Despite the controversy that surrounds cryptocurrency, they’re increasing in popularity, regardless of the worries over security and illegal undertakings connected to them.
Individuals and brands are jumping in headfirst, creating their unique ways of beating their rivals, among whom are the early adopters who quickly embraced the technology.
They’re now among the richest people in cryptocurrency, with net-worth estimates in the high billions.
We present the top 5 biggies ambitious of crypto right from the start.
Popularly known as the richest man in crypto, Chris Larsen, Ripple’s co-founder, started the crypto business so as to facilitate international payments with blockchain technology, for banks.
His crypto net worth stands between $7.5 billion to and $8 billion, notwithstanding that he began with a $20 billion fortune most of which was from his XRP, a token of Ripple.
With the XRP tokens currently trading at about 40 cents, Chris’ meteoric rise can be attributed not just to the company’s growth in 2017, but also the tokens he accumulated which is estimated at about 5.19 billion.
Today, Ripple boasts top clients such as Bank of America, Mitsubishi Financial and Santander, among its 100-plus client base.
Like Larsen, Joseph Lubin is also a co-founder of one of the first and top crypto businesses, Ethereum, and founder of ConsenSys. His net worth stands between $1 billion and $5 billion.
Before venturing in crypto, Lubin was into robotics, neural nets, machine vision and software engineering.
Later, he transitioned into finance, running a hedge fund, and building trading systems. He also worked as a private wealth management expert in Goldman Sachs’.
It wasn’t until he heard of one of his co-founders, Vitalik Buterin’s white paper on Ethereum dated November 2013, and committed to the project two months later that he got into the business.
Lubin felt that blockchain technology could serve as an organizing principle for the world, which is why he invested in it, heavily.
Insiders in the crypto-industry believe the ConsenSys founder may be the single largest Ether holder, with as much as $10 billion in valuations.
However, the 53-year-old insists he has begun selling some of his Ethers, which he uses to fund the firm’s development.
ConsenSys also offers token launches and security audits among other services to traditional companies, while helping launch crypto businesses.
Changpeng, or CZ, is the CEO of Binance, a renowned global exchange where most trading activity based on daily volume takes place.
Binance, which has a capability of 1.4 million transactions per second, uses the BNB token with its six million users, making it the world’s most popular and largest crypto exchange.
The initial coin offering was in July this year, and since then, it has risen from just 10 cents to a whooping $13, with a current market cap of $1.3 billion.
CZ owns the largest stake in the coins.
He has a rich background in exchanges, after studying computer science, and spending time in New York and Tokyo, in the Stock Exchange, developing software for futures trading.
Binance currently supports 120 coins, and works with 240 trading pairs, and more than 100 wallets.
CZ’s current net worth stands at between $1.1 billion and $2 billion.
As the cofounders of Winklevoss Capital, this pair of twin brothers has a net worth of between $900 million and $1 billion each.
The twins were embroiled in a turf with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg before they ditched that war chest and started investing in Bitcoin in 2012.
Despite the turbulence in crypto at the time, the two kept sinking more money into it.
They even built a cryptocurrency exchange, Gemini, based in New York, where investors sell and buy digital currencies.
Prior to setting up and opening Winklevii, a trading platform, they worked with New York regulators, closely, and today, Gemini shares a table with Coinbase as one of the places people can sell their crypto coins for US dollars.
Winklevoss Capital handles millions of transactions daily, having battled with the high barrier to entry into the financial services industry, which is a capital-intensive and years-long legal process.
Unlike the top four crypto biggies, Mellon, whose net worth stands between $900 million and $1 billion, is an individual investor.
The former finance committee chair of the New York Republican Party, heavily dabbled in crypto, abandoning some of his early investments, and selling Bitcoin some years back.
He found Ripple’s XRP, and spent about $2 million acquiring coins, because it is one of the currencies working in the banking system, and he is pro-banking.
What seemed like an insane decision to Mellon’s family is now a billion-dollar investment – a clear home run for the investor.