Forbes published this week the first list of billionaires in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, NEO...). The leading American economic magazine identified about ten of them.
At the top of this ranking :
Chris Larsen, one of Ripple's co-founders, the third most important cryptocurrency in terms of capitalization, behind Bitcoin and Ethereum. Its wealth was estimated at about 8 billion dollars, after having reached in January nearly 60 billion dollars when the Ripple price was at its highest. He had been competing for a few days with Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook.
Canadian entrepreneur Joseph Lubin, who heads a fortune estimated by Forbes at between $1 billion and $5 billion. After working at Goldman Sachs in the 1990s, he questioned everything after the 9/11 attacks, questioning the functioning of traditional businesses, which he considered too centralized. In 2008, after the collapse of the financial markets, he discovered the Bitcoin, then Ethereum, a project led by a young mathematical genius, Vitalik Buterin. He sees the project as a means of building a new decentralized economy, and decides to invest with his company ConsenSys. Since then, Ethereum cryptocurrency has grown from $70 to nearly $800, becoming Bitcoin's main competitor. And according to many analysts, Ethereum could become the first cryptocurrency in terms of valuation before the end of 2018.
The Chinese Changpeng Zao, 41 years old, comes in third place.
He made the "front page" of the Forbes edition on the "crypto-billionaires", built his fortune (1.1 to 2 billion dollars) in just seven months. Zao founded Binance which became the world's first crypto trading platform.
Trained as a computer engineer, he started working in Tokyo stock exchange and Bloomberg, developing trading software. In 2013, he heard about the Bitcoin, and decided to sell his house in 2014 to invest in cryptocurrencies.
He then thinks about founding his own trading platform, disconnected from the financial markets since it does not use national currencies. You can exchange cryptocurrencies, including the one linked to the platform, the Binance coin.
The famous 36-year-old twin brothers Winklevoss, famous for their appearance as characters in the movie The Social Network on Facebook's genesis, believed in the Bitcoin at an early age, investing $11 million in 2013. They have just received $65 million in compensation from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, after claiming to be the social network's co-inventors. Two years later, they founded Gemini, a Bitcoin exchange. Their fortune derived from cryptocurrencies is now estimated at between $900 million and $1.1 billion.
Matthew Mellon, 54, built much of his fortune by investing in cryptocurrencies a few years ago, including investing nearly $2 million in Ripple. This despite the warnings of his family. Its wealth is estimated at between $900 million and $1 billion.
Sixth-place is American Brian Armstrong. At 35 he is at the head of a fortune estimated at 900 million to 1 billion dollars. When he wasn't even 30 years old, he founded Coinbase in 2012, which has become the most popular crypto trading platform in the United States. In December, the Coinbase application became the most downloaded on iOS in all categories, ahead of Google and Facebook. Considered as the gateway to the cryptocurrencies market for beginners due to its ease of use, Coinbase has experienced unprecedented growth in 2017. When the Bitcoin passed the $10,000 mark in December, the influx of new users caused the servers to crash, and thousands of people had to be hired in a few days to provide telephone support.
Co-founder of BloQ, which delivers solutions in Blockchain to companies, Matthew Roszak, 45, is a pioneer of Bitcoin, investing in it from 2011. He was then an entrepreneur, specialized in new technologies. In 2013, he becomes a partner in the first investment fund specialised in blockchain and cryptocurrencies, Tally Capital. Since then, he has invested, among other things, in the Coinbase and Kraken trading platforms. Matthew Roszak has convinced Richard Branson and Bill Clinton to buy their first Bitcoin. Its wealth is estimated at between $900 million and $1 billion.
Anthony Di Iorio, 43, became interested in the economy and Bitcoin in 2008, following the global financial crisis. Convinced as soon as he heard about it, he founded in 2012 a group bringing together cryptocurrencies fans. It was in this context that he met the young computer scientist Vitalik Buterin, inventor of the blockchain Ethereum.
Seduced by the project, he invested part of his fortune in it, contributing to its current success. Since then, he has invested in other projects such as VeChain, ZCash and Qtum. Now when I go into a bank, they say to me " my God, you started Ethereum", whereas before I was told "we can't give you a bank account. Now it's the bankers who come to see me". Its wealth is estimated at between $750 million and $1 billion.
At only 37 years old, Brock Pierce was a star child, appearing in TV roles. He became interested in new technologies at an early age, founding a precursor of YouTube, the Digital Entertainment Network, at the age of 17. He then founded a company specializing in video games, paying employees to play games like World of Warcraft to win items or improve characters, before selling them back to the players. He began to invest in crypto world very early on, in companies such as Coinbase, Ethereum, Tether and Bitfury. He now lives in Puerto Rico, where he has invested in the development of an autonomous and utopian community based on cryptocurrencies.
Already a billionaire in 2007, Michael Novogratz, 53, had disappeared from the radar after the global financial crisis. From 2013, he began to speculate on cryptocurrencies. This allowed him to become a billionaire again, with an estimated $700 million to $1 billion in cryptocurrency wealth. He now manages Galaxy Digital, a bank specializing in cryptocurrencies.