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There is an old adage that says: “the early bird catches the worm.” And that couldn’t be more precise when it comes to the cryptocurrency industry. Early adopters of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have multiplied their worth exponentially in a short period of time. Okay, maybe not the guy who spent 10,000 BTC on two Papa John’s pizzas.
Here is a list of the industry pioneers that made it big in the market, either by investing in Bitcoin when it was still worth cents or creating viable startups leveraging the power of cryptocurrencies.
There is no better place to start than the mysterious inventor of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. Nakamoto has, against all odds, managed to keep his identity a mystery. Some say that it could be an organization because the concept of bitcoin and its underlying technology blockchain are too complex to be created by a single person. A number of people have come forward claiming to be Satoshi, but they have failed to provide concrete evidence to substantiate their claims.
While the spotlight is on uncovering the true identity of Nakamoto, what is known so far from the public ledger is that the creator of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency has a stash of 980,000 BTC.
Nakamoto is worth around $9 billion at the time of writing and this figure rose to $19 billion when bitcoin reached its all-time high of more than $19,000 in December 2017.
It is quite impossible to talk about crypto without talking about the twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. Affectionately known as the Winklevii, the twins are famous for suing Mark Zuckerberg for allegedly stealing their idea for a social network. Ouch…
The twins, who previously rowed in Olympic Games, secured $65 million from the lawsuit and they used that money to fund some of their venture projects, including a sizable early investment in Bitcoin.
At one point, the twins claimed to own nearly 1 percent of all Bitcoins in the world. Nowadays, the twins run Gemini — one of the world’s top cryptocurrency exchanges, and they even have launched their own stablecoin, Gemini Dollar.
They were the subject of a book titled “Bitcoin Billionaires” written by Ben Mezrich, the same author who wrote the book “The Accidental Billionaires” chronicling the birth of Facebook.
Chris Larsen made his fortune in the crypto sphere by helping create a cryptocurrency that can be used by banks to run transactions at a fraction of traditional costs and times. And yes, you know what digital currency we are referring to: XRP. He is co-founder and executive chairman of Ripple, the company behind XRP — now on the Crypterium Wallet.
Changpeng Zhao, better known in the crypto community by the moniker CZ, is the founder and CEO of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance. Since its founding in 2017, the exchange has grown into an ecosystem and launched its own token (BNB). Apart from its centralized cryptocurrency exchange, Binance has also launched a decentralized exchange — Binance DEX.
It is believed that CZ’s crypto fortune amounted to more than $2 billion at one point. It was reported in October 2019 that Binance’s cumulative profit surpassed the $1 billion mark.
If there is any truth to the claim that the people who made money during the Gold Rush were those who made the picks and shovels, then the same can be said about crypto.
Armstrong is the co-founder of Coinbase, one of the largest and most secure cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. The exchange was launched in 2012, in the early days of Bitcoin, when it was still a novel idea largely supported by geeks and a few traders. Coinbase has grown in leaps and bounds over the years and now offers custodial services as well as trading platforms for both retail and institutional investors.
It is estimated that Armstrong’s cryptocurrency holdings are worth between $900 million and $1 billion. He is one of the first people in the crypto sector to join the Bill Gates’ Giving Pledge, where the richest people pledge to give away their wealth when they are still alive.
Joseph Lubin is a Canadian cryptocurrency executive known for being one of the co-founders of the world’s second most valuable blockchain protocol — Ethereum. He is also the leading force behind ConsenSys, a software company that helps startups to develop decentralized applications (Dapps) that run on the Ethereum network.
Just like other early pioneers of the industry, he was inspired by Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper and has since believed that a shared infrastructure could play a huge role in “organizing the principles of the earth.”
His cryptocurrency net worth is said to be valued between $1 billion and $5 billion.
Anthony Diiorio is of another co-founder of Ethereum and a true champion and advocate of the cryptocurrency movement. His strategy is based on seeding in new cryptocurrency startups in their early days, cashing out, and reinvesting the money in new crypto projects.
He has invested in projects such as Zcash, Qtum, and Vechain and his crypto net worth is estimated at about $1 billion
Roger Ver is some kind of a superstar in the crypto industry. His controversial and polarizing figure in the sector has earned him the nickname “Bitcoin Jesus.”
Ver was jailed for 10 months in connection with selling explosives through eBay. He renounced his US citizenship and has previously been denied entry into the country.
He claims to have discovered Bitcoin in 2011 and has invested in a number of startups in the crypto industry including Kraken Exchange, Ripple, and BitInstant.
He is one of the founders of the Bitcoin Foundation, but his focus has recently shifted towards Bitcoin Cash, a cryptocurrency forked from Bitcoin. Ver’s official cryptocurrency holdings are not disclosed, but the community estimates he has amassed over $500 million.
, a cryptocurrency forked from Bitcoin. Ver’s official cryptocurrency holdings are not disclosed, but the community estimates he has amassed over $500 million.
Barry Silbert entered the crypto sector when he bought 48,000 bitcoins seized from the convicted Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht at a 2014 US Government auction. At the time, he paid $17 million for the BTC package. Now that’s close to $400 million. Yeap. We had the exact same face when reading about it.
He is also the founder of the digital currency venture firm Digital Currency Group.
Tim Draper, one of the most influential people in the crypto industry, has an estimated net worth of $1 billion. But Draper is a venture capitalist and his worth isn’t just depending on Bitcoin or crypto startups.
He became a Bitcoin maximalist back in 2014, when he purchased 30,000 bitcoins seized from the darknet marketplace Silk Road. Yes, the same auction mentioned above. His purchase of worth $29 million at the time is now valued at nearly $273 million.