Bitcoin prices soared into 2021, briefly exceeding $60,000 per coin in March. Other tokens saw similar gains, bringing the total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies to over $1.5 trillion. Large institutions are now joining in on the bitcoin rally. Bitcoin is now listed on the balance sheets of companies like Square and Tesla. Bitcoin is the world's first and most successful blockchain-based cryptocurrency, having been launched in 2009. The Forbes group's makeup of -investors, builders, and issuers. Net worths are as of March 5, 2021.
NET WORTH: $8.7 BILLION
Bankman-Fried is the wealthiest billionaire in the cryptocurrency world. The 29-year-old MIT graduate is the founder of Alameda Research, a quantitative trading firm, and FTX, a popular derivatives exchange. In 2020, he made headlines when he donated $5 million to a super-PAC that backed Joe Biden's presidential campaign.
NET WORTH: $6.5 BILLION
LAST YEAR: $1 BILLION
The fortune of the CEO and co-founder of Coinbase more than sextupled over the past year amid the boom in crypto investments. Coinbase has established itself as the dominant U.S. crypto exchange,
Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss
NET WORTHS: $3 BILLION EACH
The former Olympic rowers turned their $65 million settlement into personal fortunes of $3 billion each after suing Facebook. In 2012, the siblings began purchasing bitcoin. They've also launched Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange, and bought Nifty Gateway, a digital art auction platform. The Winklevoss brothers sued Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, alleging that he stole their ConnectU idea and used it to create the much more popular social networking site Facebook. Tyler and his brother Cameron founded Gemini in 2014, digital currency exchange and custodian where customers can buy, sell, and store digital assets. The New York State Department of Financial Services regulates it as a New York trust company (NYDFS).
NET WORTH: $2.3 BILLION
During the first dot-com bust, the CEO of software firm MicroStrategy made and lost a fortune. Saylor is now worth $2.3 billion, thanks to his early purchase of Bitcoin, which boosted his and his company's stock prices. Saylor announced his intention to purchase Bitcoin, gold, or other alternative assets instead of holding cash on MicroStrategy's quarterly earnings conference call in July 2020. MicroStrategy bought 21,454 Bitcoins with $250 million from its cash reserve the following month.
NET WORTH: $3.4 BILLION
LAST YEAR: $2.6 BILLION
The co-founder and chairman of Ripple saw his fortune rise by $800 million as the value of his company's XRP token soared. He has a 17% stake in Ripple Labs and owns over 3 billion XRPs. Ripple has over 100 customers, including American Express and Santander. He co-founded online mortgage lender e-Loan in 1996 and peer-to-peer lender Prosper in 2005 before joining Ripple. Larsen and his foundation donated $25 million to San Francisco State University in April 2019, mostly in XRP.
NET WORTH: $2 BILLION
Another Ripple cofounder, McCaleb, makes the majority of his money from his 3.4 billion XRP holdings. He also owns roughly 1 billion Stellar Lumens, the cryptocurrency he cofounded in 2014 after a feud with his Ripple colleagues. In 2013, McCaleb left Ripple to focus on Stellar, a new project that launched in 2014. The stellar platform, an open-source and decentralised payment protocol, is designed to make it easier to send cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies quickly and cheaply.