Bitcoin whales: 20 richest people in crypto industry

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Before the beginning of crypto-rush, most of cryptocurrencies cost a few cents, but a gradual increase in the rate allowed farsighted investors to substantially increase the value of their assets and become crypto millionaires. Few people discuss their wealth because of the potential attention of the fiscal services, so property information is rarely publicly distributed. In addition, a digital fortune can be stored on a set of separate wallets. Despite this, we managed to find reliable information about more than twenty major cryptocurrency owners, also known as Bitcoin whales. All these people are well known among crypto-community, being the wealthiest and most influential ones in the world of cryptocurrency.


20. Vitalik Buterin

Fortune: $400-$500 million

Residence: Singapore

Occupation: programmer, creator of Ethereum

Website: https://about.me/vitalik_buterin

Programmer, co-founder and former editor of the Bitcoin Magazine print magazine. Having studied the technology of bitcoin more deeply, he realized that it is possible to build not only a monetary system on the basis of the blockchain. Since 2013 - co-founder of the Ethereum project, for which idea in 2014 he won the World Technology Award, beating Mark Zuckerberg and other applicants.

In 2017, Vitalik Buterin ranked in the top 10 of the rating "40 most influential young people under 40 years old" according to Fortune magazine, and also ranked among the most successful entrepreneurs under the age of 30 of Forbes magazine. In terms of capitalization, ETH is now in second place on crypto market, second only to bitcoin. But Ether doesn't belong to its creators in full, so this amount can not be attributed to the founders.

The tremendous take-off of the price brought Ethereum Foundation to the first place among companies in the blockchain industry in terms of capitalization, leaving behind 21 Inc, the R3 consortium, Coinbase, Digital Asset Holdings and Blockstream. The fund's assets currently exceed $551 million. It is not known exactly how much cryptocurrency is in Buterin's personal reserve, but potentially it has a total capital of more than $400 million.


19. Valerii Vavilov

Fortune: $500-$700 million

Residence: San Francisco, USA

Occupation: programmer, CEO at Bitfury

Website: https://bitfury.com

Valerii was born in Latvia, where he worked as a programmer at ZZ Dats, and then as a technical consultant at uzdevumi.lv. Since 2008, he was leading large Ukrainian Internet projects. He was the founder and CEO of 212.ua, as well as a business and technology consultant for ex.ua, advideo.ua and allroll.biz. In 2011, Valerii Vavilov became one of the founders of BitFury and holds the post of CEO to this day. The company manufactures software and equipment for mining, has several of its own data centers, provides blockchain security services.

Due to the complexity of the development and skepticism of many investors in the first four years of the business, all the mined cryptocurrency was invested to finance activities of the company. Valerii says that during its existence, BitFury has contributed to the extraction of 800000 BTC. Participates in thematic conferences, trying to convey to everyone that Bitcoin should not be considered as an alternative payment system.


18. Daniel Larimer

Fortune: $600-$700 million

Residence: New York, USA

Occupation: CTO at Block.one, co-founder of BitShares, EOS and Steemit

Website: https://blockchainlive.com/speakers/dan-larimer/

Daniel created his first project in 2015 - it was BitShares. It is noteworthy that it was created as a response to the arrest of accounts on the Mt. Gox. The main focus of work was to create a solution to the problem of smart contracts scalability.

Daniel's active career started partially thanks to Satoshi Nakamoto, with whom he closely communicated on the Bitcoin forum.


17. Brendan Blumer

Fortune: $600-$700 million

Residence: Hong Kong, China

Occupation: CEO at Block.one

Website: http://block.one

Brendan organized his first business as early as 15 years old, selling characters in various MMORPGs. In 2007, he opened the company Accounts.net, which became the world's largest website for game accounts selling. In 2010, he founded Okay.com, which created software for enterprises in the real estate sector. CEO at ii5 company. After meeting Dan Larimer in January 2017, he opened Block.one (now owns 15%), the first product of the project was EOS.IO. Further, the business received support from Brock Pierce.

Considers that the blockchain technology will transform existing interactions by destroying them rather than replacing them. Thus, corruption, system errors and other negative aspects of the human factor will decrease sharply.


16. Charles Hoskinson

Fortune: $600-$700 million

Residence: Boulder, USA

Occupation: mathematician, Ethereum co-founder; IOHK

Technological entrepreneur and mathematician from Colorado. In 2013, having left his previous activities, he began to develop the educational committee of the Bitcoin Education Project, where he met Vitalik Buterin. His professional experience includes participation in three successful projects related to cryptocurrencies - Invictus Innovations, Ethereum and IOHK (an engineering company for creating blockchain-based products).

He is involved in the development of Cardano and Ethereum Classic, with a total capitalization of more than $12 billion. IOHK owns ADA for about $1 billion. His current projects are focused on virtual currency education, decentralization and simplifying the use of cryptographic tools for the mainstream. Charles enjoys fishing and chess along with a passion for functional programming, paradoxes, building mazes.


15. Michael Novogratz

Fortune: $0.7-$1 billion

Residence: New York, USA

Occupation: CEO at Galaxy Digital

Website: https://earn.com/novogratz/

The manager of the ex-hedge fund, a former investment firm Fortress Investment Group, was a member of the board of the advisory board of Acumen Fund, Inc. He is credited with owning 42000 BTC. Novograz calculated that now about 20% of his capital is in the form of digital assets. In addition, he invested in ethereum, mining, trading platforms, ICO, pre-sales and blockchain technology in general.

In the period from 2016 to 2017, when Ether grew to almost $400, and Bitcoin exceeded $2500, Novograz sold enough to earn about $250 million. He said he paid income tax, bought a Gulfstream G550 plane and donated a round sum to a charitable criminal justice reform project. The remaining assets continue to bring him profit.


14. Brock Pierce

Fortune: $0.7-$1 billion

Residence: USA

Occupation: actor, Bitcoin Foundation chairman; Block.one advisor

Website: http://blockchain.capital

Venture capitalist and successful entrepreneur, became famous thanks to innovative digital currency market. He is the founder and managing partner of Blockchain Capital, which has invested in more than 30 companies operating in the blockchain technology.

Pierce is the founder and advisor of GoCoin, Tether, ZenBox, Blade Financial, Expresscoin, Noble Markets, BitGo, ChangeTip, BlockStreet, Coin Congress and Plug and Play. Manages the AngelList syndicate.

As an entrepreneur, he bought dozens of companies that now make hundreds of millions of dollars in profits every year. Promotes the theory that thanks to blockchain technology, can be created a system that significantly accelerates development as a whole. In crypto-community many call him the creator of the ICO.


13. Anthony di Iorio

Fortune: about $1 billion

Residence: Toronto, Canada

Occupation: founder and CEO at decentral.tv, Ethereum co-founder

Website: https://decentral.ca

He can be called the ideological inspirer in the field of decentralized technologies. The many-sided experience allowed to bring his vision of the situation into many projects. One of the most striking works was ethereum, in which he acted as a co-founder.

Most of his professional activities is dedicated to advising on investment opportunities in ICO.

Anthony is actively engaged in educational activities. As the organizer of many events in the field of blockchain technologies (for example, Canadian Bitcoin Expo 2014), he also acts as a speaker. To search for like-minded people, he organized the Toronto Bitcoin Meetup group and also was the executive director of the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada.


12. Charlie Shrem

Fortune: about $1 billion

Residence: New York, USA

Occupation: entrepreneur, director of development in Jaxx.io

Website: http://charlieshrem.com

Young Charlie Shrem was a student and was buying digital money as much as he could when the rate was around $3. He founded a startup, BitInstant in 2011. He was sentenced to two years in prison in 2014 for directing funds to the black Internet market Silk Road, which was allowing customers buying drugs for bitcoins. He is one of the founders of the Bitcoin Foundation, where he was previously deputy head of the fund.

In 2017, he joined Jaxx as Director of Development, and in November, Shrem announced the launch of his new project. Startup Intellisys Capital is ready to offer customers direct investment in medium-sized companies. Many sources indicate that he managed to acquire about 100,000 BTC.

Charlie is also known for wearing a ring, on the reverse side of which there is an access code for his bitcoin wallet. Now he is also actively managing his cryptocurrency assets.


11. Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss

Fortune: about $1 billion

Residence: New York, USA

Occupation: sportsmen, entrepreneurs

Website: https://winklevosscapital.com

Twins, American rowers and businessmen. They are the founders of ConnectU social network. They also launched the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange and developed a proposal for a stock exchange investment fund (Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust), which was rejected by the US SEC in March 2017.

For a long time they were suing Mark Zuckerberg, insisting that he stole the idea of their website for his Facebook network. After the trial, they received $65 million. In 2013, they used part of their payments from an amicable settlement for the purchase of about 92000 BTC, then spending $11 million on this, paying $ 120 for each coin. They additionally supported many successful blockchain-related projects, which also brings them profit.


10. Jared Kenna

Fortune: about $1 billion

Residence: San Francisco, USA

Occupation: investor

Former CEO and founder of Tradehill. Later he opened Mission20, and then a brewery in Colombia, and continued actively investing in cryptocurrency, making speculations. It is known that in 2010 he bought 800 BTC at 20 cents and accidentally formatted the hard disk. After some reflection on the potential of the technology, decided to continue investing his own and borrowed funds in Bitcoin. He was buying BTC in large batches of 5000. Some part sold at the rate of $258, but the number is unknown.

Several sources claim that 111,114 BTC is stored in his wallet. Dozens of luxury houses, luxury cars, villas with real lions and tigers clearly indicate significant reserves and the right investment decisions.


9. Matthew Roszak

Fortune: about $1 billion

Residence: San Francisco, USA

Occupation: program engineer, co-founder and CEO of Coinbase

Website: https://www.bloq.com/

Matthew Roszak laid an impressive way to become one of the main figures in the blockchain industry. He created Tally Capital to manage his investment in the ecosystem of cryptocurrency projects. One of the founders of Bloq, a blockchain software company. Roszak is the director and beneficial owner of Eboost, Enter Financial, MissionMode, Neu Entity, Onramp, SolidSpace and TrueLook.

He is an ideological follower of the philosophy of Satoshi Nakamoto. Over the past three years, he has invested in more than 20 currently popular projects (Blockchain Capital, Block.One BitFury, Blockstream, Factom, Factom, QTUM, and others). He spent a decade developing Red Hat and fine-tuning open source software for the largest companies in the world. He is also a founder of the Chicago Blockchain Center, CME Group, DRW and Lightbank. He was a producer of the first in the history documentary film about Bitcoin "The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin". Became one of the most deeply rooted players in the industry.


8. Brian Armstrong

Fortune: about $1 billion

Residence: San Francisco, USA

Occupation: program engineer, co-founder and CEO of Coinbase

Website: https://twitter.com/brian_armstrong

Under his leadership, in 2012, was founded the company, which today is one of the most famous in the bitcoin industry - Coinbase. Before Coinbase was founded, Brian had previously founded UniversityTutory.com and had worked as a chief engineer on projects like AirBNB and CarWoo. He has several specialized entities, including a Master of Computer Science degree.

Brian is known for his loud remarks about the developers of Segregated Witness (SegWit). He is an expert in the blockchain industry. He takes an active part in various conferences dedicated to its development.


7. Matthew Mellon

Fortune: about $1 billion

Residence: Beverly Hills, USA

Occupation: investor

Website: https://twitter.com/asliceofmellon

Inherited part of a huge fortune from two families of magnates Bank of New York, Mellon corp. paternal and maternal Drexel-Burnham-Lambert. Co-founder of HanleyMellon, Coin.co, CoinValidation, as well as an investor in Ripple, MellonDrexel, BNYMellon, Arrival Aviation and others. Mostly invests in luxury goods and the oil industry.

From 2015 to 2017, he was the global ambassador of Ripple, having XRP worth of $1 billion. He is now a chairman of the Finance Committee of the New York Republican Party. In total, he invested more than $2 billion in various blockchain-related projects.


6. Changpeng Zhao

Fortune: $1-2 billion

Residence: Shanghai, China / Tokyo, Japan

Occupation: program engineer, Binance founder

Website: https://www.binance.com

Binance and BijieTech CEO, former CTO and co-founder of OKCoin, Fusion Systems. Head of Information Technology at Bloomberg Tradebook Futures. The creator of cryptocurrency Binance. He has more than 15 years of software development experience and has been working in financial analytics. He is active in promoting and popularizing cryptocurrencies in Asia and North America.

Back in 2013 discussed with Blockchain.info participants the possibility of creating a specialized exchange, but then there were few worthwhile altcoins for full-fledged trading. Changpeng and Roger Ver are old friends. After the decision of the Government of China, he moved the activities of the projects to offshore zones (British Virgin Islands). The estimated cost of his business and the remaining stock of BNB is now estimated at more than $ 1 billion.


5. Roger Ver

Fortune: $1-3.5 billion

Residence: Tokyo, Japan

Occupation: investor

Website: https://rogerver.com

Ver began investing in Bitcoin in early 2011. He has invested more than a million dollars in new startups related to digital currencies, including Ripple, Blockchain.info, Bitpay and Kraken. Due to propaganda of Bitcoin he earned the nickname "Bitcoin Jesus." Roger was sentenced to imprisonment for 10 months for trying to sell firecrackers on Ebay.

In June 2016, he was appointed Chairman of the Cryptocurrency Advisory Board for MGT Capital Investments. Recently, he has fully focused on the idea of Bitcoin Cash and is the CEO of bitcoin.com.

According to various sources, he owns from 130,000 to 300,000 BTC. This does not take into account the funds from his participation in other projects and other components of the investment portfolio.

"I'm motivated by the positive ways in which Bitcoin use being widespread will make the world a better place."


4. Joseph Lubin

Fortune: $1-5 billion

Residence: New York, USA

Occupation: programmer, cryptographer, Bitcoin creator

Website: https://new.consensys.net

He was previously managing director of Blacksmith Technologies, CEO of Synerg Music. In 2014, he founded Consensus Systems, a company that executes a security audit, launches a network of new tokens. He participated in the launch of projects Gnosis, Singular, adChain, Grid + and BlockApps. Experts believe that he is the largest buyer of the ether, and some attribute assets up to $ 10 billion to his account. However, Joseph himself denies this, claiming that he makes speculative transactions with cryptocurrency, and part of it directs to business development.

Lubin personally participated in interdisciplinary groups trying to promote solutions for problems management in the decentralized networks industry.


3. Jed McCaleb

Fortune: $1-5 billion

Residence: San Francisco, USA

Occupation: programmer, entrepreneur, Stellar.org founder, Ripple Labs co-founder

Website: https://jedmccaleb.com

One of the founders of Ripple and generally a very productive developer. It was he who founded the first cryptocurrency exchange called MtGox, but left the project before it began active trading. Next was the eDonkey file hosting service, and then the OpenCoin project, which was later renamed Ripple. Considering that the ambitious plan turned into a commercial product, the main developer left Ripple Labs. Jed McCaleb did not agree with tight centralization and did not just abandon his brainchild, but created a worthy competitor for him called Stellar. XLM (Stellar) capitalization is now about $ 6 billion.

"I, and I assume many other people, feel that bitcoin will take off once it finds some killer app that really makes use of the strength of BTC. And anyone with any amount of BTC benefits greatly from bitcoin taking off since that will cause the price to skyrocket. So we should all be very interested in this happening."


2. Chris Larsen

Fortune: $ 7.5-8 billion

Residence: San Francisco, USA

Occupation: entrepreneur, Ripple Labs co-founder

Website: https://ripple.com

American investor, known for creating several joint startups in Silicon Valley. In 1996, he co-founded the online mortgage lender E-Loan, and in 2006, co-founded Prosper Marketplace, the world's first peer-to-peer lending market, where he served as CEO. Since 2012, he co-founded the company Ripple Labs, Inc., where from 2015 to 2017 Larsen was the CEO, and now he is the chairman of the board. In addition to the assets of the company owns 5.2 billion XRP.

"We saw for a time that digital currencies were radioactive to banks, but that's not the case anymore."


1. Satoshi Nakamoto

Fortune: $8-9 billion

Residence: presumably, Japan (according to P2P Foundation personal profile)

Occupation: programmer, cryptographer, Bitcoin creator

Website: https://bitcoin.org

The pseudonym of a person or group of people who developed the bitcoin cryptocurrency protocol and created the first version of the software in which this protocol was implemented. There have been several attempts to uncover the real person or group behind this name, but none of them led to success. On October 31, 2008, Nakamoto published an article "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System", and in early 2009 he released the first version of the wallet and launched the network.

It is believed that the mysterious creator of Bitcoin owns about 1 million coins, most of which are mined in the earliest days of cryptocurrency, when only a few programmers knew that it exists. Back then, the block reward was 50 BTC, and the mining complexity was so low that even with an average laptop you could mine.

Bitcoins that belong to Nakamoto have never been spent or transferred. The current market value of these assets is now about $4 billion. Even if there are thousand people behind the project - they are all multimillionaires now.

"With e-currency based on cryptographic proof, without the need to trust a third party middleman, money can be secure and transactions effortless."