Three times as many crypto personalities appear on the Forbes 2021 billionaires list as did last year.

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Twelve crypto billionaires have made the Forbes list for 2021, with Sam Bankman-Fried leading the pack with a $8.7 billion nett worth.

Forbes published their annual billionaires list on April 6, with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his $177 billion ranking first for the fourth year in a row.


The “digital gold rush” has resulted in the addition of nine additional blockchain billionaires to the Forbes list, bringing the number to 12. (depending on whether you count the Winklevoss twins as one or two entries.) This is an increase from just four on last year’s Forbes World’s Billionaires list.

Sam Bankman-Fried – Newcomer

With an estimated nett worth of $8.7 billion, Sam Bankman-Fried is the richest crypto-billionaire. Bankman-Fried founded the trading firm Alameda Research as well as the famous derivatives exchange FTX. The 29-year-old has made a name for himself in the crypto room, with FTX recently acquiring the naming rights to the Miami Heat’s home stadium for the next 19 years. Bankman-Fried was recently named the third most prominent person in cryptocurrency for 2020 by Cointelegraph.

The Winklevoss Twins – Newcomers

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have a net worth of $3 billion each and started investing in Bitcoin in 2012. The brothers famously sued Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg for IP theft in 2004 and won a $65 million settlement which they used to invest in Bitcoin. They started the crypto exchange Gemini in 2014, and they purchased Nifty Gateway in November 2019.

Chris Larsen – Returnee

Larsen, the co-founder of Ripple Labs, increased his nett worth from $2.6 billion to $3.4 billion in a year.

Larson and Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse have been embroiled in a legal battle with the SEC over XRP and unregistered securities offers. However, the SEC’s case against Ripple does not seem to have had a negative impact on its token, with XRP rising by 387 percent in the last year.

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Jed McCaleb – Newcomer

McCaleb is another Ripple co-founder who allegedly owns 3.4 billion XRP and 1 billion Stellar Lumens — the blockchain he created after leaving Ripple — with a nett worth of $2 billion. According to Cointelegraph, McCaleb sold $400 million in XRP holdings in 2020 alone.

Michael Saylor – Newcomer

Saylor is the CEO of MicroStrategy, a publicly traded corporation that he co-founded in 1989 and has a nett worth of $2.3 billion. Saylor has emerged as the chief proponent of companies keeping Bitcoin on their balance sheets. Microstrategy has spent $2.226 billion in Bitcoin since its first acquisition in August 2020, totalling 91,579 Bitcoins at an average expense of $24,311 per Bitcoin.

Brain Armstrong – Returnee

Armstrong is the CEO and co-founder of Coinbase, and his nett worth has increased from $1 billion to $6.5 billion in a year. Coinbase had a profitable year as well, raising $1 billion in sales, and it is due to go public in a week. Armstrong’s shares will be worth more than $14 billion as a result, putting him at the top of the crypto billionaires list next year.

Fred Ersham – Newcomer

Ersham co-founded Coinbase in 2012 with Brian Armstrong and left the company in 2017. He is also a member of the company’s board of directors, and his 6 percent stake is believed to be worth $1.9 billion.

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Changpeng Zhao

Zhao is the operator of Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange, and holds an approximate 30% of the business. Zhao has a nett worth of $1.9 billion, and the digital gold rush has benefited the Binance maker, with Binance Coin being the second-largest altcoin by market capitalisation. Zhao announced earlier this week that he has almost 100% of his portfolio in cryptocurrency.

Matthew Roszak – Newcomer

Roszak is the Chairman and Co-Founder of blockchain technology company Bloq, as well as a prominent cryptocurrency and blockchain participant. Roszak has a nett worth of $1.5 billion and is a founding partner of Tally Capital, a crypto-focused private investment fund.

Tim Draper – Newcomer

Draper is a blockchain evangelist with a $1.5 billion nett worth. In 2014, he purchased $18.7 million in Bitcoin after it was stolen from the Silk Road black market. Draper was also a principal partner in the Tezos project and co-founded Draper Fisher Jurvetson, a major early-stage tech venture investment company.

Barry Silbert – Newcomer

Silbert, who has a nett worth of $1.6 billion, created the crypto conglomerate Digital Currency Group in 2015. Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, a wealth management company owned by the DCG, reportedly manages $46 billion in reserves.

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