TL; DR Breakdown
- Seven crypto billionaires among 400 richest Americans
- Six new names joined Ripple’s Chris Larsen on the list
Forbes releases its 2021 list of wealthiest Americans, revealing seven billionaires who have made their fortune through cryptocurrency. Six of the names are new to the list, while Chris Larsen made a second appearance after doubling his net worth last year.
The seven billionaires are collectively estimated to be worth about $55.1 billion. The wealthiest among these is the Chief Executive Officer of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, whose net worth is almost half of this aggregate at $22.5 billion. Sam’s fortune is attributed to the crypto derivatives exchange’s success, which recently moved its headquarters from Hong Kong to the Bahamas.
Cryptocurrency billionaires make history
The appearance of the seven crypto tycoons in the Forbes list is a first. Until last year, only one billionaire within the crypto sphere, Chris Larsen, made it to the list with a $2.7 billion net worth. This wealth is today estimated at $6 billion, securing his spot on this year’s list.
Besides Sam Bankman-Fried, new contenders in the game include Tyler and Cameron Winkeslov, whose wealth is estimated at $4.3 billion each. Fred Ehsram and Brian Armstrong, Coinbase’s founders, also appear on the list with values of $3.5 billion and $11.5 billion, respectively.
The last name on the elite list is Jed McCaleb, another of Ripple’s co-founders. His wealth stands at $3 billion.
Wealth surge attributed to mainstream adoption
The recent months have been monumental for cryptocurrency and blockchain use at a global level. Institutional investors across the globe are at the forefront of crypto use adoption. The king coin, Bitcoin, and other digital currencies have made strides in the crypto space and set new records.
If the buzz in the digital currency scene is anything to go by, this may be the beginning. More projects are mushrooming in the blockchain scene, setting the stage for cryptopreneurs to delve in. Innovations such as DeFi, GameFi, and NFTs, are slowly changing the narrative by creating channels for crypto and blockchain use in everyday life.
That said, it’s worth mentioning that the cryptocurrency scene is highly volatile, and there’s no telling where the crypto tides will sway next. Even as more enthusiasts and critics join the bandwagon, most of the global population remains skeptical about digital currencies amid regulatory speculations. However, there’s no denying that the cryptocurrency economy is making investors wealthy.
Eye-popping returns are making it difficult for even hardened cryptocurrency sceptics not to consider putting money into bitcoin and many long-term doubters are crumbling. Read on the latest explosion in the crypto space. Or watch out for the next cryptocurrency to explode. A word of caution though: despite cryptocurrencies turning out to be the digital equivalent of gold, in the long run, today they are providing fraudsters with a rich hunting ground.