When we talk about the world’s richest people, we are used to the Musks, Zuckerbergs and Gates Ellisons of the world. However, this is a rather different list and it is a unique list of the top 50 richest people in Crypto. The list seems unchanged from the one released in late 2021. This compiled list comprises a wide array of players within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Developers, investors, and founders of trading exchanges, which oil the wheels of the crypto ecosystem. Only a couple of names listed in the rankings have discussed or disclosed their actual holding amounts of virtual currencies.
The rankings are also indicative of the relatively nascent nature of the industry and includes individuals who founded companies and coins, but are considered billionaires and multi-millionaires today based on market valuations, trading volumes, and holdings in cryptocurrencies.
…Notably, the founder and the chairman of DafriBank Digital LTD, Xolane Ndhlovu is the only African on this crypto rich list with a R6 Billion fortune…
1. Satoshi Nakamoto
The true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is unknown, but they’re credited as the person who first developed Bitcoin. The latest estimates predict that Nakamoto has 1 million Bitcoin, which in today’s money translates to about $60 billion, making him/her/them by far the richest in crypto.
2. Sam Bankman-Fried
Sam Bankman-Fried is the richest person we know in crypto, thanks to his FTX exchange and Alameda Research trading firm. Bankman-Fried launched FTX in 2019, built “by traders, for traders,” it’s one of the leading exchanges for buying and selling crypto derivatives. FTX raised $900 million from the likes of Coinbase Ventures and SoftBank in July 2021 at an $18 billion valuation, helping make Bankman-Fried one of the richest people under 30 in history. His personal net worth is estimated at $26.5 billion
3. Brian Armstrong
Brian Armstrong is the chief executive of Coinbase Global, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States. A former Airbnb software engineer, Armstrong cofounded Coinbase in San Francisco in 2012 with former currency trader Fred Ehrsam. Coinbase went public in a direct offering on Nasdaq on April 14, 2021, briefly reaching a market capitalization of $100 billion. Armstrong owns a stake of about 19% in Coinbase, and his estimated net worth is $14.7 billion.
4. Chris Larsen
Chris Larsen is the co-founder and chairman of crypto payment protocol Ripple and the cryptocurrency XRP. Ripple counts American Express and Santander among its 100-plus customers. Larsen stepped down as Ripple CEO in December 2016 but remains executive chairman. His estimated net worth is $6 billion.
5. Joseph Lubin
Joseph Lubin is one of the founders of Ethereum, he is also the power behind Consensys which is a blockchain software which helps developers, enterprises, and people all over the world in building next-generation applications, launch financial infrastructure, and access decentralized web. Lubin is a Canadian entrepreneur who founded EthSuisse which is based in Switzerland and which contributes to Ethereum. Through EthSuisse, Lubin has been working to extend the capabilities of the blockchain technology to store programs in addition to data, as well as facilitate, verify, or enforce the negotiation or performance of smart contracts. Lubin has also been involved in cross-industry groups to advance solutions relating to governance issues in the blockchain industry. As of 2021, he is estimated to have a personal fortune of $5 billion.
6. Changpeng Zhao
Changpeng Zhao is the founder of one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges by trading volume. Zhao was previously a member of the team that developed Blockchain.info and also served as chief technology officer of OKCoin. Binance now boasts over 6 million users, and the exchange launched its own token last year – Binance coin (BNB) – which runs on the Ethereum blockchain. In February 2018, Forbes Magazine placed him third on its list of “The Richest People In Cryptocurrency”. As of 2021, he is thought to have accumulated a personal fortune of over $5 billion.
7. Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss
Identical twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss cofounded cryptocurrency exchange Gemini in 2014; today it processes about $200 million a day in trades. Cameron is Gemini’s president; Tyler is CEO. The former Olympic rowers are best known for accusing Mark Zuckerberg of stealing their idea for a social network. They used some of their $65 million legal settlement with the Facebook CEO to start stockpiling Bitcoin. The twins still own an estimated 70,000 Bitcoins, in addition to other digital assets. Their personal net worth is estimated at $4.3 billion each.
8. Fred Ehrsam
Fred Ehrsam is an American business executive and investor who is the co-founder and managing partner of cryptocurrency investment firm Paradigm. He is also a co-founder of Coinbase along with Brian Armstrong, although does not hold an active role. His estimated net worth is $3.5 billion.
9. Micree Zhan
Micree Zhan co-founded Chinese crypto mining giant Bitmain Technologies with Jihan Wu in 2013. 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, specializing in selling ASIC-chip miners. Zhan remains its largest shareholder. His estimated person net worth is $3.2 billion.
10. Jed McCaleb
McCaleb was an early pioneer in the blockchain space who helped launch three well-known crypto firms. In 2010 he created Mt. Gox, the first major Bitcoin exchange, which he sold a year later before it was hacked. McCaleb co-founded Ripple in 2012, but soon left over reported disagreements with fellow founders. His next venture in 2014 was co-founding Stellar, a Ripple competitor that aims to speed up cross-border payments. Most of McCaleb’s wealth comes from the estimated 3.4 billion XRP he still holds, from the original 9 billion XRP he pocketed as a Ripple founder. His estimated net worth is $3 billion.
11. Brad Garlinghouse
Brad Garlinghouse is the CEO of blockchain financial technology company Ripple Labs, issuer of XRP. He owns a reported 6.3% stake in the company, as well as additional allocation package in XRP tokens. His personal net worth is estimated at $3 billion.
12. Michael Saylor
Michael Saylor is an American entrepreneur and the CEO of software firm MicroStrategy. n October 2020, he disclosed he personally bought 17,732 bitcoins for $175 million. Throughout 2020-2021 he steered Microstrategy’s corporate coffers into bitcoin, using company cash and borrowings to buy 70,784 bitcoins for $1.1 billion. His personal net worth is estimated at $2.9 billion.
13. Anthony Di Lorio
Anthony Di Lorio is an Ethereum co-founder. He met Vitalik Buterin at a Bitcoin meetup, which he himself organized in November 2012, and was one of the first people that Ethereum’s creator asked to be a co-founder. But Di Iorio didn’t appear to be as keen as some of the other co-founders on the non-profit path that Ethereum adopted, according to Russo. And he largely took a backseat after this was decided. Di Iorio made the Forbes list of the top-20 richest people in cryptocurrency in 2018, with an estimated net worth of $750 million–$1 billion. His personal net worth is estimated at $2.2 billion.
14. Tim Draper
Tim Draper is a founding partner of venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Draper has made hundreds of VC investments in companies including Tesla and Theranos, and has made a fortune investing in cryptocurrencies. In 2014, he bought $18.7 million worth of bitcoin that had been confiscated by U.S. Marshals from the shuttered Silk Road black market. Those coins are now worth $1.8 billion. In addition to his other holdings and assets, his estimated personal net worth is $2 billion.
15. Barry Silbert
Barry Silbert is the founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group (DCG), a conglomerate of five cryptocurrency-focused companies. DCG’s biggest revenue generator: digital asset manager Grayscale, which oversees $28 billion worth of Bitcoin, Ether and other assets. Through its numerous subsidiaries, DCG has also invested in more than 200 crypto startups. His personal net worth is estimated at $1.9 billion.
16. Jihan Wu
Jihan Wu is the co-founder and chairman of Chinese mining-chip giant Bitmain Technologies. Founded in 2013, Bitmain is China’s largest cryptocurrency mining-chip company. He owns roughly 20% of Bitmain, and his personal net worth is estimated at $1.8 billion.
17. Vitalik Buterin
Ethereum’s 31-year-old co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, has reclaimed the title of the world’s youngest crypto billionaire thanks to Ether’s latest gains. His personal net worth is estimated at $1.6 billion.
18. Matthew Roszak
The longtime crypto evangelist discovered Bitcoin in 2011, his early crypto investments have surged in value today. Roszak is now the chairman of Bloq, a blockchain infrastructure company, and an early-stage investor in crypto startups. His personal net worth is estimated at $1.5 billion.
19. Mingxing Xu
Mingxing Xu is a Chinese entrepreneur and investor, the founder and CEO of OKCoin, a secure cryptocurrency exchange which makes it easy buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and other cryptos. His personal net worth is estimated at $1.4 billion.
20. Michael Novogratz
Michael Novogratz is an ex-hedge fund manager, formerly of the investment firm Fortress Investment Group. He is the current CEO of Galaxy Investment Partners which focuses on cryptocurrency investments such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. His current net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion.
21. Li Lin
Li Lin is the founder and CEO of Huobi, of one of the world’s largest crypto exchange. Mr. Li received a graduate degree from Tsinghua University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Tongji. His personal net worth is estimated at $1.1 billion.
22. Brock Pierce
Brock Pierce is an American entrepreneur and former child actor who is known mainly for his work in the cryptocurrency space. In 2013, Pierce joined brothers Bart and Bradford Stephens in founding blockchain-focused venture capital firm Blockchain Capital. He has a personal net worth of estimated at $1 billion.
23. Matthew Mellon
Matthew Mellon was an heir to one of America’s banking fortunes, and died in 2018. He began investing in cryptocurrencies in early 2012 despite the warnings of friends and family. He was an early investor in XRP, the token launched by Ripple, which aims to create blockchain technology for big banks. He once stated that he owns a variety of other cryptocurrencies and is an active investor in the space. His personal net worth had been estimated at $1 billion.
24. Brendan Blumer
Brendan Blumer was an early investor in blockchain and transitioned to full-time involvement in the space in 2016 when he met business partner Dan Larimer and they co-founded Block.one, the tech company producing the EOS.IO distributed ledger software and the EOS cryptocurrency. EOS did the world’s largest ICO to date and operates out of Hong Kong where Blumer is based. His personal net worth is estimated at $750 million.
25. Valery Vavilov
Valery Vavilov is the founder and CEO of Bitfury a leading security and infrastructure provider for the Bitcoin blockchain. Growing up in Latvia in the 1980s, programming whiz Vavilov was scarred by the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991. “We just literally lost everything,” he says. “Money became paper. Patents become worthless.” That experience shaped his thinking–that decentralized framework needed to be designed so people could always retain their property. In 2011, Vavilov founded Bitfury, a startup that “mines” Bitcoin, or uses computers to solve complex mathematical problems that add a new block of transactions to the blockchain and earn Bitcoin. For four years he struggled to raise outside capital. “Very few investors believed in this technology,” he says. So, he used the Bitcoin he mined to fund the business, selling it as low as $30. Bitfury has generated about 800,000 Bitcoins since its start, says Vavilov. Based in Amsterdam, his 400-person company is the ultimate pick-and-shovel operation to the blockchain boom. His personal net worth is estimated at $750 million.
26. Dan Larimer
Dan Larimer is a co-founder of Block.one, the tech company producing the EOS.IO distributed ledger and EOS cryptocurrency. His personal net worth is estimated at $700 million.
27. Charles Hoskinson
Charles Hoskinson is the CEO and founder of IOHK, the company behind the Cardano blockchain. In 2018, Forbes placed Hoskinson at #14 on their crypto-rich list. Hoskinson stated during a recent Q&A session that he only holds crypto and cash—not stocks, equity, or gold. Charles Hoskinson’s net worth is estimated at $600 million.
28. Roger Ver
Roger Ver is one of the earliest investors in Bitcoin. Ver is also known as an avid supporter of Bitcoin-related start-up companies, including Ripple, Blockchain, Bitpay, and Kraken, and cryptocurrency investing. He is a controversial figure as he was convicted of felony charges for selling explosives on e-bay. Owing to his outspokenness, Roger Ver is known to use his influence on social media to talk about Bitcoin, which has given him the nickname the Bitcoin Jesus. However, in recent years, Bitcoin Jesus has been supporting Bitcoin Cash. According to some reports, Ver has more than 100,000 bitcoins in his wallet. As of 2021, Roger Ver is thought to be worth over $500 million.
29. Kenji Sasaki
Kenji Sasaki is the co-founder of Cardano, CEO of Next Chymia Consulting and the Corporate Officer of EmurgoHK. He is one of the pioneers of Blockchain technology in the Asian region. In 2016, Mr. Sasaki started the Cardano project, a proof of stake, smart contracts blockchain, and its native cryptocurrency ADA. His personal net worth is estimated at $500 million.
30. Dan Morehead
Dan Morehead is the founder of Pantera Capital, a pro-crypto hedge fund. Having first bought Bitcoin back in 2013, Pantera has become one of the top alternative hedge funds for cryptocurrency exposure. Dan Morehead regarded one of the top voices in the crypto community and has amassed a personal net worth estimated at $500 million.
31. Blythe Masters
Blythe Masters is a British former executive at JPMorgan Chase. She is the former CEO of Digital Asset Holdings, a financial technology firm developing distributed ledger technology for wholesale financial services, and one of Digital Asset Holdings’ main products is the so-called Digital Asset Modeling Language, designed to help experts create smart contracts. Masters is widely credited as the creator of the credit default swap as a financial instrument. She is also Chairman of the Governing Board of the Linux Foundation’s open-source Hyperledger Project, member of the International Advisory Board of Santander Group, and Advisory Board Member of the US Chamber of Digital Commerce. With her work, Masters has proved that the crypto industry is not reserved for men. There is data that shows that nearly half of investors interested in cryptocurrency is made up of women. As of 2021, Blythe Masters is thought to be worth at least $500 million.
32. Song Chi-Hyung
Song Chi-Hyung is the CEO of Upbeat a leading cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea. The platform, handled about $4.7 billion in daily transactions in one of the world’s most important markets for crypto at the end of last year. His personal net worth is estimated at $500 million.
33. Mihai Alisie
Mihai Alisie is an Ethereum co-founder. A graduate in Cybernetic Economics, pre-crypto he was making a living coaching and playing poker in his home country Romania, when he heard about Bitcoin. He got in touch with Vitalik Buterin in 2011, and they decided to set up Bitcoin Magazine, and then worked together on Egora, a decentralized eBay for Bitcoin. Alisie helped to establish Ethereum’s Swiss base, incorporating the initial startup, opening a bank account for the fledgling crypto company (not an easy process), and dealing with lawyers and Swiss officials on the legal framework critical for the pre-sale campaign. From his allocations and investments in the space his net worth is estimated at $500 million.
34. Jesse Powell
Jesse Powell is a prominent investor and entrepreneur in the cryptocurrency industry. He is most known for his role as the co-founder and CEO of the Kraken digital asset exchange. Powell is also an avid proponent of cryptocurrency and an opponent of governmental over-regulation of the crypto space. His personal net worth is estimated at $500 million.
35. Amir Chetrit
The Ethereum co-founder, a US-Israeli national, met Vitalik Buterin at a Bitcoin business conference in Amsterdam in September 2013. After abandoning his computer science degree and a short stint in real estate, he began to doubt the traditional finance system and got into Bitcoin. He met future co-founder Buterin, at the aforementioned conference. His net worth is estimated at $450 million.
36. Gavin Wood
Gavin Wood is an Ethereum co-founder, a British computer programmer Wood was introduced to Bitcoin—and, subsequently, Vitalik’s whitepaper—by Bitcoin evangelists Amir Taaki and Johnny Bitcoin. He got in touch with Buterin, and offered to write an implementation of Ethereum in the C++ programming language. He met the first five co-founders in Miami, just before the North American Bitcoin conference in January 2014, where Ethereum was due to be unveiled. After being the first to get an Ethereum testnet up and running, he demanded a place at the top table. The others agreed, but not without some pushback. In April 2014, he published the Ethereum Yellow Paper, a technical specification of Vitalik’s white paper, and later proposed Ethereum’s native programming language Solidity. Wood’s net worth is estimated at $450 million.
37. Alexandre Dreyfus
Founder and CEO of Chiliz the leading digital currency for sports and entertainment, operates the blockchain-based sports entertainment platform Socios, which enables users to participate in the governance of their favorite sports brands. Owner of multiple fan tokens by Socios.com are an example of that. For sports clubs and associations, fan tokens offer a way of connecting with their fans and unlocking new revenue streams. Alexandre Dreyfus net worth is estimated at $450 million.
38. Juan Benet
Juan Benet is an American computer scientist who founded Protocol Labs in 2014. The following year, he created the InterPlanetary File System, a peer-to-peer network protocol for storing and sharing data in a distributed file system. In August 2017, Benet launched the Filecoin project, raising over $200 million in just 30 minutes during an initial coin offering. Filecoin builds on IFPS and allows users to rent out their unused hard-drive space, logging all transactions on a blockchain. His personal net worth is estimate at $400 million.
39. Justin Sun
Justin Sun is a Chinese technology entrepreneur, founder of cryptocurrency platform TRON and the cryptocurrency TRX. He is an active investor non the crypto space with a personal net worth estimated at $300 million.
40. Xolane Ndhlovu
Xolane Ndhlovu is a South African billionaire and the chairman of the Board of DafriGroup PLC, a public company with subsidiaries in South Africa, UK, Nigeria, Botswana and Comoros Island. DafriGroup owns chief among household names such as DafriTechnologies, DafriBank Digital, First Standard Bank, OMAHA Hotels, DafriXchange Pro, DafriHoldings UK, UMEH, ePay, AfriGo Mall, and the Digital Bank of Africa (DBA) the first crypto currency in from Africa to achieve a $2.8B market capitalization. Ndhlovu began his career at UMEH, a venture capital firm he co-founded and grew to a $100m outfit before the 2020 merger with DafriGroup. He is dubbed the richest crypto investor in Africa, having been rumoured to be one of a handful Africans who picked up a bucket load of BNB back in 2017 and have secretly backed several unicorn fintech startups. His personal net worth is estimated at $300 million
41. Roberto Dagnoni
Roberto Dagnoni is the executive chairman and CEO of 2TM, the parent company of Mercado Bitcoin, Latin America’s first crypto unicorn after raising $200 million from Japan’s SoftBank. His personal net worth is estimated at $300 million.
42. Hayden Adams
Hayden Adam is the founder of Uniswap, the world’s leading decentralized crypto exchanges. . He came onto the crypto scene when he decided to learn how to code using the Solidity language that powers the Ethereum network. This was after he was laid off by tech giant Siemens, which was, according to him, “The best thing that ever happened to me.” His personal net worth is estimated at $250 million.
43. Anthony Pompliano
Anthony Pompliano is an American entrepreneur and venture capitalist, is one of the biggest figures in crypto. Also referred to as “Pomp” in the crypto community, he is famous for hosting The Pomp Podcast and publishing “The Pomp Letter,” a daily crypto-related newsletter, to over 45,000 investors. Pomp is also a co-founder and partner at Morgan Creek Digital, the crypto arm of major investment management firm Morgan Creek Capital. His personal net worth is estimated at $200 million.
44. Jeffrey Wilcke
Computer programmer, Jeffrey Wilcke was in the Netherlands working on Mastercoin, the first ICO, when he heard about Ethereum. He got so interested that he decided to write an implementation of it in Google’s Go language. He was added to the founders roster alongside Gavin Wood in early 2014. His net worth is estimated at $200 million.
45. Anatoly Yakovenko
Anatoly Yakovenko is the founder and CEO of Solana Labs. After a 17,000% rally in 2021, Solana, a high performance blockchain supporting builders around the world creating crypto to scale. His personal net worth is estimated at $200 million
46. Roham Gharegozlou
Roham Gharegozlou is founder and CEO of Dapper Labs, the team behind CryptoKitties, Cheese Wizards, NBA Top Shot, and the Flow blockchain, and more, and an early pioneer of the NFT movement. Formed in February 2018, Dapper Labs was spun out of Axiom Zen, a venture studio that Gharegozlou launched, to bring the benefits of decentralization to the first billion consumers through the power of play, fairness and true ownership. His personal net worth is estimated at $200 million
47. O.D. Kobo (Oded Kobo)
O.D. Kobo is a co-founder and former managing partner at PIR Equities, a UK based private equity firm who were one of the first institutional investors to invest in the space. PIR Equities invested $50 million in Bitcoin and Ether in August of 2018 when Bitcoin was at $6,938 and Ether at $283. Kobo is an avid supporter of blockchain initiatives and actively invests in various projects and digital currencies. His personal net worth is estimated at $200 million.
48. Kris Marszalek
Kris Marszalek founded cryptocurrency payments company Monaco in 2016 as a way to give everyday users better control over their finances and data. The company rebranded to Crypto.com in 2018 to better reflect its core mission to accelerate the global adoption of cryptocurrency, and it now offers crypto debit cards, centralized and decentralized exchange services, and more. His personal net worth is estimated at $150 million.
49. Peter Smith
Peter Smith is the co-founder and CEO of Blockchain.com. The company is one of the most popular online crypto wallets in the world, with millions of users around the globe. Smith’s involvement in crypto doesn’t stop there as he is in charge of Blockchain Principal Strategies, which serves as an institutional platform that exposes institutional investors to cryptocurrencies. His personal net worth is estimated at $100 million.
50. Gavin Andresen
Gavin Andresen is a software developer who was entrusted by Satoshi Nakamoto as the lead developer of Bitcoin. In 2012 he founded the Bitcoin Foundation, which supports the development of the Bitcoin currency. In 2014 he left his software development role and now serves as the chief scientist for the foundation. Before getting involved with Bitcoin, he developed 3D graphics and virtual reality software. His personal net worth is estimated at $100 million.