Only four entrepreneurs who made their fortunes in crypto were included in the list of 2,095 billionaires revealed by Forbes this year. The richest man in crypto is Bitmain co-founder Micree Zhan, who appears at No. 690 on the list with a net worth of $3.3 billion.
In the times of pandemic like these, some good news is always more than welcome. We already talked about how, in volatile times, people tend to turn themselves to less traditional assets. Crypto became one of these and the proof we can find in the latest data from Forbes’ 2020 global billionaires list. Four crypto entrepreneurs, with a combined net worth of $8.7 billion, have made it to list.
On Forbes’ newly-released billionaire list, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos holds first place with a $113 billion net worth. After him, there are Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, LVMH owner Bernard Arnault, and American investor Warren Buffett.
Four members of the cryptocurrency industry are now also in the eminent company. Bitmain co-founders Micree Zhan with the wealth worth $3.3 billion and Jihan Wu with $1.8 billion, Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen with $2.6 billion, and Coinbase chief executive Brian Armstrong with $1 billion worth of assets.
Micree Zhan – $3.3 Billion
Micree Zhan cofounded Chinese crypto mining giant Bitmain Technologies with Jihan Wu back in 2013. However, after a longstanding power struggle with Wu and other Bitmain executives, Zhan was ousted from the firm in October 2019. Bitmain is China’s largest digital currency mining company that has specialized in selling ASIC-chip miners. Zhan is still its largest shareholder. Back in October 2019, Bitmain reportedly filed for a U.S. IPO, more than a year after a failed attempt to go public on Hong Kong’s stock exchange.
Jihan Wu – $1.8 Billion
Another co-founder Jihan Wu still sits as a chairman of Bitmain Technologies. He also co-founded a crypto-financial services startup called Matrixport in February 2019. According to the latest information, Wu holds around 20% of Bitmain, which is less than Zhan’s 36% stake.
Chris Larsen – $2.6 Billion
Chris Larsen cofounded Ripple in 2012 to facilitate international payments for banks using blockchain technology. From then, Ripple took American Express and Santander among its 100-plus customers. Meanwhile, Larsen stepped down as Ripple CEO in December 2016 but remained its executive chairman.
Prior to Ripple, he co-founded online mortgage lender e-Loan in 1996 and Prosper, a peer-to-peer lender, in 2005.
Brian Armstrong – $1 Billion
Brian Armstrong is the chief executive of Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S. He co-founded Coinbase, which is based in San Francisco, back in 2012. Coinbase raised $300 million in October 2018 in a financing round led by Tiger Global that valued the company at $8 billion.
Other Crypto Activists Who Could Be on the Forbes List
It is interesting though, that ConsenSys founder Joseph Lubin and Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao did not show up on the list even though both appeared on Forbes’ “richest people in cryptocurrency” list published in 2018.
According to Forbes’ previous estimates, Lubin holds a crypto-centric net worth of $1-5 billion and Zhao has around $1.1-2 billion. However, the two are absent from the 2020 billionaire list. Joseph Lubin is an entrepreneur, co-founder of Ethereum and the Ethereum Foundation and founder of ConsenSys, a decentralized applications development company. Joseph Lubin’s involvement in cryptocurrency started in 2014 when Joseph Lubin co-founded Ethereum. In 2015, Joseph Lubin founded ConsenSys. His net worth is non-disclosed for now.
On the other hand, Changpeng Zhao, who goes by CZ, is the founder and CEO of Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange that became the largest on the planet in just under 180 days. Due to the crypto bear market, Binance’s quarterly profits fell from $150 million in early 2018 to about $50 million at year’s end.