Since its sudden launch in 2009, Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies that followed it have made countless millionaires and billionaires. Back then, few people could have predicted its meteoric rise in value, and now cryptocurrencies have a market capitalization equal to around $200 billion dollars. Crypto has created an eclectic mix of millionaires and billionaires, and here is our list of some of the richest.
As one of the youngest ever Managing Directors of J.P. Morgan Chase, Blythe Masters made a lot of people sit up and take notice when she made the switch to cryptocurrencies and formed her own company, Digital Asset Holdings (DAH). Many people credit her with legitimizing and ‘mainstreaming’ cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, when she started the company and became its CEO.
Her company’s goal is to apply the blockchain technology to the day-to-day activities of Wall Street. DAH has already developed processing tools that help speed up transaction settlements and make financial data processing more secure by using encryption and the blockchain. This led to some very lucrative deals with both Google and former employers J.P. Morgan Chase, which added to the impressive fortune she made by investing in Bitcoin early.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss
The Winklevoss twins are well known from their dealings with Mark Zuckerberg during the creation of Facebook, the lawsuit that followed, and their portrayal in the movie The Social Network.
When their lawsuit with Facebook and Zuckerberg was finally settled, they both invested a large portion of their money in Bitcoin, seeing its potential value. They soon became the first Bitcoin Billionaires after a price surge in 2017, and now claim to own 1% of all bitcoins in circulation. They too have started up companies that seek to make cryptocurrency more mainstream, and created the world’s first crypto-exchange service, Gemini. There are many cryptocurrency exchanges, however, and here you can read a review of best available, Shakepay. The twins are also attempting to make Bitcoin viable for retail investors with an exchange-traded fund called Bitcoin ETF, but have been denied licensing twice so far by US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Known to many as ‘The King of Bitcoin’, Barry Silbert is the CEO and founder of Digital Currency Group. His company’s sole mission is to accelerate the development of the global financial system through cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, namely Bitcoin. Digital Currency Group has made large financial investments in more than a hundred bitcoin-related businesses and is the world’s number investor in bitcoin businesses. His company also purchased CoinDesk, the world’s foremost Bitcoin news service which also operates the annual Bitcoin Conference.
This former Goldman Sachs trader has become one of the most important figures in cryptocurrency. In 2013 his investment firm, Pantera, launched its first Bitcoin-based investment firm and it has since gone on to give its backers a 24,000% return on their investment. Pantera is now the largest single institutional investor in cryptocurrencies. The firm has made some big investments in crypto and blockchain-related businesses, including Bitstamp and Polychain Capital and coin trading service Augur.
The people on our list benefited from investing in cryptocurrency early and taking a big risk on this new and volatile currency. The risk paid off, however, and many became millionaires overnight when Bitcoin reached its peak price of around $20,000 per coin in late 2017 and early 2018.