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The Top 8 Highest Net-Worth People of Crypto

Daniel Urbánek
Daniel Urbánek
August 17, 2023
News, Education

Changpeng Zhao, Brian Armstrong, Chris Larsen, and others - Uncover the Top 8 of the most wealthy and influential figures of the crypto world and their success stories.

Almost every bull market in the crypto and blockchain industry creates a new generation of digital billionaires. Let's look closer at the list of the currently wealthiest and most influential figures in this space. We will examine their roles, contributions to the crypto ecosystem, and their stories of success. Is there a common pattern among these high-net-worth individuals? Their experiences can offer useful tips and strategies for anyone seeking to create value in this field.

TL;DR:

  • Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance holds the title of the wealthiest crypto person with a net worth of $10.2 billion, followed by Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase.
  • Usually, the wealthiest individuals in crypto tend to have a technological background. They either worked as developers or at least know the theory.
  • Only a small part of them has made their wealth by investing. Usually, there is some kind of business involved.
  • The common pattern to success involves recognizing a prominent field or trend very early on and creating a business in this field.

The List of Top 8 Wealthiest Individuals

8. - 7. Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, Co-founders of Gemini - Each $1.5 billion

Tyler, parallel to his brother, has played a vital role in shaping the crypto narrative. Gemini, under their joint leadership, has become one of the few exchanges to receive the New York State Department of Financial Services "BitLicense." Tyler's approach, emphasizing transparency and security, combined with their early Bitcoin investments, has been pivotal in amassing his wealth.

Cameron and his twin, Tyler, were early believers in the potential of Bitcoin. After their notorious lawsuit with Facebook, they invested heavily in Bitcoin. Their strategic foresight led to the birth of Gemini, a crypto exchange emphasizing regulatory compliance. Cameron's advocacy for crypto and the subsequent appreciation of their Bitcoin holdings and Gemini's success significantly contributed to his billion-dollar net worth.

6. Nikil Viswanathan, Co-founder of Alchemy - $1.8 billion

Viswanathan, alongside Lau, recognized that for crypto and blockchain to thrive, developers needed robust tools. Alchemy's platform, under their leadership, has been hailed as the "Microsoft for blockchain." By powering several DApps and DeFi platforms, Alchemy has positioned itself as a foundational player in the crypto ecosystem, accounting for a significant portion of Viswanathan's net worth.

Co-founders of Alchemy. Joe Lau (on the left) and Nikil Viawanathan (on the right).

5. Joe Lau, Co-founder of Alchemy - $1.8 billion

Joe Lau and his partner, Nikil Viswanathan, set out to simplify the complexities developers faced by developing Alchemy. Alchemy's platform provides tools and infrastructure that streamline decentralized app (DApp) creation. 

He previously co-founded a top-ranked social app and has been recognized in various media outlets like the New York Times and Forbes, even making the Forbes 30 under 30 list. Before Alchemy, Lau contributed his engineering skills at Pinterest, Google, and LinkedIn. He holds both an undergraduate and master's degree in computer science from Stanford University.

4. Jed McCaleb, Co-founder of Ripple and Stellar - $2.4 billion

Jed McCaleb has been a cornerstone in the digital technology landscape since the early 2000s. Founding MetaMachine Inc., he introduced the eDonkey2000 application, which gained significant traction in the peer-to-peer network domain. This success was followed by his venture into cryptocurrency with Mt. Gox, one of the earliest Bitcoin exchanges. Though he sold it in 2011, his innovations didn't stop. 

McCaleb co-conceived Ripple, introducing a unique digital currency protocol that departed from traditional mining approaches. By 2013, he shifted his focus and co-founded the Stellar Development Foundation with Joyce Kim, intending to streamline cross-border transactions. In 2021 McCaleb founded an aerospace startup Vast with the goal of developing artificial gravity space stations.

3. Chris Larsen, Co-founder of Ripple - $2.6 billion

Chris Larsen's journey in the world of financial tech predates Ripple. In the late '90s he co-founded E-LOAN, an online mortgage platform briefly valued at over $1 billion. Larsen is a big proponent of financial privacy and independence. With Ripple, he sought to overhaul the world of cross-border payments. 

The introduction of XRP as a fast, low-fee bridge currency became a game-changer. The partnerships Ripple formed with major financial institutions, combined with the value of XRP, became the primary sources of Larsen's wealth. At this time Larsen is a major shareholder and consultant in multiple tech and financial companies, while also acting as an angel investor.

2. Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase - $4.1 billion

Brian Armstrong started as a software developer and consultant working with corporations such as IBM and Deloitte. After he discovered the Bitcoin whitepaper written by Satoshi Nakamoto Brian became interested in the world of digital currencies. Particularly because of the ease of sending money across borders.

Armstrong's vision for Coinbase was crystal clear: to make cryptocurrency accessible to everyone. This mission-driven approach, combined with user-friendly design, made Coinbase the go-to platform for many entering the crypto space. It's public listing on the NASDAQ in 2021 not only solidified its place in the financial world but also significantly boosted Armstrong's net worth.

1. Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance - $10.2 billion

Beginning his journey in the tech and financial sectors, CZ found his passion in the budding crypto industry in the early 2010s. He helped develop high-frequency trading systems for Fusion Systems before joining the crypto world, contributing to Blockchain.info and serving as the head of development at OKCoin. 

But his real breakthrough was the creation of Binance in 2017. It became a monumental success due to its robust platform, a wide variety of cryptocurrency offerings, and initial coin offering (ICO) for Binance Coin (BNB). CZ's foresight and commitment to innovation positioned Binance as the leading crypto exchange, generating a significant portion of his wealth.

The Bottom Line

This article highlighted some of the leading figures in the crypto space, from the visionaries behind major exchanges to those innovating at the very core of blockchain technology. As we can see from the success stories of the wealthiest individuals in crypto the key to success is knowing the field and seeking what service lacks in the market.

But we should not forget that behind these success stories there lie decades of hard work often without adequate reward. Persistence and dedication are equally as important for success as specific skills and knowledge. Therefore don't let initial failures discourage you from pursuing your projects.

 

Disclaimer: The content of this piece reflects the writer's opinion. This article is not intended to provide financial advice and is meant solely for entertainment and educational purposes. Investing in cryptocurrency involves significant risk. Capital is at risk, and returns are not guaranteed. Always conduct your own research.

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