indisputably true: some people are making bucketloads of money from it.
To that point, Forbes has unveiled their inaugural list of cryptocurrency’s richest people – pulling back the curtain from the early investors and crypto service providers who got on the rocket early and have reaped the spoils.
Forbes says they pulled this list together as a means of capturing “a snapshot of a pivotal moment,” and to usher crypto from its current reputation as a currency for drug dealers into an actual asset class.
One thing you’ll notice quite quickly on this list of so-called “freaks, geeks and visionaries” is that there aren’t any get-rich-quick everyday Bitcoin investors up in the top echelon. Nope – basically everyone on Forbes’ list either started a cryptocurrency or a crypto exchange, or already had a shitload of money to invest anyway.
As the 24-year-old crypto savant Vitalik Buterin – who created Ethereum and finds his home on Forbes’ list – says, the utopian ideals of cryptocurrency taking power from old money and putting it in the hands of the people hasn’t really played out:
A lot of people cheer the wealth redistribution that’s coming from cryptocurrency because they think, oh, it’s old money that’s being disempowered and flashy new tech money that’s being empowered. But I’m skeptical that people involved in cryptocurrency are better people than people involved in the banking system.
It’s is worth noting – and Forbes admits this – that they’ve almost certainly missed out on a bunch of people who are potentially hoarding coin without anyone knowing about it.
Anyway, here’s the top ten richest people in crypto and just how much moola they’ve apparently got stored in their hard drive vaults. The money values listed here are what they reportedly hold in crypto – it doesn’t count any other assets.
- Chris Larsen, cofounder of Ripple: $7.5 – $8 billion.
- Joseph Lubin, cofounder of Ethereum: $1 – $1.5 billion.
- Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance: $1.1 billion – $1.7 billion.
- Cameron & Tyler Winkelvoss, cofounders of Winkelvoss Capital: $900 million – $1.1 billion.
- Matthew Mellon, individual investor: $900 million – $1 billion.
- Brian Johnson, CEO of Coinbase: $900 million – $1 billion.
- Matthew Roszak, founder of Tally Capital: $900 million – $1 billion.
- Anthony Di Iorio, cofounder of Ethereum: $750 million – $1 billion.
- Brock Pierce, Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation: $700 million – $1 billion.
- Michael Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital: $700 million – $1 billion.
Definitely a bit of dosh between these blokes. With Bitcoin recently taking a bit of a tumble – and bringing down the world’s altcoins with it – it’s entirely possible that these numbers have changed even since Forbes published this list last night.
Read the full list HERE.Image: Forbes