The number of crypto billionaires increased from twelve in 2020 to nineteen in 2021, according to the Forbes’ Annual World’s Billionaires list.
In 2021, the 58.3% surge in crypto billionaires was fuelled by Web3 innovations, the exponential growth of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and the attainment of all-time high (ATH) prices by various cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
The top-three spots are dominated by crypto exchange founders, with Changpeng Zhao “CZ” of Binance taking the helm based on a net worth of $65 billion. CZ is followed by Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and CEO of FTX, and Brian Armstrong, the founder and CEO of Coinbase, with a net worth of $24 billion and $6.6 billion, respectively.
Based on Forbes findings, CZ owns 70% of Binance as the 19th richest person globally. Binance dominance in the crypto space continues to be felt, given that it facilitated nearly two-thirds of all trading volume made by centralized exchanges. As a result, generating nearly $16 billion in revenue.
The newcomers on the crypto billionaire list include Nikil Viswanathan and Joseph Lau, the co-founders of Web3 infrastructure company Alchemy, with a $2.4 billion net worth each.
The others are Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah, the co-founders of the leading NFT marketplace OpenSea, with a $2.2 billion net worth apiece.
Some notable names also on the list include Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss of Gemini, Michael Saylor of MicroStrategy, and venture capitalist Tim Draper.
MicroStrategy, a leading business intelligence firm, has been leading the race in crypto institutional investment. At one time, Saylor opined that MicroStrategy was more inclined towards Bitcoin because it provided the best returns compared to other assets like precious metals, real estate, derivatives, stocks, and government debt.
Crypto exchange Gemini recently released “The Global State of Crypto Report”. It noted that cryptocurrency reached a tipping point in 2021 because it evolved from a niche investment into a globally established asset class.
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