The Crypto Rich List

The Top 40 Richest Crypto Investors and Entrepreneurs

By Tom Blackstone Crypto Expert Tom Blackstone, Cryptocurrency Expert
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Every year, Forbes publishes its list of the richest billionaires. These days, cryptocurrency investors and entrepreneurs feature prominently on the list. There are now 16 crypto investors that have reached the billionaire mark.1 Entrepreneur magazine has listed an additional 24 crypto investors that have surpassed the $300 million mark in net worth. This has given us the data we needed to create this list of the top 40 richest crypto investors in the world.

With lists such as these, we can see that crypto has become one of the newest and hottest ways to get rich in the world today.

On the other hand, there are just as many crypto investors who have made practically nothing or have even lost money. So what has made these crypto billionaires find meteoric success while others have floundered? We’ve taken a deep dive into the data to see what we could find.

Key Facts About the Richest Crypto Investors

Here are a few fascinating insights about crypto’s richest:

  • Fifty-five percent of the top crypto investors are from the U.S., yet only 27% of all billionaires are from the U.S.2 American entrepreneurs seem to be especially good at making money from crypto as opposed to other industries.

Countries of the 40 Richest Crypto Investors

  • China has the second-largest number of ultra-rich crypto investors. The number is either four or five investors, depending on whether you count Chanpeng Zhao — who moved to Canada at a very young age.
  • The average age of the top 40 richest crypto investors is 44. Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, age 28, is the only known member of the list who is under 30. It appears that getting superrich from crypto requires time and patience, just as it does with other industries.

How old are the richest crypto investors?

  • Blythe Masters is the only woman on the list. The data shows that crypto and blockchain investing is overwhelmingly a man’s sport (at least at the highest level). But the one woman who has defied this trend is Blythe Masters, former CEO at Digital Asset Holdings. She has an impressive net worth of $500 million.
  • Most of the people on this list are crypto entrepreneurs, not just investors. Over 75 percent are creators of cryptocurrencies, crypto exchanges, or other crypto-related products, and most had successful non-crypto businesses before they got into the industry.

Those are a few of the interesting facts we found out about this group of crypto investors. Now, before we reveal the list of the top 40 richest crypto investors, there is one caveat we need to explain in the next section.

The Crypto Winter of 2022

The fortunes of crypto investors have changed dramatically in 2022, thanks to the “Crypto Winter” or recent crypto crash. Many of the people on this list have seen dramatic declines in their crypto fortunes, and depending on which coins they owned, they may have moved around in the rankings quite a bit.

Given the changes in value that have occurred, it’s possible that we have missed some crypto investors that should be on this list or included ones that shouldn’t be on it. Even Forbes has stated of their list that “It is a near certainty that we’ve missed some people and that some of our estimates are wide of the mark.” So keep this in mind as you read through this list.

Without further ado, here is our list of the top 40 richest crypto investors in the world.

The Top 40 Richest Crypto Investors and Entrepreneurs

40. Bart Stephens

Bart Stephens is the 40th richest crypto investor in the world. He is the cofounder of Blockchain Capital, a venture capital firm that invests in blockchain and crypto start-ups.

Before founding Blockchain Capital, Stephens worked at E-Trade as a senior product manager, cofounded the Oncology.com cancer site (which later sold to Pfizer), and managed three separate traditional investment funds.

Quick Stats:

Age: Unknown
Crypto coin of choice: Unknown
Estimated net worth: $300 million
Notable achievement: Founder of Blockchain Capital

39. Juan Benet

Juan Benet, age 34, has a net worth of over $400 million. He is the founder of Protocol Labs, an open-source R&D lab. Benet is most known for creating the Interplanetary File System (IPFS) and Filecoin, two decentralized networks that help to store large amounts of data.3

Benet’s current portfolio is unknown. But much of his wealth was originally acquired by holding Filecoin as it rose in value.

FYI: Unfortunately for Benet, Filecoin is one of the top 10 worst-performing cryptocurrencies in 2022. Some other cryptos that have performed especially badly in 2022 are Axie Infinity, Algorand, and Polygon. You can read about all of them in our guide to the top crypto losers of 2022.

Quick Stats:

Age: 34
Crypto coin of choice: Filecoin (FIL)
Estimated net worth: $400 million
Notable achievement: Creator of IPFS

38. Amir Chetrit

Amit Chetrit is one of the more mysterious members of the Ethereum founding team.

We know he invested in real estate and lost money in the 2008 financial crisis. He also worked on “colored coins” (an early version of tokens) before meeting Vitalik Buterin in 2013. Other than these sparse facts, not much is known about Chetrit’s early life.

One thing we do know is that Chetrit met up with Vitalik Buterin at a crypto conference in Amsterdam. Buterin was impressed with Chetrit’s knowledge of crypto, and he hired Chetrit as  part of the Ethereum team. The Ethereum he received in this deal helped catapult him into the ranks of crypto’s richest.

Quick Stats:

Age: 34
Crypto coin of choice: Ethereum (ETH)
Estimated net worth: $450 million
Notable achievement: Cofounder of Ethereum

37. Gavin Wood

Gavin Wood began his career as a research scientist at Microsoft. In 2013, he was hired by Vitalik Buterin to help develop Ethereum.

After leaving the Ethereum Foundation, Wood created PolkaDot and Kusama, two wildly successful crypto projects.

Between his investments in Ethereum, PolkaDot, Kusama, and other coins, Wood has amassed an estimated $450 million in wealth.

Quick Stats:

Age: 42
Crypto coin of choice: PolkaDot (DOT)
Estimated net worth: $450 million
Notable achievement: Founder of PolkaDot

36. Alexandre Dreyfus

Alexander Dreyfus is a sports and gaming entrepreneur. Before getting into crypto, he founded Winamax, a poker site that became popular in France. Afterwards, he acquired the Global Poker Index and founded the sports marketing company, Mediarex.

Using the experience and wealth he earned from these other ventures, Dreyfus created the Chiliz cryptocurrency and Socios app — used to create “fan tokens” in sports.4

Quick Stats:

Age: Unknown
Crypto coin of choice: Chiliz (CHZ)
Estimated net worth: $450 million
Notable achievement: Founder of Chiliz

35. Mihai Alisie

Not much is known about Romanian-born Mihai Alisie’s early life. But in 2011, Alisie met up with Vitalik Buterin and founded Bitcoin Magazine, a blog devoted to all things crypto. It quickly became the most popular blog in the crypto community.

When the Ethereum Foundation was formed, Buterin invited Alisie to join the team, and Alisie served as its vice-president until 2015. Like most members of the founding team, he became wealthy from his Ethereum holdings.

Quick Stats:

Age: Unknown
Crypto coin of choice: Ethereum
Estimated net worth: $500 million
Notable achievement: Cofounder of Ethereum

34. Kenji Sasaki

Kenji Sasaki was an early supporter of Ethereum. He helped with fundraising for it in 2014, and he invested in it himself. In 2015, he joined the Cardano (ADA) team, which he is still a member of today.

Sasaki is also the CEO of Next Chymia Consulting, a company that helps with the technical development and marketing of blockchain products.

Thanks to his holdings of Ethereum and Cardano, Kenji Sasaki has amassed an estimated net worth of $500 million.

Quick Stats:

Age: Unknown
Crypto coin of choice: Cardano (ADA)
Estimated net worth: $500 million
Notable achievement: Cofounder of Cardano

33. Dan Morehead

Dan Morehead is the Founder of Pantera Capital, an investment firm that specializes in crypto assets and companies. Morehead started as a derivatives trader at Goldman Sachs. He worked for a variety of banks before he founded Pantera Capital in 2003.

Morehead is also a member of the board of directors for BitPesa, a forex exchange that uses blockchain to speed up settlement. And he is the chairman of the crypto exchange, Bitstamp.

Thanks to his success at these businesses, Morehead has an estimated net worth of $500 million.

Pro Tip: Bitstamp is a reputable crypto exchange. But some exchanges are outright scams. The potentially illegitimate ones tend to have teams that are non-public-facing, aren’t registered with the country they’re located in, or have other problems. We’ve created a resource on how to find a legitimate exchange to help distinguish between the good ones and the bad ones.

Quick Stats:

Age: Unknown
Crypto coin of choice: Unknown
Estimated net worth: $500 million
Notable achievement: Founder of Pantera Capital

32. Blythe Masters

Blythe Masters is the former CEO of Digital Asset Holdings, a company that develops blockchain products for banks.

Masters was trained in economics at Trinity College. At the age of 22, she joined JP Morgan Chase, where she oversaw the development of credit derivatives products. By the age of 28, she had become a managing director at the company.

Her work at JP Morgan Chase impressed the board of directors at Digital Asset Holdings, and led her to be hired as CEO. The company raised over $100 million in multiple rounds of funding, making Masters rich.

Quick Stats:

Age: 53
Crypto coin of choice: Unknown
Estimated net worth: $500 million
Notable achievement: Former CEO of Digital Asset Holdings

31. Jesse Powell

Jesse Powell is mostly well known as the founder of the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange.

Powell started his first business at the age of 20. It was a company that helped gamers manage multiple accounts and currencies. In 2007 he started an art gallery in Sacramento, which became one of the largest galleries in the area.

In 2011, Powell visited Mt. Gox, which at that time dominated the Bitcoin exchange market. He realized that Mt. Gox didn’t have sufficient security, and that it would probably go bankrupt soon. Sensing an opportunity, he started working on Kraken as a replacement.

When Mt. Gox inevitably shut down, many of its customers went over to Kraken, making Powell incredibly rich.

FYI: Want to learn more about Kraken? Read our in-depth Kraken review for more information about this popular crypto exchange.

Quick Stats:

Age: 41
Crypto coin of choice: Unknown
Estimated net worth: $500 million
Notable achievement: Founder of Kraken crypto exchange

30. Roger Ver

Roger Ver, age 43, is one of the most well-known early investors of Bitcoin. He got his start designing memory modules for PCs as the CEO of MemoryDealers.com. In 2002, he ran a fireworks business on eBay and spent 10 months in federal prison as a result of it.

In 2011, Roger Ver started investing in Bitcoin. At the time, its price was less than $1 per coin. He also began investing in bitcoin/blockchain-related companies, including Bitinstant, Ripple, BitPay, Kraken, and others.

Roger Ver’s estimated net worth is $500 million.

Quick Stats:

Age: 43
Crypto coin of choice: Bitcoin
Estimated net worth: $500 million
Notable achievement: Early investor in Bitcoin

29. Charles Hoskinson

Charles Hoskinson is the founder of Cardano.

Hoskinson worked as a consultant until 2013, at which time he left his job to found the Bitcoin Education Project. The Project was a nonprofit dedicated to the promotion of Bitcoin through quality content creation.

Hoskinson was part of the founding team for Ethereum, and even served as the chief executive for the Ethereum Foundation, although he was removed after a disagreement with Buterin. After leaving the Foundation, he started the Cardano project.

Hoskinson is one of the richest crypto investors around, with a net worth of $600 million.

Did You Know? Cardano made one of the first attempts to create a “Proof of Stake” network. Proof of Stake (PoS) is a crypto system that eliminates mining and allows you to earn a yield from your crypto. You can read more about this in our guide to crypto staking.

Quick Stats:

Age: 35
Crypto coin of choice: Unknown
Estimated net worth: $600 million
Notable achievement: Founder of Cardano

28. Dan Larimer

Dan Larimer, age 36, is the inventor of the Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) protocol, founder of Bitshares, cofounder of Steemit, and creator of EOS. In his early career, he was a software engineer at Torc Robotics and CEO of Invictus Innovations.

In 2014, unhappy with the tendency for centralized exchanges to be shut down by hackers, Larmimer created Bitshares, a decentralized crypto exchange. In the process, he created the DPoS protocol, which allowed early crypto networks to scale to thousands of transactions per second (although it compromised on decentralization). This protocol became used in Steemit, a crypto social network, as well as in the crypto network, EOS.

Between his holdings of Steemit and EOS, Larimer has become an ultra-rich crypto entrepreneur.

Quick Stats:

Age: 40
Crypto coin of choice: EOS
Estimated net worth: $700 million
Notable achievement: Founder of Steemit

27. Brendan Blumer

Brendan Blumer, age 36, is a programmer and serial entrepreneur. He is the CEO of Block.one, which is the company that produced the EOS network.

Blumer started as a gaming entrepreneur by creating the GaMeCliff website that allowed players to trade virtual items. Later, he founded the Accounts.com avatar exchange, as well as real estate websites Okay.com and ii5.5

In 2016, he met Dan Larimer and began working on EOS, which was launched in 2017. With his numerous business assets and holdings of EOS, Blumer has reached an estimated net worth of $750 million, making him one of the richest crypto investors in the world.

FYI: Learning how to protect your investments from hackers and scammers can seem daunting. But there are a few basic techniques you can use to keep your crypto out of the hands of attackers, like enabling 2FA, transferring to a wallet, and storing your seed words safely. We’ve created a complete guide on how to protect your crypto with more tips on crypto security.

Quick Stats:

Age: 36
Crypto coin of choice: EOS
Estimated net worth: $750 million
Notable achievement: Cofounder of EOS

26. Valery Vavilov

Valery Vavilov is a Latvian native who experienced the collapse of the Soviet Union firsthand. He saw hyperinflation ruin the lives of people all around him, and this inspired him to support decentralized networks where property could be recorded immutably.

Vavilov founded a Bitcoin mining company, Bitfury, in 2011. As the price of Bitcoin has risen through the years, Bitfury has generated incredible wealth for him.

Quick Stats:

Age: 43
Crypto coin of choice: Bitcoin
Estimated net worth: $750 million
Notable achievement: Founder of Bitfury mining company

25. Michael Saylor

Michael Saylor, age 57, is a Bitcoin investor and advocate. He is the cofounder of Microstrategy, a data mining and business intelligence company. Saylor started Microstrategy at the age of 24, after landing a consulting contract with Dupont.

In 2020, Saylor announced that he had bought over 17,500 Bitcoin for around $117 million.6 He also ordered his company to buy around 121,000 Bitcoins using its cash on hand.7

In August 2022, Saylor stepped down as CEO of Microstrategy and became its executive chairman instead.

Quick Stats:

Age: 57
Crypto coin of choice: Bitcoin
Estimated net worth: $969.1 million
Notable achievement: Former CEO of Microstrategy

24. Brock Pierce

Brock Pierce is a former child actor and cofounder (along with Bart and Bradford Stephens) of Blockchain Capital. He is also a cofounder of US Dollar Tether and EOS, and a former director at the Bitcoin Foundation.

As a child, Pierce starred in “The Mighty Ducks, D2: The Mighty Ducks,” and “First Kid,” among other movies.8

After ending his acting career, Pierce invested in and worked for Digital Entertainment Network, a streaming video network aimed at niche audiences. With the wealth he earned from his early movie and TV projects, Pierce was able to make investments in what became some of the most successful crypto projects in the world. His net worth is estimated at $1 billion.

Quick Stats:

Age: 42
Crypto coin of choice: EOS
Estimated net worth: $1 billion
Notable achievement: Cofounder of US Dollar Tether (USDT)

23. Matthew Roszak

Matthew Roszak was an early advocate of Bitcoin. He is also the Founder of Bloq, Inc., a Web3 infrastructure and app development company.

Roszak got his start working for private equity and venture capital firms, including Keystone Capital Partners, Advent International, Platinum Venture Partners, and others. In 2012, he discovered Bitcoin, which he invested in and advocated for avidly. The decision paid off, making him one of the richest crypto investors in the world.

In 2013, he used some of his newly acquired wealth to found Bloq. Today, Roszak has a net worth of approximately $1 billion.

Quick Stats:

Age: 49
Crypto coin of choice: Bitcoin
Estimated net worth: $1 billion
Notable achievement: Founder of Bloq, Inc.

22. Li Lin

Li Lin is the Founder of Huobi, one of the top 10 most-used cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. His first job was at Oracle, but he soon found corporate office work to be dull.

In 2007, he founded a social network that failed to turn a profit and was eventually closed down. Undeterred by this failure, Lin created a new website that catered to the growing “group buying” market in China. At the time, many Chinese consumers were banding together to buy products wholesale at low prices. Lin’s website, Renrenzhe, made this process easy,9 and it eventually became the second-largest group-buying website in China.

Lin used some of the initial wealth generated by Renrenzhe to begin designing and marketing his crypto exchange, Huobiwang (“Currency Network”) in 2013, whose name he later shortened to Huobi (“currency”). He launched Huobi just in time to take advantage of the crypto boom of 2013, making him incredibly wealthy. Li Lin’s net worth is estimated at $1.1 billion.

Pro Tip: Huobi is a great exchange if you live outside the U.S. But it is not licensed with FinCEN or with any U.S. state, so it may not be the best for American investors. Don’t worry, we’ve written a roundup of the best crypto apps for U.S. users to help you narrow down your options.

Quick Stats:

Age: 59
Crypto coin of choice: Unknown
Estimated net worth: $1.1 billion
Notable achievement: Founder of Huobi crypto exchange

21. Fred Ehrsam

Fred Ehrsam is cofounder of Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange in North America. He is also the cofounder of Paradigm, an investment firm focused on crypto.

Ehrsam started his career as a forex trader at Goldman Sachs. When he learned about Bitcoin, he started using his free time to trade Bitcoin with his own money. As a frequent trader, Ehrsam was frustrated with the poor user interface at Mt. Gox. He thought there needed to be an easier way to trade Bitcoin.

He met Brian Armstrong, who shared his belief in making crypto exchanges user-friendly, and the two founded Coinbase in 2012.

Between his profits from crypto trading and his ownership of Coinbase stock, Fred Ehrsam has become incredibly wealthy.

Quick Stats:

Age: 33
Crypto coin of choice: Unknown
Estimated net worth: $1.1 billion
Notable achievement: Cofounder of Coinbase crypto exchange

20. Tim Draper

Tim Draper is a venture capitalist who has invested in Bitcoin and Ethereum. He has also provided funds to Tezos and Coinbase.

In 2014, Draper bought 30,000 Bitcoins from the U.S. government that had been seized from the Silk Road. He paid $19 million for them.

In September of that same year, he told Fox Business News that he believed Bitcoin would reach $10,000 in three years.10 At the time, it was only worth about $480. It crossed the $10,000 mark in November of 2017, just two months after his predicted date.

Before he got into crypto, Draper was known for being able to pick winners in the technology space. Some of his early successful investments include Hotmail, Baidu, Skype, and Tesla, among many others.

Quick Stats:

Age: 53
Crypto coin of choice: Bitcoin
Estimated net worth: $1.2 billion
Notable achievement: Early investor in Bitcoin

19. Mike Novogratz

Michael Novogratz is the CEO of Galaxy Investment Partners, an investment firm that focuses on cryptocurrency. He got his start at Goldman Sachs at the age of 25. Ten years later, he was elected partner at the bank.11

Novogratz joined the Fortress Investments Group in 2002. Over the next few years, his net worth grew to over $2 billion. But then the housing crash hit, Fortress declined by over 80 percent, and Novogratz was reduced to a mere centimillionaire.12

In 2017, he formed Galaxy Investment Partners to capitalize on the crypto boom of the time. Since then, his investments in crypto have put him back into the billionaire category, with a net worth of around $1.2 billion.

Quick Stats:

Age: 58
Crypto coin of choice: Unknown
Estimated net worth: $1.2 billion
Notable achievement: CEO of Galaxy Investment Partners

18. Kim Hyoung-nyon

Kim Hyoung-nyon is the cofounder and executive vice-president of Dunamu, developer of the Upbit crypto exchange. Upbit is the 35th-largest crypto exchange in the world. It does over $1 billion in volume each day. It’s focused primarily on the Singaporean, Korean, Indonesian, and Thai markets.

Before he cofounded Upbit, Hyoung-nyon worked at mobile payment platform, Danal.

Quick Stats:

Age: 46
Crypto coin of choice: Unknown
Estimated net worth: $1.2 billion
Notable achievement: Cocreator of Upbit crypto exchange

17. Mingxing Xu

Mingxing Xu is the founder of OKX, the 15th-largest crypto exchange in the world. Authoritative sources for his biography in English are hard to come by. But he is rumored to have worked for Yahoo China and to have been the cofounder of Docin.com, a social reading app that allows people to share documents.

The one thing that is clear is that Xu founded OKX in 2017, in the middle of a crypto boom, and the profits from this business have made him incredibly rich.

Quick Stats:

Age: 35
Crypto coin of choice: Unknown
Estimated net worth: $1.4 billion
Notable achievement: Founder of OKX

16. Vitalik Buterin

Vitalik Buterin is the founder of Ethereum. He got his start as a cryptography researcher for Ian Goldberg of Tor fame. When he discovered Bitcoin, it became an obsession for him. He started writing blog posts about Bitcoin, focusing on cryptography and other technical aspects of it, but  writing about these dense topics in an accessible style.

His writings caught the attention of Mihai Alisie. Together, the two founded Bitcoin Magazine. The notoriety he gained from these writings, along with his unique ideas, allowed him to win a Thiel Fellowship for $100,000 to develop the first smart contract platform, Ethereum.

Buterin’s Ethereum holdings have grown his wealth tremendously. Entrepreneur Magazine estimates his wealth at $1.6 billion. In truth, his wealth has declined significantly since the crypto crash. But as of now, he’s ranked No. 16 (pending more updated information about his net worth).

There are lots of interesting tidbits about Vitalik Buterin’s life, and you can learn about all of them in our article, Inside the World of Vitalik Buterin.

Quick Stats:

Age: 28
Crypto coin of choice: Ethereum
Estimated net worth: $1.6 billion
Notable achievement: Founder of Ethereum

15. Jihan Wu

Jihan Wu is the cofounder of Bitmain, the world’s largest Bitcoin mining computer manufacturer. Bitmain is the producer of the popular “Antminer” series used by most of the large cloud-mining firms.

In 2012, Wu lost money investing in ASICMINER, a Bitcoin mining company headed by Friedcat. After this failure, Wu realized that he needed technical expertise to build the best mining computers. So he enlisted the help of Micree Zhan to found Bitmain in 2013.

This collaboration led to the creation of the wildly popular Antminer S1 mining computer. Since then, Wu’s company has brought him plenty of profits, and he now has a net worth of $1.8 billion.

Quick Stats:

Age: 36
Crypto coin of choice: Bitcoin
Estimated net worth: $1.8 billion
Notable achievement: Cofounder of Bitmain mining PC manufacturer

14. Anthony Di Lorio

Anthony Di Lorio is cofounder of Ethereum. He is also the founder and CEO of Decentral, Inc., the developer of the Jaxx crypto wallet.

Di Lorio got his start as a marketer. He worked for a machine manufacturing company and a patio door-making company in his early career. Then he started a geothermal drilling company and had some success as a real estate investor.13

Di Lorio discovered Bitcoin in 2012, when it was less than $10 per coin.

In 2013, Di Lorio created a Bitcoin wallet called KryptoKit. It was the first crypto browser wallet extension, as it predated Metamask by a full three years. Many of the features of KryptoKit were later incorporated into Jaxx.

Di Lorio’s net worth is around $2.2 billion. Most of his wealth was earned from his large stashes of Bitcoin and Ethereum growing in value over time.

Did You Know? A crypto wallet is a piece of software or hardware that you can use to prove that you’re the owner of a crypto account or web identity. You can find out more about how wallets work in our guide to crypto wallets.

Quick Stats:

Age: 50
Crypto coin of choice: Ethereum
Estimated net worth: $2.2 billion
Notable achievement: Creator of Jaxx wallet

13. Jed McCaleb

Jed McCaleb is the cofounder of Stellar and Ripple. He is also the creator of the infamous Mt. Gox exchange. However, he sold Mt. Gox before the hack occurred, and it’s unclear what role he played in its security problems.

Through his company, MetaMachine, McCaleb created the EDonkey peer-to-peer file sharing program in the early 2000s. EDonkey became popular among music pirates, and MetaMachine was sued by the RIAA as a result of it. The company agreed to pay $30 million in damages and cease producing the software.

McCaleb joined Arthur Britto, David Schwartz, and Ryan Fugger in 2011 to create Ripple. The four of them wanted to create a decentralized financial network that could transmit fiat currencies, gold, and cryptocurrencies faster and cheaper than SWIFT.

McCaleb eventually became unhappy with Ripple’s strategy of trying to get banks to adopt the system, and he left the company in 2013. In 2014, he created Stellar, a network that is similar to Ripple but focuses its marketing efforts on regular people instead of banks.

McCaleb has large holdings of Ripple’s cryptocurrency, XRP, and of Stellar’s crypto, Lumens (XLM). From the gains of these two coins, he has become one of the richest crypto investors.

Quick Stats:

Age: 47
Crypto coin of choice: Stellar Lumens (XLM)
Estimated net worth: $2.5 billion
Notable achievement: Founder of Stellar

12. Barry Silbert

Barry Silbert is the founder of Digital Currency Group, Bitcoin Investment Trust, and Grayscale Investments, three different investment firms that specialize in cryptocurrency.

Silbert’s first business was a traditional venture capital firm, SecondMarket. He founded it in 2008, and sold it at a profit in 2015.14 He then leveraged this success to build his three cryptocurrency funds.

Silbert and his funds have financed some of the most successful crypto projects in the world, including Chainanalysis, Bitgo, Bitpay, Coinbase, Kraken, and many others.

Quick Stats:

Age: 46
Crypto coin of choice: Unknown
Estimated net worth: $2.6 billion
Notable achievement: Founder of Digital Currency Group

11. Chris Larsen

Chris Larsen is an angel investor and the cofounder of Ripple.

Larsen founded E-Loan in 1997, which cut out brokers, sales agents, and other middlemen from the homebuying process. E-Loan was sold to Banco Popular in 2005. That same year, he founded Prosper Marketplace, an auction marketplace that allowed buyers to get loans to buy products.

In 2012, he founded OpenCoin, which later became Ripple. As a result, he was allocated a large quantity of XRP (Ripple’s native coin). From this and his various business ventures, Chris Larsen has achieved a net worth of approximately $2.9 billion.

Quick Stats:

Age: 62
Crypto coin of choice: XRP
Estimated net worth: $2.9 billion
Notable achievement: Cofounder of Ripple

10. Brian Armstrong

Brian Armstrong, age 39, is the founder of Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange in North America. You can find out more about his exchange in our review of Coinbase. Prior to founding Coinbase, Armstrong worked as a consultant for Deloitte, a developer for IBM, and a software engineer for Airbnb.

In 2012, Armstrong got the idea for a hosted Bitcoin wallet. At the time, many newcomers to crypto were intimidated by the idea of needing to keep track of private keys. So Armstrong offered a hosted wallet service, which he called “Coinbase.”

The product was initially not a success. Hard-core Bitcoin enthusiasts thought a hosted wallet was crazy. New Bitcoin users liked the idea, but they couldn’t find an easy way to buy the crypto, so they didn’t have anything to put in the wallet.

Armstrong responded to this criticism by offering a “buy” button that was fully integrated into the wallet. Coinbase eventually evolved into a full-fledged crypto exchange, making Armstrong rich.

Quick Stats:

Age: 39
Crypto coin of choice: Unknown
Estimated net worth: $3 billion
Notable achievement: Founder of Coinbase crypto exchange

9. Brad Garlinghouse

Brad Garlinghouse is the CEO of Ripple Labs. He previously worked as an executive for AOL, Yahoo!, and Hightail.

Garlinghouse has been named in several class action lawsuits alleging that Ripple Labs is in violation of securities laws for selling the network’s cryptocurrency, XRP. However, Garlinghouse has defended the actions of the company, stating that XRP is not a security and that Ripple Labs has not violated the law. The lawsuits are still being litigated.

Garlinghouse’s holdings of XRP and the wealth he earned from his previous jobs has made him one of the richest crypto investors. His net worth is estimated at $3 billion.

Quick Stats:

Age: 51
Crypto coin of choice: XRP
Estimated net worth: $3 billion
Notable achievement: CEO of Ripple Labs

8 and 7. Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss (the “Winklevoss Twins”)

These two brothers have similar net worth and career history, as they’ve been involved in business together almost their entire lives. Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss were early Bitcoin investors and are rumored to own 1 percent of the entire Bitcoin supply. They are also the founders of the Gemini crypto exchange and have invested in BitInstant, Blockfi, and Nifty Gateway.

The Winklevoss twins are most famous for having invented the ConnectU social network app while at Harvard. The app was very similar to schoolmate Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook.

In 2004, the brothers sued Facebook claiming that Zuckerberg stole their idea for the app and even used source code that they had written. The lawsuit was settled by Facebook for $65 million worth of Facebook stock.15 The feud between Zuckerberg and the twins was immortalized in David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin’s 2010 film, “The Social Network.”

With the money they made from the Facebook lawsuit, the twins were able to fund their Bitcoin and crypto investments, making them two of the richest crypto investors. Their net worth is $3.3 billion each.

Quick Stats:

Ages: 41
Crypto coin of choice: Bitcoin
Estimated net worth: $3.3 billion each
Notable achievement: Founders of Gemini crypto exchange

6. Song Chi-hyung

Song Chi-hyung is the CEO and cofounder of Dunamu, developer of the Upbit crypto exchange.

Chi-hyung’s first job was with an IT firm. He met Kim Hyoung-nyon and cofounded Dunamu as a news aggregator.16 But once the crypto boom of 2013 started, the team quickly switched gears and founded Upbit as a crypto exchange.

Quick Stats:

Age: 42
Crypto coin of choice: Unknown
Estimated net worth: $3.4 billion
Notable achievement: Cocreator of Upbit crypto exchange

5. Joseph Lubin

Joseph Lublin is cofounder of Ethereum. He helped set up the EthSuisse company that handled the crowdsale for Ethereum. He is also the founder of ConsenSys, the developer of Metamask, Infura, and Gnosis.

Lubin received plenty of Ethereum thanks to his contributions to the project. And as it soared throughout 2014-2022, Lubin became a very wealthy man.

Quick Stats:

Age: 58
Crypto coin of choice: Ethereum
Estimated net worth: $5 billion
Notable achievement: Cofounder of Ethereum

4. Micree Zhan

Micree Zhan is a microelectronics engineer and the cofounder of Bitmain. Zhan got his start at  Tsinghua University working as a technology researcher. After leaving this job, he started a business developing cable TV boxes.

In 2013, he met Jihan Wu and cofounded Bitmain. Zhan was the main designer for the popular Antminer S1 Bitcoin mining computer. Micree Zhan’s net worth is estimated at $5.2 billion.

Quick Stats:

Age: 43
Crypto coin of choice: Bitcoin
Estimated net worth: $5.2 billion
Notable achievement: Head Designer for the AntMiner series of mining PCs

3. Changpeng Zhao

Chanpeng Zhao, 44, is the founder of Binance and was born in China. But when his father became exiled for having pro-capitalist views, Zhao’s family moved to Canada.17

Zhao studied computer science in college. When he graduated, he worked for a trader on the Tokyo stock exchange, making software that maximized trading profits. After this, he worked for Bloomberg Tradebook.

The first company Zhao built on his own was the business consulting firm, Fusion Systems. After this, his crypto career started with stints at Blockchain.com, OKCoin, and Bijie Tech.

Bijie Tech was a cloud-based exchange software service. When it went bust, Zhao created Binance. This was during the crypto boom of 2017, and Binance gained a reputation for having a greater variety of coins than any other exchange. It is now the largest crypto exchange in the world.

Quick Stats:

Age: 45
Crypto coin of choice: Unknown
Estimated net worth: $17.4 billion
Notable achievement: Founder of Binance crypto exchange

2. Satoshi Nakamoto

Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto mined approximately 1 million Bitcoins in 2009.

We know how much he mined because an early version of the software had a bug in it that allowed investigators to identify which computer was his. To this day, none of the bitcoins identified as his have ever been moved.

Because the bug was fixed in late 2009, we have no idea how many bitcoins he mined after that point. Nakamoto could be even richer than this estimate suggests.

On the other hand, we don’t know the true identity of Nakamoto. The name, Satoshi Nakamoto, is believed to be a pseudonym. It’s even possible that Nakamoto is dead or has lost his private key, which would mean that this vast wealth is gone forever.

We know a few facts about Nakamoto that provide clues to his identity, but not enough to prove beyond a reasonable doubt who he is.

Nakamoto signed all of his messages using a private key. So we have a pretty good idea which messages were actually written by him. He wrote in British English and put two spaces after the period in each sentence. He read the London Times and embedded one of its headlines into the first block of Bitcoin. He had a deep knowledge of cryptography and wrote in an academic style.

The YouTube channel, Barely Sociable, has done extensive research and concluded that Hashcash inventor, Adam Back, is Satoshi.18 But not everyone is convinced. Some investigators believe that the creator of Reusable Proof of Work, Hal Finney, was Satoshi (Hal Finney died in 2014). Others believe that Satoshi is Nick Szabo or Craig Wright.

Whoever Satoshi is, he is very rich if he is still alive. The Bitcoin identified as his is worth over $20.5 billion, making him the  No. 2 richest crypto investor in the world and the 67th richest person in the entire world.

Quick Stats:

Age: Unknown
Crypto coin of choice: Bitcoin
Estimated net worth: $20.5 billion
Notable achievement: Creator of Bitcoin

1. Sam Bankman-Fried

Sam Bankman-Fried is cofounder of FTX, the third-largest crypto exchange in the world. His first job was as a trader at Jane Street Capital.19 He also worked as a director for the Center for Effective Altruism.

In 2018, Bankman-Fried was able to use his trading experience to profit from an arbitrage between U.S. and Japanese exchanges. He moved over $25 million per day in January of that year. Much of his initial wealth seems to have been earned from this arbitrage.

In 2019, Bankman-Fried founded FTX. The exchange has a unique focus on leveraged crypto derivatives, and it has established itself as a place for serious, high-risk traders. FTX has been very successful, bringing great wealth to Sam Bankman-Fried. His net worth is around $20.9 billion. This is a slightly greater net worth than we assume Nakamoto has. So we’re going to list Sam Bankman-Fried as the No. 1 richest crypto investor here, for now, but it’s a very close contest!

Quick Stats:

Age: 30
Crypto coin of choice: Unknown
Estimated net worth: $20.9 billion
Notable achievement: Founder of FTX crypto exchange

The Crypto Inspiration List

These are just the top 40 richest crypto investors. However, below the top 40, there are hundreds of entrepreneurs who have “only” made tens of millions or hundreds of thousands of dollars from crypto.

These “less rich” entrepreneurs have often been responsible for small projects; DeFi apps, Play to Earn video games, NFT Marketplaces, and other businesses that have had success in various niche crypto markets.

But the story for each of these individuals is pretty similar. Most of them found success by discovering a problem that no one else had solved and figuring out how to solve it. A great number of them had businesses that failed before they became successful. But they persevered and became rich in the end.

So if you’re looking for inspiration on how to become successful in business, you can’t go wrong by paying attention to this list of crypto’s richest.

Our data

We researched and compiled the 40 individuals associated with cryptocurrency with the highest net worths in August 2022. They are ordered by their latest published net worth from either Forbes.com billionaire profiles or Entrepreneur.com’s list of the 50 richest people in crypto. Please note that net worths are subject to frequent change.

Citations

  1. Forbes. (2022). The Richest People In The World.
    forbes.com/billionaires/
  2. World Population Review. (2022). Billionaires by Country 2022.
    worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/billionaires-by-country
  3. Golden. (2022). Juan Benet.
    golden.com/wiki/Juan_Benet-5MEMMB
  4. CoinTelegraph. (2022). Alexandre Dreyfus #49.
    golden.com/wiki/Juan_Benet-5MEMMB
  5. Crypto Slate. (2022). Brendan Blumer.
    cryptoslate.com/people/brendan-blumer/
  6. Yahoo Finance. (2022). MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor’s 17,732 BTC Holdings Now Worth $1.1B.
    finance.yahoo.com/news/microstrategy-ceo-michael-saylor-17-174336020.html
  7. Forbes. (2022, Apr 21). Bitcoin’s Biggest Corporate Investor Buys Another $414 Million As Omicron Variant Puts Crypto Prices Under ‘Serious Pressure’.
    forbes.com/sites/jonathanponciano/2021/11/29/microstrategy-bitcoins-biggest-corporate-investor-buys-another-414-million-as-omicron-variant-puts-crypto-prices-under-serious-pressure/?sh=67ba98932103
  8. IMDb. (2022). Brock Pierce.
    imdb.com/name/nm0682302/
  9. Medium. (2018, Sep 3). Li Lin, The Founder of Huobi — — 10 Years of Ambition.
    medium.com/@zhaolily/li-lin-the-founder-of-huobi-10-years-of-ambition-7e541a59ee78
  10. YouTube. (2016). Venture capitalist Tim Draper predicts $10K per Bitcoin by 2018.
    youtube.com/watch?v=gvUlGxkPVic
  11. Internet Archive. (2008, Jan 25). Michael Novogratz.
    web.archive.org/web/20130921055305/http://gawker.com/550093/michael-novogratz
  12. The New Yorker. (2018, Apr 16). A Sidelined Wall Street Legend Bets on Bitcoin.
    newyorker.com/magazine/2018/04/16/a-sidelined-wall-street-legend-bets-on-bitcoin
  13. The Globe and Mail. (2018, Nov 27). Livin’ large with Canada’s crypto king.
    theglobeandmail.com/business/rob-magazine/article-livin-large-with-canadas-crypto-king/
  14. Golden. (2022). Barry Silbert.
    golden.com/wiki/Barry_Silbert-BWWMXNP
  15. The New York Times. (2008, Jun 26). Judge Ends Facebook’s Feud With ConnectU.
    archive.nytimes.com/bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/26/judge-ends-facebooks-feud-with-connectu/
  16. All American Speakers. (2022). SONG CHI-HYUNG.
    allamericanspeakers.com/celebritytalentbios/Song+Chi-Hyung/424404
  17. Startup Talky. (2022, Jan 11). Changpeng Zhao – Success Story of the Binance Founder.
    startuptalky.com/changpeng-zhao-binance-founder/
  18. Barely Sociable. (2020, Jan 18). The Most Elusive Identity On The Internet – Pt. 1 (Ft. Nexpo).
    youtube.com/watch?v=_Kav2K1DVWo
  19. Golden. (2022). Sam Bankman-Fried.
    golden.com/wiki/Sam_Bankman-Fried-63XBXRG