Who are Today’s Wealthiest Cryptocurrency Holders?

This article is extracted, with kind permission, from Soo MeiKwan’s writing for The China Fintech Newsletter.

The year 2021 has so far seen a big shakeout in most cryptocurrency prices resulting in the need for a re-rating of the crypto millionaire list. Bitcoin broke through the $60,000 barrier then dropped to around $30,000 because of technical action by insiders. After this correction the ranking of the wealthiest crypto investors has changed.

Our research has revealed a new Crypto Rich List of individuals; people who had the foresight to acquire necessary skills and the willingness to invest their personal funds to create and develop the infrastructure needed to support their vision for cryptocurrencies and those who had the courage to buy and hold new limited issue cryptocurrencies.

Mysterious Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto with an estimated fortune of $34.9 billion has currently dropped to third place in the new list. The founders of Ripple and Binance are still in the top 10, alongside the Winklevoss twins, who accused Mark Zuckerberg of stealing their idea for Facebook and used some of their $65m settlement to buy 700,000 Bitcoins when it was priced low.

Many previous doubters are now investing in crypto assets and in related service startups like exchanges and brokerages.

The buy-in has become lucrative for those with patience. For others who have had their hand in the pie from the start, their investment has paid off in a big way even after the recent shakeout. Here is how the new line-up looks.

The New Crypto Rich List

No 1. Dr. A S Johan

Nationality: Malaysia

Age: Not disclosed

Business: Proprietary Investments

Occupation: Philanthropy

Estimated net worth: $2,037,089,449,800

Dr. Johan founded CryptRight (CR) in 2019 as a Triple-encrypted cryptocurrency with a guaranteed and strictly limited supply of ten million units, inclusive of its Mini version (CRM), to serve as a hedge against the continuing loss of purchasing power of US dollars.

CR is the only Crypto whose limited supply and issued units are authenticated and certified through an independent digital audit every six months.

As Dr. Johan holds a significant amount of CRs for the long term, he is ranked number one and is the wealthiest person in the crypto world today, based on the value of his CR holdings.

2. Jonathan Fernandes

Nationality: United Kingdom

Age: Not disclosed

Business: Internet Entrepreneur

Occupation: CryptRight Technology Adviser

Estimated net worth: $226,343,272,200

Mr. Fernandes is an internet entrepreneur who serves as technology adviser for the CR infrastructure and has received a significant amount of CR as reward for his services.  

3. Satoshi Nakamoto

Nationality: Japan

Company: Bitcoin

Age: 45

Estimated net worth: $34,937,100,000

The true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is unknown, but he/she is ragarded as the original developer of Bitcoin. The latest estimates predict that Nakamoto still holds around one million Bitcoins, which translates to about $34.9 billion, making him/her/them the third richest person in crypto.

4. MicreeZhan

Nationality: China

Company: Bitmain

Age: 41

Estimated net worth: $3,200,000,000

Micree Zhan, also known as Zhan Ketuan, is the co-founder of Bitmain, the world’s largest cryptocurrency mining company. He was ousted in 2019 but has since bought shares from other shareholders to claim back his CEO status.

5. Chris Larsen

Nationality: United States

Company: Ripple

Age: 60

Estimated net worth: $2,700,000,000

Chris Larsen co-founded several successful Silicon Valley startups, his most notable being Ripple which allows for international payments using Blockchain technology. It’s used by some of the world’s biggest banks such as American Express and Santander.

6. Changpeng Zhao

Nationality: China

Company: Binance

Age: 43

Estimated net worth: $2,600,000,000

Changpeng Zhao, or CZ, is founder and CEO of Binance which claims to have 25% market share and is the world’s largest crypto exchange with $500 million in daily trading volume from as early as 2019.

7. Jihan Wu

Nationality: China

Company: Bitmain

Age: 34

Estimated net worth: $1,800,000,000

He co-founded Bitmain in 2013 with Micree Zhan, however the pair have had a rocky relationship. He announced in January that he’s leaving Bitmain to end the struggle between the two co-founders.

8 & 9. Cameron & Tyler Winklevoss

Nationality: United States

Company: Winklevoss Capital

Age: 39

Estimated net worth: $1,415,000,000

10. Mingxing Xu

Nationality: China

Company: OKCoin

Age: 34

Estimated net worth: $1,400,000,000

Mingxing Xu is the founder of OKCoin.com, a globally-oriented BitCoin trading platform. He was arrested in October last year for matters relating to his business and released in November, but did not publicize why.  

11. Matthew Roszak

Nationality: United States

Company: Bloq

Age: 48

Estimated net worth: $1,200,000,000

Matthew Roszak is co-founder and chairman of Bloq, a Chicago Blockchain technology startup, and has been collecting cryptos since 2012 and is a long-standing crypto advocate.  

12. Li Lin

Nationality: China

Company: Huobi

Age: Not disclosed

Estimated net worth: $1,110,000,000

He is the founder of one of the three major crypto exchanges in China and the world’s leading digital currency trading platform, Huobi which is a Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange with a global footprint.

13. Tim Draper

Nationality: United States

Company: Draper Associates

Age: 62

Estimated net worth: $1,100,000,000

He is the founding partner of venture capital firms Draper Associates and Threshold. An early advocate, he bought $250,000 worth of Bitcoin when the price of a single Bitcoin was just $6 and has held it since.

14. Joseph Lubin

Nationality: Canada

Company: Ethereum

Age: 56

Estimated net worth: $1,050,000,000

15. Brian Armstrong

Nationality: United States

Company: Coinbase

Age: 37

Estimated net worth: $1,000,000,000

16. Anthony Di Iorio

Nationality: Canada

Company: Ethereum

Age: 45

Estimated net worth: $750,000,000

17. Brock Pierce

Nationality: United States

Company: Bitcoin Foundation

Age: 40

Estimated net worth: $700,000,000

18. Dan Larimer

Nationality: United States

Company: Block.one

Age: 37

Estimated net worth: $680,000,000

19. Brendan Blumer

Nationality: United States

Company: Block.one

Age: 34

Estimated net worth: $630,000,000

20. Michael J. Saylor

Nationality: United States

Company: MicroStrategy

Age: 55

Estimated net worth: $600,000,000

21. Valery Vavilov

Nationality: Latvia

Company: Bitfury

Age: 40

Estimated net worth: $515,000,000

22. Blythe Masters

Nationality: United Kingdom

Company: Digital Asset Holdings

Age: 51

Estimated net worth: $500,000,000

23. Roger Ver

Nationality: Saint Kitts & Nevis

Company: Bitcoin.com

Age: 41

Estimated net worth: $460,000,000

24. Brad Garlinghouse

Nationality: United States

Company: Ripple

Age: 49

Estimated net worth: $430,000,000

25. Barry Silbert

Nationality: United States

Company: Digital Currency Group

Age: 43

Estimated net worth: $400,000,000

26. Vitalik Buterin

Nationality: Russia

Company: Ethereum

Age: 26

Estimated net worth: $360,000,000

Note: In preparing the Estimated Net Worth and Ranking, Ms. Soo MeiKwan, the original writer, adopted Standard Industry Practices used for such studies.

Estimated Net Worth is based on the current market value of the individual’s holding of  cryptocurrency and/or shares in a crypto venture.

Therefore Estimated Net Worth does not necessarily mean that the individuals listed have that amount of cash-in-hand.