Crypto. Whether you’re bullish or bearish on Bitcoin’s prospects, or a die-hard fan of Ethereum, we take a look at 25 people who’ve changed their lives through their work with crypto. Did you know there’s such a thing as a cryptocurrency millionaire?
Cryptocurrencies have become a global phenomenon causing a lot of controversy in society for the past few years. The current market for cryptocurrencies is immersed in euphoria and apprehension.
Recent market talks are revolving around the potentials for cryptocurrencies in the near future; how it will fully integrate into the financial market, and the whole world, in general.
It is important to mention that due to the fluid nature of the crypto and finance industry itself, people, whose names are well-known thanks to their contribution to the sphere, may experience uncertainty in their fortunes in the next year. Conversely, a new person, who has just entered the business, might bring a revolutionary technology to the table. In either case, there is no doubt that interest in cryptocurrency keeps growing all over the world on a daily basis.
Our list of the top 25 crypto millionaires
Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Ripple
Crypto net worth: $7.5 – $8 billion
Opening our list of crypto millionaires, Chris Larsen is the co-founder and Executive Chairman of Ripple. He was called the richest crypto millionaire by Forbes, who also placed him 383rd on their Forbes 400 list in 2018.
He holds an MBA from Stanford University and is a veteran Silicon Valley operator. Larsen has a long history in financial sphere. Firstly, he co-founded E-Loan, an online mortgage business company, in 1992. Strongly believing in the power of the internet, he stated that it was a great new tool that would make the real estate sector more efficient and easier to maintain.
Upon this belief, he established a company that allowed users to avoid fees and commissions associated with agents. In 1998, he and his partner, sold E-Loan to Yahoo for almost $25 million. As they have received 23% stake in Yahoo, they managed to retain a majority of the control over E-Loan.
Larsen co-founded the first peer-to-peer lending website “Prosper Marketplace” in 2005. It was a huge success and the website processed over $120 million worth of loans by 2012. Shortly after, Larsen co-founded OpenCoin. By 2013 the company was rebranded as Ripple Labs.
When working on the concept of Ripple, Larsen focused on building a better place for moving money from one place to another. Ripple, which is not technically a blockchain, has attracted more than 200 financial firms ranging from major banks to remittance facilitators from all around the world to its network. The Ripple Network aims to replace old-fashioned SWIFT interbank settlement system as it provides a more effective system for money transferring in terms of time, cost efficiency and security.
Founder & CEO of ConsenSys
COO & Co-Founder of Ethereum
Crypto net worth: $1 – $5 billion
Joseph Lubin is the co-founder of Ethereum, the Ethereum Foundation and ConsenSys, a technology company that is focused on building firms around every aspect of the Ethereum blockchain system. He is credited with assisting in the development of smart contracts and blockchain governance.
Lubin graduated from Princeton University in 1987, but afterwards stayed for a while to work in robotics. Later he moved to work as both a software engineer and a research scientist at Vision Applications and TomandDandy.
After gaining some experience, Lubin went to Goldman Sachs, an American multinational investment bank and financial services company, where he worked in the wealth management division for a few years. After he resigned, he took up the role of Director in a company called Blacksmith Technologies. Throughout these experiences Lubin kept his focus on cryptography, engineering and finance.
Joseph Lubin founded ConsenSys a few years after that. Today, the team includes more than 900 employees that are currently working in the company.
Lubin has attended and spoke at many finance-related events, such as the World Economic Forum and SXSW Conferences.
Co-founder and Director of Bitmain
Crypto net worth: $2 billion
Jihan Wu is a Chinese financial analyst, entrepreneur, crypto evangelist and Bitcoin millionaire. He co-founded Bitmain, a $12 billion crypto mining company that is considered to be the largest in the world. Bitmain’s mining pools, BTC.com and Antpool, account for 28.9% of all the processing power on the global Bitcoin network.
Wu received an economics degree at Peking University, China. Before he was introduced to Bitcoin, he was working as a financial analyst and as a private equity fund manager.
Jihan Wu discovered Bitcoin in May 2011. His earliest purchases of the cryptocurrency were made on Taobao and Mt. Gox. Jihan was the first person to translate Satoshi Nakamoto's whitepaper for Bitcoin to Mandarin Chinese. He strongly believes that the modern world and our lives will be significantly changed by blockchain technologies. He had previously supported Bitcoin network scaling solutions, including Bitcoin Unlimited. In addition, he also has a stake in the $3 billion crypto startup Circle.
CEO and Founder of Binance
Crypto net worth: $1.1 – $2 billion
Changpeng Zhao, also known as CZ, is a Chinese-Canadian business executive. He is known for being the founder and CEO of Binance, the world’s largest and fastest-growing cryptocurrency exchange. CZ was previously a developer at Blockchain.info and the Chief Technology Officer at OKCoin.
Binance is considered to be the top crypto market with almost $1 billion in volume per day. By implementing many new innovations, creating new listings, removing listing fees and running charity organisations, Zhao has proved that Binance is as stable as ever and is not leaving the global arena anytime soon.
After less than a year in operation, Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao was included in Forbes's list of the richest people in crypto in 2018.
Co-Founder and General Partner of Andreessen Horowitz
Crypto net worth: $1.3 billion
Marc Andreessen runs an influential Silicon Valley VC (venture capital) firm called Andreessen Horowitz. Its successful investments include Oculus VR and online giants, such as Instagram and Twitter. Since 2013, he has been contributing funding to multiple blockchain industry startups.
Anderssen has a background in revolutionary technology: he was involved in co-creation of Mosaic and Netscape, the first internet browsers.
He was one of those who were lucky enough to make their fortune during the 1990’s internet bubble. Then he took the decision to switch to venture capital, which led to the eventual co-founding of Andreessen Horowitz.
Marc Andreessen has been displaying his interest in crypto for a very long time; last year his firm announced a new fund of $300 million focused specifically on the blockchain and cryptocurrency space called a16z crypto.
Andreessen has received multiple internet-related awards, such as Vanity Fair’s 2011 New Establishment List, CNET’s 2011 most influential investors list, and the 2012 Forbes Midas List of Tech’s Top Investors. He was also the one out of five web pioneers awarded the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering in 2013.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss
Two American internet entrepreneurs, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, also known as the Winklevoss twins, hold their place on this list as the co-founders and CEOs of Gemini and Principal of Winklevoss Capital.
The pair attended Harvard, and during that time worked with Divya Narendra on establishing ConnectU. The idea behind it was to create a popular social networking website. The platform shut down later, however, despite the failure, it brought the Winklevoss twins a decent sum of money. Speaking in digits – $65 million – which they received after successfully suing Mark Zuckerberg, the developer of Facebook, for stealing the intellectual property behind ConnectU.
It was only later that the twins decided to enter the private equity market, founding a venture capital fund of their own. The Winklevoss twins were the world’s first bitcoin billionaires, using their settlement from Facebook to purchase 1% of all its supply in 2012. The two became one of the original advocates for Bitcoin.
The Winklevoss twins established Gemini, a US cryptocurrency exchange, in 2014. The platform is one of the few exchanges which allow US digital currency investors to trade conventional dollars for digital currencies.
An interesting fact: before becoming successful in the financial world, they were professional sportsmen and participated in rowing competition in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Currently, each one of them is worth roughly $1 billion in cryptocurrency. Last year Tyler helped to launch the Gemini dollar, a stable coin designed to provide liquidity to crypto traders.
The twins won a patent for settling exchange-traded products (ETPs) with digital currencies earlier in 2018. It suggests that they are as strong as ever and will remain their positions in 2019.
CEO and co-founder of Coinbase
Crypto net worth: $900 million – $1 billion
Brian Armstrong is the co-founder and CEO of Coinbase, one of the largest Bitcoin exchange in the US and the world, in general. The platform is offering a wide range of services and products for institutional investors.
His neverending interest in technologies helped him to become the leading advocate for Bitcoin’s adoption, as well as participating and speaking at various seminars, conferences, and workshops. As an entrepreneur he has worked with many companies and addressed many different audiences.
Last year, Coinbase allowed access to more cryptocurrencies available to the masses. It’s obvious that with the listing of new coins, as well as announcing the possibility of adding even more, Coinbase is staying in the game and keeping its positions strong.
Armstrong was featured in the American documentary film “Rise and Rise of Bitcoin” directed by Nicholas Mross in 2014.
Co-founder of Bloq
Founder of Tally Capital
Founder of Chicago Bitcoin Center
Crypto net worth: $900 million – $1 billion
Matthew Roszak is a crypto advocate, crypto investor and entrepreneur.
He is the co-founder and chairman of Bloq, a blockchain software company; and a founding partner of Tally Capital, a private investment business that is blockchain-enabled technology oriented. Tally Capital has an impressive portfolio of over 20 investments that include Coinbase, Kraken, Blockstream, and Factom.
Roszak was among the first people who participated in the earliest initial coin offerings in 2013. He bought shares in currencies like Mastercoin, Factom and Maidsafe, before the term ICO itself was even created.
Prior to crypto, he spent over 20 years in private equity and venture capital with big firms, such as Platinum Venture Partners, Advent International and SilkRoad Equity; and has invested over $1 billion of capital in a broad range of industries.
Roszak is the director and beneficial owner of TrueLook, Eboost, MissionMode, NeuEntity, Onramp and SolidSpace; as well as a chairman of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, the world’s largest trade association,representing the blockchain industry.
He is also famous for producing the first ever documentary about the blockchain sphere called “The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin”, 2014.
Roszak has been featured in many popular publishings, including The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. He frequently presents at a number of global FinTech conferences.
Anthony Di Iorio
Co-founder of Ethereum
Founder of Jaxx
Founder of Decentral
Crypto net worth: $750 million – $1 billion
Anthony Di Iorio is an entrepreneur and community organiser in the field of decentralised technologies, digital currencies and blockchain.
Fifteen years ago, Di lorio worked at his family’s patio-door manufacturing business, in addition to running a geothermal drilling firm. Meanwhile, he undertook his Bachelor’s degree in Marketing. Soon, after the financial crisis decimated the real estate industry, he developed an interest in economics. This led him to graduate with an MBA from Columbia University, USA. While trying to understand how money works and how to liberalise it, he was introduced to cryptocurrency. The idea behind it interested him, and he continued learning more about crypto.
Di lorio organised the Toronto Bitcoin Meetup group in 2012 in order to look for fellow believers. By good fortune, the person he met at the first meeting was no one else, but Ethereum's founding genius, a Russian-Canadian programmer called Vitalik Buterin.
With some money savings that he had from his prior enterprises, Di Iorio helped to fund Ethereum's coding. Ever since then, he has invested in a variety of crypto-assets, such as Vechain, Qtum and Zcas.
He truly believes that blockchain will revolutionise the way we live, and his main ambition is to deliver cryptocurrencies to the masses. In pursuance of these goals his company Decentral Inc., an innovation hub for decentralised and Blockchain technologies, has developed a cryptocurrency “wallet” called Jaxx. The smartphone app allows its users to hold and manage a list of their virtual currencies, from the market giants, like Bitcoin and Ether, to lesser-known tokens, like Gnosis and Iconomi.
In February 2018, Forbes magazine put him on their “Prophets of Boom” list, featuring the world’s richest crypto players.
Brock Pierce is an American entrepreneur and venture capitalist who has a comprehensive track record of consulting, founding and investing in various businesses. As an early Bitcoin investor, he first discovered a demand and, therefore, the market for a digital currency in online games. He is also known as one of the largest investors in the Ethereum crowdsale. He took part in over 100 projects; has invested in more than 30 companies in the Blockchain ecosystem, and helped the companies that he was involved in to raise over $200 million US.
Before he got into the business world, Pierce was an actor who appeared in many commercials and Disney movies. Later, at the age of 17, he retired from the acting career and started his first company by joining as a minor partner to Chad Schackley and Marc Collins-Rector. Together they established Digital Entertainment Network. Company's mission was to be a dot-com startup with main focus on creation and delivery of original video content online in the late 90s, long before wide adoption of broadband internet access. Sounds pretty much like YouTube, doesn’t it? Digital Entertainment Network raised over $88 million US before the business announced itself a bankrupt.
He discovered the crypto world at the age of 37 and managed to quickly accumulate a crypto net worth of more than $700 million, making him a cryptocurrency millionaire.
Michael Edward Novogratz is a Wall Street veteran who is well-known for becoming one of the richest people in the crypto world, according to Forbes.
He joined Fortress Investments Group as a hedge fund manager in 2002, after working as a banker in Goldman Sachs for 11 years.
Novogratz can be called a fairly early crypto investor, as he bought $7 million worth Bitcoin at $100 in 2013. In 2017, he started Galaxy Digital. As the founder and CEO of the company, he oversees a merchant bank dedicated to digital assets and blockchain technology with four main lines of business: OTC trading, asset management, advisory, and principal investing in VC and other business stages. Last year Novogratz refocused on institutional clients, rather than small ICO and blockchain consulting.
CEO of Block.one
Crypto net worth: $600 – $700 million
Brendan Blumer is an American investor, entrepreneur, and executive. He is the CEO of Block.one, a tech company that produces the EOS.IO distributed ledger software.
When Blumer was only 15 years old, he developed a website called Gamecliff in order to value, sell and resale virtual assets in the worlds largest multiplayer online video games. In 2005, the website was acquired by IGE and later moved to its new headquarters in Hong Kong.
Brendan founded The Accounts Network in 2007. The company primarily dealt with the sales of in-game MMORPG avatars. In 2010, he launched a new data sharing platform for the real estate industry in Asia called Okay.com; the company later merged with Asia Pacific Properties. After 3 years Blumer founded ii5, a startup dedicated to real-estate listings in India.
Blumer started his full-time involvement in a crypto sphere in 2016 after meeting his business partner-to-be, Dan Larimer. Together they co-founded Block.one in March 2017. It is an open source software publishing company that specialises in high-performance blockchain technologies. In May of the same year, Blumer and his partner founded their first project EOS.IO.
Forbes included Brendan Blumer in "The Richest People In Cryptocurrency" list in February 2018.
Founder and CEO of BitFury
Crypto net worth: $500 – $700 million
Valery Vavilov is the Founder and CEO of BitFury, a startup that mines Bitcoin. He grew up in Latvia in the 1980s. Personally witnessing the USSR’s collapse in 1991, this left a mark on his life and shaped his future tech-revolutionary ideas. As he mentioned in one of his interviews, “We have just literally lost everything. Money became paper. Patents became worthless. '' It was at that time he first decided to create decentralised structures, so people could always safely retain their property.
Vavilov received his MSc in Computer Sciences from the Transport and Telecommunication Institute, Latvia. He later co-founded 212.ua as well as held numerous technology and business leadership positions at Allroll, Advideo.ua, and Uzdevumi for more than 15 years.
Vavilov was always passionate about the improvement of living conditions of people all around the world. This led him to an idea of founding the BitFury Group in 2011. He was very inspired by the blockchain technology, seeing it as a great opportunity to create a tool that would satisfy his need for helping others.
For a couple of years he struggled to get outside capital, as very few investors believed in this technology. This is why his main focus was on building the hardware solutions that would ensure security and trust in the blockchain. His beliefs and perfectionism led the Bitfury Group to develop five generations of cutting-edge mining chips and state-of-the-art data designs. Under his outstanding leadership, based on his entrepreneurial experience and passion for Blockchain technology, the BitFury Group has become one of the major public blockchain security and transaction providers in the world. It has also expanded its focus to provide custom-designed software, consulting solutions, and advanced hardware, including processor chips and a product called “Blockbox”, a mobile bitcoin mining machine that typically retails for more than $1 million.
Valery Vavilov is a bitcoin millionaire and ranked Number 13 in Forbes Crypto Rich List
It is hard to find a crypto-interested person, who has never heard of Vitalik Buterin, the Russian-Canadian programmer and co-founder of one of the world’s most valuable cryptocurrencies today – Ethereum.
Buterin is one of the most famous people in the blockchain industry. He was born in Kolomna, Russia, however when he was 6 years old, his family decided to move to Canada. Currently, Vitalik lives in Singapore.
He started his journey into the crypto world by writing for Bitcoin magazine and other journals.
Ethereum, released on 30 July 2015, had many ups and downs in the past, especially during the hack of the DAO in 2016. Despite this, Ethereum is the current number two in cryptocurrency in terms of volume of transactions in the world.
In 2017, The Ethereum Enterprise Alliance was founded. It includes around 360 members: while most of them are blockchain companies, there are still several business giants on the list, such as J.P.Morgan, Microsoft, BP, and Deloitte.
At present Buterin serves as the Chief Scientist of the Ethereum Foundation and leads Ethereum’s research team, which manages the core technology of the cryptocurrency and works on its future developments. It is fair to say that with Devcon4 event happening last year, and Ethereum Constantinople being released, it is becoming more apparent that Buterin is ages ahead of everyone else when it comes to fast tech development.
In 2018, Vitalik Buterin was included in Forbes 30 under 30 list.
CEO of Ripple
Member of the Board of Directors of OutMatch
Crypto net worth: $400 – $500 million
Brad Garlinghouse is the current CEO of Ripple, a crypto payments startup that has launched its xCurrent international payment protocol earlier in 2018.
Garlinghouse holds a BA degree in Economics from the University of Kansas, and an MBA from Harvard University. Before Ripple was invented, he served as the CEO of Hightail file collaboration startup. He also previously held the position of Senior Vice President at Yahoo! from 2003 to 2009, where he dealt with its communication businesses including Homepage, Flickr, Yahoo! Mail, and Yahoo! Messenger. Later, he joined AOL as President of Consumer Applications from 2009 to 2012.
Apart from his main activities, he’s known as an active angel investor, who has taken an interest in more than 40 companies. The list includes Pure Storage, AI startup Diffbot, and Indigo Agriculture.
While some people might blame Ripple for not being decentralised at all, it has made its way to the third largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
Brad Garlinghouse hold the 15th place in the Forbes Crypto Rich list.
Barry E. Silbert
Barry E. Silbert is a major crypto investor who founded The Digital Currency Group.
He accomplished his MBA degree with honours at Emory University, USA. Before becoming a successful entrepreneur, Silbert was an investment banker at Houlihan Lokey with his main focus on corporate financing transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and restructurings.
Silbert started as an angel investor in Bitcoin companies in 2013. It led him to become one of the most influential figures and newsmakers in the crypto industry with over 50 investments in 15 countries.
Barry frequently participates in various conferences on the topic of trading illiquid assets. His name was mentioned in multiple international leading publications, like Financial Times, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes, Fortune, and many more.
He owns a few other companies, including Genesis and Grayscale, both are focused on digital currencies. Silbert was the one behind the creation of the Bitcoin Investment Trust – an ETF that is able to track bitcoin’s price.
Silbert was сhosen as the Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young and Crain's, and was also listed in Fortune's 40 Under 40.
Founder of Draper Associates
Founder of Draper University
Crypto net worth: $350 – $500 million
Draper is a famous Silicon Valley venture capital investor, who believed in the power of Bitcoin before it became mainstream. He has been numerously recognised as a leading supporter of entrepreneurship with multiple awards and honours.
Even before cryptocurrencies hit the news, Draper was thinking about the concept of digital capital for many years. The key moment in his crypto career happened when he first heard about Bitcoin’s release; he directly invested $250,000 without any hesitation. Unfortunately, due to the collapse of the Mt. Gox exchange happened in 2014, he lost it all. But Draper isn’t one who gives up easily. That same year he purchased nearly 32,000 bitcoins, which had been confiscated from Ross Ulbricht and were auctioned by the US Marshal’s Service. As it was later revealed, at the time he paid almost $20 million. Thenceforth, he has made 40 more crypto investments.
Timothy Draper founded Draper University of Heroes in 2013. It offers an educational programme that provides a crash course in entrepreneurship for both executives and entrepreneurs.
Draper received his MBA from Harvard and was listed as one of the most outstanding Harvard alumni on the Forbes Midas List in 2006. His name was also in Worth Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful People in Finance. In addition, he also received the “Entrepreneur for the World” award at the World Entrepreneurship Forum in 2015.
CEO of Dunamu
Founder of Upbit
Crypto net worth: $350 – $500 million
Song Chi-Hyung is the CEO of Dunamu, founder of Upbit and one of the famous crypto millionaires.
A graduate of the prestigious Seoul National University, Song Chi-Hyung, received his BSc in Computer Science and Economics. He got his first tech job at an IT firm during a massive upgrade in Korea’s internet infrastructure. Dunamu, the company founded by Song in 2012, kicked off as a news aggregator, but then quickly shifted toward FinTech.
In 2017, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea “Upbit” was founded by Song Chi-Hyung. After only 3 months in operation, the platform ranked among the top three in Bitcoin trading.
Upbit partnered with Bittrex, a US-based cryptocurrency exchange, to trade a total of 120 tokens from 214 different markets. It also secured funding from the internet giant Kakao Corp., the country’s most popular smartphone messenger app with over 200 million users worldwide. The alliance led to the creation of KakaoStock, a mobile stock trading app.
Creator and Designer of Bitgold
Crypto net worth: N/A
Nick Szabo was one of the original cryptographers to create ideas that have led to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies industries as a whole.
He graduated from the University of Washington, USA, with a BSc in Computer Science & Engineering. Szabo’s expertise with crypto started in 1998 with the creation of the BitGold proposal. The concept was never actually implemented, but arguably created the framework for Bitcoin today.
People have speculated that Szabo is Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous creator of Bitcoin, although Szabo has repeatedly denied the claim. Szabo is called the “father” of "smart contracts" as he is the one who developed the phrase and concept.
His continuous contribution of technical knowledge and commentary in the crypto industry has made him an influential figure in the sphere, and has earned him a place on our crypto influencers list.
Lead Developer – Bitcoin Core
Chief Scientist – Bitcoin Foundation
Creator – ClearCoin
Crypto net worth: N/A
Gavin Andresen, also known as Gavin Bell, is one of the key people in the Bitcoin revolution. His BSc in Computer Sciences from Princeton University, USA, together with his high interest in technologies has made him an outstanding software engineer. He previously held the role of Director and is currently the Chief Scientist of the Bitcoin Foundation, as well as a developer at Bitcoin Core.
Andersen started his career working on 3D graphics software at Silicon Graphics Computer Systems. However, his involvement with Bitcoin can be traced back to 2010, when he first discovered this cryptocurrency. Being as savvy tech he was, Andresen quickly recognised the benefits of Bitcoin’s design and infrastructure.
Nowadays, Andresen acts as an architect and arbiter for the Bitcoin community, helping to coordinate improvements to the core Bitcoin software. He is one of the wealthiest Bitcoin-related programmers and constantly reiterates that his true passion and belief in the blockchain motivates him to contribute and work harder.
Co-founder and President of Blockstream
Crypto net worth: N/A
Adam Back is a programmer, Bitcoin enthusiast and author of credlib, a library executing credential systems. He was the first to implement the proof-of-work system, which is used by numerous email providers to combat spam, and decentralised mining.
Back has been working on e-cash protocols since 1995. He can truly be called one of the founding fathers of cryptocurrencies, as he developed Hashcash – a Bitcoin-like cryptocurrency in 1997.
He has become a major reference source in Bitcoin development, co-founding the blockchain tech company Blockstream in 2014. Back’s work was one of the eight references Satoshi Nakamoto used in the original Bitcoin paper.
Currently, Back is the president of Blockstream, a startup that's focused on developing sidechains and other applications for the crypto ecosystem.
Andreas M. Antonopoulos
CTO of Third Key Solutions
Board Advisor of Blockchain.info
Crypto net worth: N/A
Andreas M. Antonopoulos is a Greek-British public speaker, technologist, entrepreneur, CTO of the Third Key Solutions and a Board Advisor of Blockchain.info.
He has degrees in Computer Science, Distributed Systems, and Data Communications. Antonopoulos can be referred to as a real authentic crypto evangelist and a supporter of the original, decentralized ideals of Bitcoin. He has published several books about online currencies. These include “Mastering Bitcoin,” “Mastering Ethereum,” and the bestselling “The Internet of Money, Vol. One and Two.” In addition, he wrote over 200 articles on data centres, security and cloud computing. His goal is to help the masses become more knowledgeable about the new emerging technology. During last year alone he gave speeches at 11 events for blockchain advocacy. Andreas is also a host on the “Let's Talk Bitcoin” podcast.
He offers strategic consulting to cryptocurrency companies, as well as offering expert witness testimony in the security, technical details and use of cryptocurrencies.
Andreas Antonopoulos is a hugely influential figure in the blockchain space. He is not just a public speaker – he inspires people to work with cryptocurrency.
Creator of Litecoin
Director of Engineering (formerly) of Coinbase
Crypto net worth: N/A
Charlie Lee, a former Coinbase employee, is well-known for creating Litecoin – one of the largest cryptocurrencies in the world , holding its place in the Top10 by market cap.
Lee graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, with a BSc and MSc in Computer Science.
For a whole decade in the 2000s, he worked as a software engineer at Google. His work for the company included a number of projects such as Chrome OS, Play Games, and YouTube Mobile.
Lee became interested in Bitcoin in early 2011. By October of the same year, he had already released Litecoin on Bitcointalk. He had written the blockchain technology, that was based on the Bitcoin, in his spare time while working at Google. Litecoin was presented to the public after only 150 coins were mined. Lee left his position in Google and started to work for Coinbase in July 2013.
Charlie Lee remains one of the most outspoken voices in the modern crypto community. He often appears on mainstream news networks. Even though he had previously sold some of his Litecoin holdings, causing many people to believe that he betrayed his own project, he is currently spending the majority of his time working with the Litecoin Foundation on the currency adoption.
CEO and Founder of Xapo
Independent Director of PayPal
Crypto net worth: N/A
Also known as “patient zero” of Bitcoin, Wences Casares is a serial entrepreneur and a board member of both PayPal and Coin Center, a crypto research and advocacy non-profit company. He is the CEO and Founder of his current project Xapo, which combines the convenience of a cryptocurrency wallet with the security of cold storage.
As a blockchain cryptocurrency evangelist, Casares advocates that one of the digital currencies, most probably Bitcoin, will eventually become the main store of value all over the world.
His past ventures include Brazil’s Banco Lemon, mobile payment firms Bling Nation and Lemon Wallet, video game maker Wanako Games, and Latin American online brokerage Patagon.
CEO and Co-founder of Lightning Labs
Crypto net worth: N/A
Elizabeth Stark is an educator, internet advocate and entrepreneur that closes our list of crypto millionaires. In 2016, she co-founded Lightning Labs, a blockchain development startup based in San Francisco.
Stark has lived and worked in Paris, Berlin, Singapore, and Rio de Janeiro. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard University, USA, and fluently speaks Portuguese, English, German, and French.
Alongside being the CEO of Lighting Labs, Stark taught technology and the future of the internet at Stanford and Yale Universities (USA). She is also a visiting fellow at the Yale Information Society Project.
Elizabeth Stark is one of the key organisers of the anti-SOPA/PIPA movement that engaged 18 million people from all around the world. She has also collaborated with large companies like Google and Mozilla. In 2018, she became a fellow at the Coin Center, a research organisation focused on the development of government policy around decentralised technologies. Currently, Stark serves as a mentor with the Thiel Fellowship and is Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Stanford's StartX.