Binance Founder Leads List of Top 10 World's Richest Crypto Billionaires in 2024

Binance Founder Leads List of Top 10 World's Richest Crypto Billionaires in 2024

The period of downturn in the cryptocurrency market has come to an end. Bitcoin's value has surged by over 100% in the last year, reaching a record-breaking peak of $73,000 in March following the legalization of Bitcoin-based exchange-traded funds in the U.S.

The collective market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies has also experienced remarkable growth, soaring by 170% and contributing approximately $1.6 trillion in added market value within the same timeframe.

The crypto market has experienced a remarkable surge that has led to the emergence of new billionaires. Here is a list of the current crypto kings in 2024, according to Forbes.

The wealthiest billionaires in crypto in 2024
The crypto market has experienced a remarkable surge that has led to the emergence of new billionaires. Photo credit - Forbes, Binance, Inc Magazine
Source: UGC

1. Changpeng Zhao

Net worth: $33 billion

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Source of wealth: Binance

According to corporate documents and insider information, Changpeng Zhao's ownership stake in Binance is approximately 90%, valued at around $32.5 billion.

Zhao recently reached an agreement last year to personally settle federal money laundering charges, alongside Binance, by paying fines totaling $200 million, with an additional $4.5 billion paid by Binance.

This settlement led to his resignation as CEO of Binance, and he is prohibited from involvement with the exchange for three years as part of his guilty plea.

While this legal ordeal might have been significant, it barely dented his substantial fortune.

Despite Zhao's legal challenges, Binance continues to hold its position as the largest cryptocurrency exchange globally, with considerable trading volume. Forbes' analysis suggests that Binance generated approximately $9 billion in revenue last year.

2. Brian Armstrong

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Net worth: $11.2 billion

Source of wealth: Coinbase

Brian Armstrong, alongside Fred Ehrsam, co-founded Coinbase in 2013. As the company's leading individual shareholder, Armstrong holds an 18% stake.

Coinbase's stock has surged 50% year-to-date and has grown more than threefold since the previous year, resulting in a market capitalization nearing $60 billion.

Starting in November, Armstrong has executed sales of over $170 million in Coinbase stock through a prearranged 10b5-1 trading plan.

3. Giancarlo Devasini

Net worth: $9.2 billion

Source of wealth: Tether

Giancarlo Devasini serves as the Chief Financial Officer and is likely the primary individual shareholder of Tether, the largest issuer of stablecoins in the cryptocurrency realm.

Stablecoins, a type of digital currency pegged to traditional currencies like the U.S. dollar, are widely used for transactions. Tether has minted over 100 billion tokens.

With the rise in interest rates, Tether accrued $6.2 billion in profits last year from the interest earned on customers' collateral.

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Devasini's ownership in Tether is estimated to be around 47%, which Forbes has valued by applying the average price-to-earnings multiples of a selection of publicly traded mid-tier banks and asset managers.

4. Michael Saylor

Net worth: $4.4 billion

Source of wealth: MicroStrategy, Bitcoin

Michael Saylor stands out as the most significant gainer among crypto billionaires in terms of percentage on this year's list.

MicroStrategy, the software firm he founded in the 1990s, transformed into a Bitcoin investment entity in recent years. Its shares have soared by nearly 500% compared to last year.

Currently, the company possesses approximately 193,000 bitcoins, establishing itself as the foremost corporate holder of bitcoin globally, as stated by its Chief Financial Officer.

Additionally, Saylor has substantial bitcoin holdings. In 2021, he disclosed owning 17,732 bitcoins, purchased at an average price of $9,882 per coin.

He is currently in the process of liquidating approximately $200 million worth of MicroStrategy stock, a decision he announced at the start of the year.

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5. Paolo Ardoino

Net worth: $3.9 billion

Source of wealth: Tether

Paolo Ardoino holds the position of CEO at Tether, where he serves as the public figurehead of the company and is reported to possess approximately 20% ownership.

His journey with the Tether ecosystem began in 2014 when he joined Bitfinex, Tether's sibling company, as a senior software developer.

Prior to his involvement with Tether and Bitfinex, Ardoino contributed his skills as a computer programmer in various startup ventures.

6. Jean-Louis van der Velde

Net worth: $3.9 billion

Source of wealth: Tether

Jean-Louis van der Velde, Tether's ex-CEO, is a prominent figure overseeing Tether's crucial relationships with banks and regulatory bodies while retaining an approximate 20% ownership stake in the company.

His journey began when he relocated from the Netherlands to Taiwan in 1985 to pursue higher education.

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Subsequently, he co-founded numerous IT and technology startups across Asia before assuming a role at Tether.

Presently based in Hong Kong, van der Velde continues to play a pivotal role in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

7. Chris Larsen

Net worth: $3.2 billion

Source of wealth: Ripple, XRP

In 2012, Chris Larsen embarked on the co-founding of Ripple with the vision of streamlining international payments through the utilization of the XRP cryptocurrency.

While he relinquished his position as CEO of Ripple towards the end of 2016, Larsen continues to serve as the executive chairman.

Recent secondary market data disclosed to Forbes indicates that investors value Larsen's 18% stake in Ripple at $3.8 billion.

Additionally, he holds a significant reserve of XRP, amounting to over 2.8 billion tokens, along with nearly $1 billion in cash and investments, largely accrued from previous XRP sales, as per Forbes' estimations.

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8. Fred Ehrsam

Net worth: $3.2 billion

Source of wealth: Coinbase, Paradigm

In 2012, Fred Ehrsam collaborated with Brian Armstrong to establish the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.

Although he departed from the company in 2017, Ehrsam continues to serve on its board and retains ownership of approximately 5% of its stock.

Following his departure, Ehrsam ventured into co-founding Paradigm in 2018, an investment firm specializing in cryptocurrencies. Currently, Paradigm manages assets exceeding $8 billion.

Regarding Coinbase's financial performance, the company amassed $2.9 billion in revenue the previous year, a decline from $3.1 billion in 2022 and $7.8 billion in 2021, which marked the last surge in cryptocurrency prices.

Despite the revenue decrease, Coinbase has rebounded to profitability, recording a net income of $100 million, a significant turnaround from the $2.6 billion net loss reported in 2022.

9. Matthew Roszak

Net worth: $3.1 billion

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Source of wealth: Bitcoin, Ethereum

Having made his initial bitcoin investments in 2010, Roszak emerged as an early investor in the cryptocurrency space.

His wealth predominantly stems from early ventures into various cryptocurrencies, notably Ethereum and BNB, the native token of Binance.

In addition to his investment activities, Roszak oversees Bloq, a blockchain startup engaged in investing in other crypto ventures and providing consultancy services for blockchain projects.

10. Jed McCaleb

Net worth: $2.9 billion

Source of wealth: XRP sales

A key figure in the early days of cryptocurrency, McCaleb played a pivotal role by establishing Mt. Gox, the inaugural major bitcoin exchange, back in 2010.

He opted to sell the exchange a year later, prior to its notorious hacking incident.

Following this venture, McCaleb co-founded Ripple in 2012, although he departed shortly thereafter due to disagreements with his co-founders.

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The bulk of his wealth is attributed to the sale of a significant portion of the original 9 billion XRP he acquired as a Ripple co-founder, with his final coin sales occurring in 2022.

McCaleb left his mark on the cryptocurrency landscape by founding Stellar, a Ripple competitor, in 2014.

He directs his time and financial resources towards Vast, a space exploration venture in which he is heavily invested.

Nigeria's CBN lifts ban on crypto transactions earlier reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria had lifted its restrictions on cryptocurrency transactions in commercial banks.

This is according to a circular dated December 22, 2023, signed by Haruna Mustafa, the apex bank's Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department.

The CBN banned banks from crypto-related transactions in 2021, citing money laundering and terrorism financing concerns.

The regulator has now reversed that ban, explaining that global trends have shown the need for crypto regulation instead of a total ban.


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