The cryptocurrency industry is huge and worth billions worldwide. Currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Monero have a high value, and there are tens of thousands of the digital currencies in circulation. During the infancy of this industry, a lot of people stuck it out and got incredibly rich as a result.
Think about it – if someone originally bought 20 Bitcoin when it was worth $1 for a total investment of $20, today that would be worth approximately $434,000! Where else can you find a potential ROI like that? Aside from the incredible inflation of prices, many people made their fortunes by developing blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
In this article, we look at the top five wealthiest people who gained their net worth directly as a result of cryptocurrency.
1. Satoshi Nakamoto
Bitcoin was created by an elusive person or group that is known only by the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto. This legendary character is essentially the father of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. However, no one knows their true identity – like a superhero! Imagine being the creator of something like Bitcoin and remaining in the shadows.
It is estimated that Satoshi Nakamoto has approximately one million Bitcoin. At today’s current cryptocurrency prices (1 BTC = $21,700) that is a net worth of $21.7bn. This easily puts Nakamoto at the top of our list as no other single person comes close to holding that much crypto.
2. Sam Bankman-Fried
Aside from the creators of cryptocurrencies, people who have developed cryptocurrency exchanges have also made huge profits. Exchanges work in a similar manner to forex, stocks and shares. They are online platforms that people can register with to buy, sell and trade cryptocurrencies.
Sam Bankman-Fried was the creator of one such platform – FTX. This is one of the most successful exchanges for advanced trading and it has an estimated value of over $18bn. This makes Bankman-Fried one of the richest people ever under 30. Currently, he has an approximate net worth of over $26bn USD.
3. Brian Armstrong
Coinbase is another huge exchange, and it provides an extensive cryptocurrency list that you can buy and sell. This includes all popular currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero and Dogecoin. It has a user-friendly interface and offers a mobile app and separate secure crypto wallet.
Brian Armstrong is one of the chief executives of Coinbase and co-founded the platform in 2012. In 2021, Coinbase had a direct offering on Nasdaq and went public. This initially resulted in a market cap of $100bn. Armstrong currently has an approximate 19% stake in Coinbase and a net worth of over $14bn.
4. Chris Larsen
Ripple (XRP) is another hugely successful cryptocurrency that has been in the midst of many changes, controversies and trials during its existence. It continues to be a staple of the industry and has one of the largest circulations of coins currently available. Ripple has managed to work with a range of high-profile companies to lend it legitimacy, including Santander and American Express. In terms of cryptocurrency prices, it hovers around the $0.35 mark.
Chris Larsen is the co-founder of Ripple and the current chairman. He was originally the CEO too but stepped down in 2016 and serves in an executive role. Currently, he has an estimate net worth of $6bn.
5. Joseph Lubin
Unlike people gaining net wealth from activities such as poker tournaments, crypto is more volatile and holders of currencies such as Ethereum can see their net worth fluctuate hugely depending on current price trends.
Joseph Lubin knows this only too well as one of the founders of Ethereum. Ethereum is hugely popular and second only to Bitcoin in terms of its value and market cap. The Ethereum blockchain is widely used in the NFT industry. Lubin continues to develop the Ethereum blockchain and remains important in its future development. He has an estimated personal fortune of $5bn.
These are just the top five commonly recognized wealthiest people in the cryptocurrency industry, however there are many more people who have made their fortunes in crypto. The cryptocurrency world has the ability to transform people’s lives and make millionaires overnight. Perhaps you could follow in the footsteps of these trailblazers and invest in crypto today or develop the next Bitcoin?