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Jake Tran: Meet the World’s Crypto Billionaires

July 1, 2021
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Two twin brothers were awarded $65 million in a settlement against Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook – a conflict that was later popularized by the movie “The Social Network”. What that movie didn’t get to include was that just 9 years after that settlement, these same twins would go from, in their eyes, being cheated by Zuckerberg, to joining the ranks of Zuckerberg as the world’s very first bitcoin billionaires.

The twins founded Gemini, their own cryptocurrency exchange. Gemini became the first Bitcoin-focused financial institutions to be designated a trust bank by the New York State Department of Financial Services. The Winklevoss Twins become the first ever crypto billionaires. Tim Draper is a third generation venture capitalist. Draper had recently invested in a crypto exchange for institutional investors named Vaurum, and said he planned to use that bitcoin to provide liquidity for the company.

Today, that original 30,000 bitcoins are valued at nearly 1 billion dollars, and Forbes estimates his net worth at $1.5b Changpeng Zhao, AKA as CZ, is familiar with the restriction of borders and overreaching governments. Today, he runs Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange where he’s trying to get people to use the form of money that doesn’t rely on borders and governments. The mastermind behind this offshore exchange called FTX? A 29-year-old billionaire named Sam Bankman-Fried, who’s vegan, shares a Hong Kong apartment with roommates, often sleeps on a beanbag, and became the second biggest CEO to donate to the Joe Biden campaign, second only to Michael Bloomberg. He started working at a giant quantitative-trading firm called Jane Street Capital. Chris & Jed are the co-founders of Ripple, the company behind the XRP token and what’s called the RippleNet. As a co-founder, Chris holds more than 3 billion XRP tokens, and a 17% stake in Ripple Labs. Jed on the other hand holds around 3.4 billion XRP tokens. This is where most of his wealth comes from. Today Jed holds his position as co-founder and CTO of Stellar Lumens, while Chris Larsen continues as the Executive Chairman of Ripple Labs. And These were just seven of the twelve known crypto billionaires out there. Here are the remaining five: Michael Saylor, Matthew Roszak, Brian Armstrong, Fred Ehrsam, Barry Silbert Even with the recent crypto crash, I have a feeling this is just the beginning of this new class of billionaires.

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