2017 was a marvelous year in many ways and we have seen cryptocurrencies rise to unprecedented levels both in price and popularity. Although ground work has been on going for several years but last year digital currencies, and ICOs have become hot topic of discussions among everyone. Such is the popularity of cryptocurrencies these days that Bitcoin has become a household buzzword and suddenly centuries old banking and securities system felt genuine existential threat, at least from the way bankers reacted.
There were multiple attempts in the past to create digital currencies which failed miserably but provided important lessons and learning for Bitcoin. It was only in year 2009, when Bitcoin came into real existence, that digital currencies started appearing in news and people started taking real interest. Gradually, Bitcoin became the new gold for investors and became a global phenomenon. Bitcoin success was so huge and so fast, in just a few years it galvanized the whole blockchain industry with hundreds of cryptocurrencies trading on multiple exchanges. Right now there are 897 active currencies with a total market capitalization of over $571 million. Just a few weeks back $1 trillion marketcap was looking like a trivial thing.
Almost all digital currencies have provided multifold returns but five cryptocurrencies, in particular; Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash have made their founders extremely rich in a very short span of time. Bloqtimes has tried to compile a list of the most richest crypto personalities but since cryptocurrencies transactions are anonymous it is quite difficult to determine the exact figures. Below we enlist the names of these very fortunate personalities and their fortunes:
Chris Larsen (CO-FOUNDER, RIPPLE)
Chris Larsen is co-founder and former CEO of the cryptocurrency company Ripple. In total there are 100 billion XRP tokens and this fortunate co-founder possesses approximately 5.19 billion of them. In addition, he also holds 17% share in Ripple company. Ripple company holds a whopping 61 billion tokens that means he is owner of another 10.37 billion tokens. In totality he has around 15.56 billion XRPs. At today’s exchange rate of $1.2 per XRP, Chris Larsen total worth is approximately $18.67 Billion.
In Jan, 2018 Ripple price reached an all time high of $3.84. With a total marketcap of $120 billion, it replaced Ethereum from Rank #2 on marketcap charts. During the same time, although for a short time Chris Larsen became the 5th wealthiest person in the world replacing Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook Founder).
Token Value: $1.2
Total Tokens: 15.56 Billion
Total Crypto Worth: $18.67 Billion
Occupation: Angel investor
Satoshi Nakamoto (FOUNDER, BITCOIN)
In simple terms Bitcoin is the brainchild of Satoshi Nakamoto, pseudonym for an individual person or a group of people. After inventing Bitcoin with a 2008 white paper describing Bitcoin digital currency, Nakamoto retreated from public life and became an anonymous shadow. At one time this unknown shadow might have mined over 1 million Bitcoins, during the first year when the original Bitcoin code was released. That represents meager 5.8% of all Bitcoins currently in existence but at current Bitcoin price, his total worth is around $12 billion. At one time when Bitcoin price peaked to $20,000 Satoshi Nakamoto was the 44th richest person in the world.
Later on Bitcoin was forked into Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Gold (BTG) which gives Satoshi Nakamoto another 1 million BCH and 1 millio BTG. With forking Nakamoto’s reserves added a whopping $1.6 billion to the total reserves.
Nationality: Unknown (Assumed to be Japanese)
Token Value: $12,000
Total Tokens: 1 Million
Total Crypto Worth: $12 Billion ($13.6 Billion if we add Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold)
Jed McCaleb (CO-FOUNDER, RIPPLE)
Jed McCaleb is the third cofounder of Ripple. He originally held 7.3 billion XRP, of which he donated some for charity. At present he is still in possession of almost 5.3 billion XRP. Although he owns 5.3 billion XRP but due to agreement with Ripple he cannot sell more than 1% of average daily volume on any single exchange. In January, 2018 McCaleb’s XRP ownership made him world’s 40th richest person with a total worth of $20 billion. In 2013, Jed McCaleb parted from Ripple and founded Stellar which is currently the strongest competitor to Ripple. On top of that he also founded world’s biggest Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox (now defunct) which he later sold to Mark Karpeles for a killing.
Token Value: $1.2
Total Tokens: 5.3 Billion
Total Worth: $6.36 Billion (excluding Stellar and Mt. Gox riches)
Occupation: CTO, Stellar.org
Brad Garlinghouse (CEO, RIPPLE)
According to trusted sources current Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse owns a 6.3% stake in Ripple and might own additional XRP tokens. Ripple company possess 61 Billion XRP tokens, so Brad has around 3.84 billion tokens. With a current price of $1.2 his net worth is at least $4.6 billion.
Token Value: $1.2
Total Tokens: 3.84 Billion
Total Crypto Worth: $4.6 Billion
Occupation: CEO (Ripple) and Angel Investor
The Winklevoss Twins (CO-FOUNDED CONNECTU, GEMINI EXCHANGE)
Tyler Winklevoss and Cameron Winklevoss brothers are well known for co-founding HarvardConnection which was later renamed ConnectU. Winklevoss Twins came to limelight when they received $65 million after they sued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for stealing their social networking idea. In April 2013, the two brothers invested $11 million in Bitcoin priced at around $120 a coin with 92000 Bitcoins in their wallets. Later they claimed to have accumulated around 1% of all the Bitcoins in existence. Their net worth is easily above $1 billion making them Bitcoin billionaires. In 2015, both brothers also founded Gemini, a digital currency exchange where you can buy Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Token Value: $11000
Total Tokens: 92000
Total Worth: $1.01 Billion
Occupation: Venture Capitalist
Vitalik Buterin (CO-FOUNDER, ETHEREUM)
Vitalik Buterin, just 23, is a Russian-Canadian programmer and writer primarily known for co-founding Ethereum. Ethereum is an open-source, blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring smart contracts functionality that facilitates the creation of new cryptocurrencies. Back in 2016, Buterin had roughly around 630,000 ethers. He has already spent 25% of Ether from his personal wallet. At the moment, Buterin has approximately 472,000 ETH worth $460 million making him the youngest crypto millionaire. Buterin, a born genius is just 23 and currently on the advisory board of OmiseGo, Kyber Newtwork and WeTrust companies.
Token Value: $975
Total Tokens: 472,500
Total Crypto Worth: $460 Million
Barry Silbert (FOUNDER & CEO, DIGITAL CURRENCY GROUP)
Barry Silbert is Founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group, a company helping to build the foundation of the digital currency and blockchain technology industry by launching, incubating, and investing in groundbreaking companies that will transform the global financial services ecosystem and usher in the “internet of value”. Silbert, a venture capitalist was an early proponent of Bitcoin as he fully understood the potential of blockchain technology. In 2014, he reportedly purchased 48,000 Bitcoins in an auction held by the U.S. Marshals Service. This govt. auction consist of all the Bitcoins seized from Silk Road darkweb market raid. By current $12,000 value of Bitcoin his crypto worth is easily around $576 million. He is also known to have invested in Coinbase and Ripple.
Token Value: 12,000
Total Tokens: 48000
Total Worth: $576 Million
Occupation: CEO, Digital Currency Group
Timothy Cook Draper (FOUNDER, DFJ)
Timothy Draper is a venture capitalist and his love for Bitcoin made him jump into purchase of nearly 30,000 Bitcoins in a 2014 government auction of Bitcoins, seized from Silk Road raid. The total Bitcoin investment at the time was estimated to be worth $19 million. Since, Bitcoin price has skyrocketed after that his total crypto worth will comfortably land around $360 million.
Token Value: $12,000
Total Tokens: 30,000
Total Worth: $360 Million
Occupation: Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ)
Tony Gallippi (CO-FOUNDER, BITPAY)
Gallippi is the cofounder and chairman of Bitpay, the largest Bitcoin checkout processor in the world, and is said to be among the largest holders of the currency. While he has refrained to disclose the exact value of his Bitcoin investments, analysts have put it around $20 million.
Token Value: $12,000
Total Tokens: Not Available
Total Worth: $20 million
Occupation: Chairman, BitPay
Ofcourse, the above list is not an exhaustive one and it is possible there are many more rich people as cryptocurrencies world is so anonymous. Experts believe there are at least dozen of Bitcoin Billionaires and 100s of Bitcoin millionaires.
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