Bitcoin is the leading cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of $121 billion. In 2008 Satoshi Nakamoto published the whitepaper of bitcoin with the vision to revolutionize the financial system. People who believed in that vision and recognized the potential of bitcoin reaped great rewards.
We have listed below the top ten wealthiest people who own the most bitcoins and their journey to become bitcoin millionaires:
- Satoshi Nakamoto
- Roger Ver
- Winklevoss twins
- Brook Pierce
- Gavin Anderson
- Chris Larsen
- Changpeng Zhao
- Brian Armstrong
- Matthew Roszak
- Barry Silbert
The above-mentioned Bitcoin millionaires believed in the potential of bitcoin and got on board very early. Since its inception, Bitcoin has come a very long way and is only continuing to grow from here.
Top 10 Bitcoin millionaires and how they got there:
1. Satoshi Nakamoto
Satoshi Nakamoto is the anonymous entity behind the whitepaper of bitcoin. There have been a lot of speculations on who the person is behind the bitcoin, and several have come forward and claimed that they are the real Satoshi Nakamoto but failed to convince the crypto community. The mystery behind the Satoshi Nakamoto remains unknown. Whoever the real Satoshi Nakamoto is, he owns approximately 1 million bitcoins.
Note: Satoshi Nakamoto’s net worth at the peak of bitcoin’s rate in 2017 was estimated to be $19 billion.
2. Roger Ver
Roger Ver, born in California, became interested in cryptocurrencies very early and believed in its potential. He invested a large amount of money in cryptocurrency-related businesses when the industry was at its infant. It is estimated that Roger Ver owns around 100,000 bitcoins, which makes him one of the wealthiest people in the crypto industry. The bitcoin evangelist is a libertarian, far-left political philosophy. Forbes estimated net worth of Roger Ver at $430 million in 2018.
Note: Roger Ver earned the nickname of “Bitcoin Jesus” for his vision for bitcoin.
3. Winklevoss twins
Tyler Winklevoss and Cameron Winklevoss were among the first Bitcoin billionaires. The twins are known for suing Mark Zuckerberg for allegedly stealing the idea of Facebook. Winklevoss twins used some of the money received as compensation from Facebook to buy bitcoins in 2013 when one bitcoin traded $120. The pair since then has invested in several crypto-related businesses. The combined net worth of Winklevoss twins is estimated at $400 million.
Note: Winklevoss twins founded crypto exchange Gemini in 2014, which is among the top crypto exchanges in the world.
4. Brook Pierce
Brook Pierce founded venture capital firm Blockchain Capital in 2013. The firm witnessed one of the largest ICO as it raised around $700 million. The net worth of Brook Pierce is estimated somewhere between $700 million to $1 billion. It is believed that Brook Pierce holds 95% of his net worth in cryptocurrencies. He was appointed as a member of the Bitcoin Foundation, which triggered other members to resign as Pierce had a history of sexual misconduct.
Note: Brook Pierce as a child worked is several Disney movies, including First Kid and The Mighty Ducks.
5. Gavin Anderson
Gavin Anderson initially worked as a developer of 3D graphics and virtual reality software, but he became interested in bitcoin in 2010. He is among the few individuals who were contacted by Satoshi Nakamoto. After Nakamoto announced his departure, he was named as the lead developer of the reference implementation for bitcoin client software. His current net worth is estimated at $2 million.
Note: Gavin Anderson has access to the special alert key that enables him to send alerts about internal problems of the network to all its users.
6. Chris Larsen
Chris Larsen co-founded the company OpenCoin, which developed a new payment protocol called Ripple in 2012. In 2013 OpenCoin changed its name to Ripple Labs. Ripple is currently used by several banks around the world for cross-border settlements. The net worth of Chris Larsen is estimated at $2.3 billion, which makes him one of the richest people in the crypto industry. Ripple has its own cryptocurrency called XRP, which is the third-largest digital currency in terms of market capitalization.
Note: Chris Larsen co-founded first American peer-to-peer lender, Prosper, in 2015.
7. Changpeng Zhao
Changpeng Zhao is the founder and CEO of one of the largest crypto exchanges, Binance. Last year, Forbes placed him third on their list of the wealthiest people in cryptocurrency. The net worth of Changpeng Zhao is estimated at around $1.4 billion. In 2017, CZ left OKCoin, where he served as Chief Technology Officer and founded Binance, which grew to be the largest crypto exchange by volume in just eight months.
Note: Changpeng Zhao, in 2013, worked on various cryptocurrency projects, including Blockchain.info.
8. Brian Armstong
Brian Armstrong founded Coinbase back in 2012 when bitcoin was in its infancy. Coinbase is the largest crypto exchange in the United States. The exchange raised $300 million in October 2018 in a financing round, which was led by Tiger Global that valued the company at $8 billion. According to Forbes, Brian Armstrong’s net worth is around $1 billion.
Note: Coinbase so far has acquired 12 crypto firms, including Neutrino and Blockspring.
9. Matthew Roszak
Matthew Roszak is another visionary who invested in bitcoins in its infancy in 2011. Roszak participated in the first initial coin offering in 2013. Before stumbling upon bitcoin, he worked as a tech entrepreneur. He claims that he was the first person to introduce and lend Bill Clinton and Richard Branson their first bitcoin. Roszak’s capital firm has invested in 20 crypto startups, including Coinbase, Kraken, and BTCC.
Note: Matthew Roszak’s crypto net worth is estimated at somewhere between $7 million and $1 billion.
10. Barry Silbert
Barry Silbert is a venture capitalist. He founded Digital Currency Group in 2015. The company supports and invests in crypto businesses all around the world. In 2014, Silbert walked away with 48,000 bitcoins in an auction held by the US Marshal Service 2014. The bitcoins he bough valued $16.8 million whose value rose to whopping $288 million later. He was also among the early adopters of bitcoin as he later made the bitcoin rich list.
Note: Forbes ranked Barry Silbert at 16th in the list of the wealthiest people in the crypto industry with the estimated net worth at $500 million.
The leading cryptocurrency, bitcoin, saw many ups and downs in its first decade, but it most certainly has revolutionized the financial system. Several bitcoin enthusiasts believe that this is only the initial phase of the cryptocurrency, and it still has a long way to go.