Who Are The Top Bitcoin Millionaires?

Bitcoin is a digital asset and fee system with a market capitalization of round $452.1 billion as of Feb 4, 2023. It’s thought-about by many to be one of the vital profitable digital currencies ever created. The primary-ever bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) was launched in October 2021, pushing the cryptocurrency to new all-time highs.

Bitcoin’s stratospheric rise since 2009 has created a stunning and numerous set of millionaires (and billionaires). However who owns essentially the most bitcoin? It’s powerful to say for certain who owns essentially the most bitcoin, as pockets addresses are nameless in that they don’t seem to be related to the account proprietor’s title. The one option to inform is that if the proprietor has publicized their holdings.

Many bitcoin holders have made their wealth by creating merchandise to develop Bitcoin’s still-nascent ecosystem. For instance, some have created exchanges for buying and selling cryptocurrency and the derivatives which have emerged from it.

In fact, Bitcoin was—and nonetheless is—a dangerous asset class. The absence of regulatory guardrails and the cryptocurrency’s worth volatility have attracted criminals and buyers alike. However these drawbacks solely serve to spotlight the achievements of Bitcoin millionaires as a result of they not solely had been early adopters but additionally predicted its financial alternative.


Key Takeaways

  • Launched in 2009, Bitcoin is the primary and stays essentially the most profitable blockchain-based cryptocurrency on the planet.
  • The value of Bitcoin is risky, starting from beneath $10 in 2010 to $65,000 in November 2021 and again right down to lower than $16,000 in November 2022.
  • Most prime Bitcoin billionaires turned wealthy by creating services and products to develop the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
  • This general worth enhance has additionally created tens of millions for those that purchased and held their bitcoins. These early adopters hoped for a profitable alternative, began accumulating or mining within the early days, and held on.

Changpeng Zhao (CZ)

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Changpeng Zhao is the founding father of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency change by buying and selling quantity. Based on Forbes, Zhao’s web value was $4.5 billion in February 2023.

Zhao, who immigrated to Canada on the age of 13 from China, got here to Bitcoin by way of a poker recreation with mates. He went all-in on cryptocurrencies thereafter and even bought his condominium for Bitcoin in 2014. Binance, which was began in 2017, handles transactions that run into billions of {dollars} each day. Whereas it is probably not as well-known as Coinbase to U.S. prospects, Binance is greater and presents extra cash and derivatives to prospects than its fundamental competitor.

The change’s nimble ascent has taken a toll on its regulatory standing. It’s beneath regulatory scrutiny in some monetary jurisdictions and has been pressured to function with out a headquarters.

Music Chi-hyung

Music Chi-hyung is the founding father of Dunamu, the mother or father firm of the main cryptocurrency change Upbit in South Korea. Chi-hyung launched Upbit in 2017—inside three months it was South Korea’s prime crypto change. Based on its third-quarter report, the change netted ₩219.3 billion (received), or $175 million in revenue. In 2021, it had a complete complete revenue of ₩2.15 trillion (received), or $1.73 trillion.

Based on the Forbes Actual-Time Billionaire checklist, Chi-hyung is value greater than $3.7 billion.

Brian Armstrong

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Brian Armstrong is the founding father of Coinbase, North America’s largest cryptocurrency change by buying and selling quantity. He co-founded the change in 2012 after quitting his job as a software program engineer at Airbnb. Armstrong has a 19% stake in Coinbase and is estimated to be value $2.7 billion by Forbes in February 2023.

Resulting from its easy-to-use interface and credibility, Coinbase is taken into account the gateway for retail buyers to affix the crypto ecosystem. The change has suffered many hiccups, comparable to halts in buying and selling whereas trying to scale operations amid crypto volatility. The change went public in April 2021 and had a complete market capitalization of $17.08 billion on the shut of buying and selling on Feb. 17, 2023. Armstrong stated he began Coinbase as a result of he wished the world to have a “international, open monetary system that drove innovation and freedom.”

Jed McCaleb

Jed McCaleb is a well known determine in cryptocurrency, as he was the founding father of the infamous change Mt. Gox. He bought the change in 2013, one 12 months earlier than hackers stole almost $460 million value of cryptocurrency.

McCaleb went on to help in launching the cryptocurrencies and blockchains Ripple and Stellar. He nonetheless holds about 3.4 billion XRP, which at February 2023 costs, units him at near $2.4 billion in complete value.

After launching Stellar in 2014, McCaleb based the Astera Institute, a 503(c)(3) non-profit for growing expertise for human development, and Huge, an organization reportedly engaged on synthetic gravity expertise.

Chris Larsen

Cris Larsen is one other well-known determine within the cryptocurrency enviornment, having co-founded Ripple alongside Jed McCaleb. He’s nonetheless the manager chairman of the corporate. Earlier than cryptocurrency emerged, Larsen co-founded the net mortgage lender e-Mortgage, which was later bought to Yahoo.

Larsen, referring to cryptocurrency and blockchain, advised Forbes, “The web of worth is extra than simply laying out a brand new method of doing finance. I believe, basically, this represents the ultimate step in globalization.”

Forbes positioned Larsen’s value at $2.2 billion in February 2023.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss parlayed the tens of millions they earned from their lawsuit towards Fb into cryptocurrencies. They turned the primary billionaires within the crypto ecosystem after the late 2017 surge in Bitcoin costs. Forbes estimates their web value at $1.1 billion every.

Whereas most of their estimated wealth comes from investments in cryptocurrencies, the Winklevoss twins are additionally entrepreneurs who began the Gemini cryptocurrency change. The change was valued at $7.1 billion after its $400 million fundraising in November 2021. Additionally they personal Nifty Gateway, a platform to purchase and promote non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Michael Saylor 

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Bitcoin has attracted quite a few unconventional buyers over time. None, nonetheless, has the zeal and enthusiasm of Michael Saylor, CEO of software program agency MicroStrategy Inc. (MSTR). The agency started buying the cryptocurrency in August 2020 by snapping up $250 million of bitcoin. At the moment, the agency stated it was shopping for the cryptocurrency to higher use the money holdings on its stability sheet.

Over time, Saylor has develop into a fierce supporter of Bitcoin and appeared at information and cryptocurrency conferences to evangelize its advantages and use circumstances. By December 2021, MicroStrategy had elevated its holdings in Bitcoin to $3.5 billion, swooping in to purchase the cryptocurrency throughout worth dips.

MicroStrategy’s inventory worth skyrocketed by greater than 337% (as of December 2021) after it introduced the Bitcoin acquisition. In the meantime, Forbes estimates Saylor’s web value to be $1.6 billion because of his guess on Bitcoin. In December 2022, Microstrategy once more made a bitcoin buy, including 2,500 extra to its holdings. As of February 2023, Microstrategy holds about 132,500 bitcoin—near $3.2 billion.

Who Is the Wealthiest Particular person in Cryptocurrency?

Based on the Forbes Actual-Time Billionaires Record, Changpeng Zhao, founding father of cryptocurrency change Binance—is estimated to be value $4.5 billion, making him the wealthiest individual in cryptocurrencies.

Who Owns the Most Bitcoins?

The nameless developer of Bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto is rumored to carry greater than 1 million bitcoins. Nonetheless, because of the nature of cryptocurrency, this can’t be confirmed. The handle that holds essentially the most bitcoin is 34xp4vRoCGJym3xR7yCVPFHoCNxv4Twseo, with greater than 248,597 BTC. At February 2023 costs, that is near $6.1 billion.

How Many Crypto Billionaires Are There within the Forbes Billionaires Index?

There are eight cryptocurrency billionaires in Forbes’ rating of billionaires, subtracting Sam Bankman-Fried, who was the ninth.

How Can You Earn Billions From Cryptocurrencies?

Opposite to the favored notion of cryptocurrencies, the wealthiest folks in its ecosystem haven’t generated their wealth by bitcoin investments. As a substitute, they’ve minted earnings by figuring out current gaps within the crypto ecosystem and beginning services or products to plug that hole.

The Backside Line

As cryptocurrencies turned fashionable, the variety of folks making billions off the brand new asset class elevated. Crypto billionaires are a motley bunch—some have made their billions by offering services and products to the rising ecosystem, whereas others have generated earnings by making the most of crypto volatility.

Investing in cryptocurrencies and different preliminary coin choices (ICOs) is extremely dangerous and speculative, and this text is just not a suggestion by Investopedia or the author to spend money on cryptocurrencies or different ICOs. Since every particular person’s scenario is exclusive, a professional skilled ought to at all times be consulted earlier than making any monetary selections. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the data contained herein. As of the date this text was written, the creator doesn’t personal cryptocurrency.