From millionaires to billionaires, one crypto coin at a time

Cryptocurrency has made millionaires out of debt-strapped millennials with access to high-powered computer terminals, and billionaires out of millionaires.

Take the Winklevoss twins, for example. They shot into the limelight when they sued Mark Zuckerberg alleging that he had stolen their idea for Facebook. The Harvard-educated twins used their business acumen to scope out lucrative deals and invest in them in the nascent stages before they go ballistic in value. In 2011, they invested $11 million in Bitcoin to snap up about one per cent of all bitcoin in circulation back then. With the surge in price over the last three months, that investment also made them the world’s first Bitcoin billionaires.

With dozens of people making mini fortunes on the cryptocurrency market, Forbes has set up a list that records the world’s richest cryptocurrency investors and tracks the value of their crypto assets in real time. It’s worth noting that according to Forbes, there are nearly 1,500 crypto-assets in existence collectively valued at $550 billion, which is a 31X increase from a year ago.

forbes crypto rich list

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The richest person on the Forbes crypto rich list is Chris Larsen, the co-founder of Ripple, who has an estimated crypto net worth of $7.5 – $8 billion. Others like Changpeng Zhao (CZ), currently ranked third on the list, who already had experience in building trading systems for Wall Street’s players, founded Binance in a tiny office space in Tokyo. Binance is a trading system for cryptocurrency that is capable of handling around 1.4 million transactions a second. On a single day in January, it is believed to have processed 3.5 billion new order, trades and cancellations. Binance generated $200 million in profits in Q4 2017. CZ’s stake in Binance and his own investments in cryptocurrency mean a speculated net worth of around $1.1-$2 billion. The 36-year-old Winklevoss twins are fourth on the list with an estimated worth of $900 million – $1.1 billion.

There are grey areas on this list. Most the crypto investors haven’t publicly declared their assets. Also, most of the speculated wealth of these crypto billionaires is a wild approximation. For example, the co-founder of Ethereum, Joseph Lubin, is second on the list with a net worth of between $1 -$5 billion – that’s a 400 per cent margin of error in estimating his actual crypto net worth.

Still, if you’re one who wants to get into the crypto game and don’t know how to do so, you can start here.