Forbes 400 rich list for 2021 welcomes six new cryptocurrency billionaires. These names are all prominent in the crypto industry. These six people have joined a Ripple co-founder who appeared on the list last year. In total, there are now seven names on the list who are crypto billionaires. This is the first time seven billionaires who built their fortune in cryptocurrencies make the list of America’s richest.
Related Reading | Forbes Names Ripple Co-Founder Chris Larsen as Wealthiest from Crypto
Although none of them feature in the top 100, the growth of the crypto industry over the past few years made a noticeable increase in their net worths.
7 Crypto Billionaires On The Forbes List
According to an October 5 Forbes article, the crypto billionaires are collectively worth an estimated $55.1 billion. The newcomers join Chris Larsen, who co-founded Ripple in 2012. Larsen stepped down as Ripple CEO in December 2016. However, he remains executive chairman. He appeared on the list last year with a net worth of $2.7 billion. Today, his wealth is approximately $6 billion. This increase in net worth happened despite the ongoing legal battle between Ripple and the SEC.
The list of newcomers includes the richest Billionaire in crypto, Sam Bankman-Fried. According to Forbes, his net worth is $22.5 billion, almost half of the total crypto collective worth on the list. The 29-year-old is the richest Billionaire under 30 since Mark Zuckerberg and is the youngest on the list. Bankman-Fried is the founder and CEO of FTX Cryptocurrency exchange. His fortune nearly doubled with the closure of FTX’s $900 million Series B fundraise. The majority of his wealth is tied up in FTX’s equity and tokens (FTT).
The Forbes list also includes Coinbase founders Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam. Armstrong owns an estimated 19% in Coinbase. While Ehrsam left the company in 2017, he remains a board member. He is also the co-founder and managing partner of crypto-focused investment firm Paradigm.
Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss, twin co-founders of cryptocurrency exchange, Gemini are also on the list. They have a net worth of $4.3 billion each.
Finally, Jed McCaleb, an early pioneer in the blockchain space, is also a newcomer on the Forbes list. He co-founded and served as the CTO of Ripple until 2013. He also launched the first major bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox. Most of his $3 billion net worth comes from his XRP stake as a Ripple co-founder.
Growing Crypto Interest Increases Number Of Billionaires
According to Forbes, the increase in the number of crypto billionaires is mostly a product of growing interest in the crypto space. The surge in the prices of digital currencies attracts more institutional investors. Additionally, several startups, including Ripple, Kraken, Circle, BlockFi, and eToro, have announced or hinted at plans of going public. If this happens, more names in the crypto space may appear on Forbes 400 list.
Total crypto market cap at $2.18 Trillion | Source: Crypto Total Market Cap from TradingView.com
Also, more regulators around the world are making efforts to recognize cryptocurrencies. The regulations that they make directly or indirectly affect the movement of the market. This movement, in turn, affects the wealth of those in the space.
Featured image from Forbes, Chart from TradingView.com