The Top Blockchain Millionaires of 2022


Last year, blockchain and crypto millionaires were riding the high and promising to use their wealth for everything from lending support to political movements to giving away to charity. But the crypto crisis has destroyed even the best laid plans.

The $2 trillion crypto economy minted many new millionaires, but they also lost a substantial amount of wealth as crypto plummeted to unforeseen depths. These executives recognized the transformative power of blockchain and became the richest in their domains due to their timely investments.

Here are the blockchain millionaires who rule the roost with their substantial wealth.

Changpeng Zhao

Image: Changpeng Zhao, Binance

Chinese-Canadian business executive Zhao once flipped burgers at McDonald’s. But these days he is known as the founder and CEO of Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. The 44-year-old also holds a small chunk of Bitcoin and an undisclosed amount of BNB, Binance’s native token. As of May 2022, he had an estimated net worth of $14.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, down from a high of almost $95 billion in November 2021. Forbes estimates that he owns at least 70% of the company, making him one of the richest crypto millionaires. He also invested $500 million through Binance to finance Musk’s Twitter acquisition.

Sam Bankman-Fried

crypto crisis

Image: Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX

The American investor is the founder and CEO of FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange. In 2021, he moved from Hong Kong to the Bahamas, along with FTX, citing a better crypto framework. In January, the crypto exchange was valued at $32 billion. FTX’s US operations were also recently valued by investors, at $8 billion. He currently owns $7 billion worth of FTT, the platform’s native token, and has vowed to give away all his wealth during his lifetime. He expects blockchain speeding, scaling, and regulation to be the biggest themes of 2022. The blockchain millionaire was recently in the news for taking an active role in political giving and said that he might donate up to $100 million in the next US presidential election.

Brian Armstrong

Brian Armstrong Crypto millionaire

Image: Brian Armstrong, Coinbase

Coinbase founder and CEO Brian Armstrong is well-known for his friendship with former Airbnb colleague Brian Chesky. Armstrong has a nearly 19% stake in Coinbase, which earned him profits to the tune of $322 million in 2020. Coinbase briefly reached a market capitalization of $100 billion when it went public in April 2021. It is the first crypto company to be named in the Fortune 500 list and employs over 4,500 people. As trading volumes dropped, the company recorded a loss of $430 million in the first quarter of 2022. The crypto crisis has affected Coinbase’s fortunes with Armstrong stating that the company will lay off nearly 18% of its workforce to weather the crypto winter.

Gary Wang

With a net worth of around $5.9 billion, Wang is the co-founder of FTX and known for being media-shy. Wang holds a 16% stake in FTX’s global business and over $600 million worth FTT, the native token of FTX. He currently serves at the CTO of FTX and resides in the Bahamas. An MIT grad, he has previously worked with Google before teaming up with Bankman-Fried in 2019. Wang made it to the Forbes Billionaires List in 2022 and is one of the youngest blockchain millionaires at just 28 years of age.

Chris Larsen

Blockchain company Ripple Labs’ co-founder Chris Larsen is valued at almost $4.3 billion. Ripple’s token XRP is currently the eighth largest cryptocurrency. An environmentalist at heart, Larsen partnered with climate groups to launch a campaign – “Change the Code, Not the Climate” – to pressure the Bitcoin community to reduce the digital asset’s heavy carbon footprint. His campaign put him under fire from fellow bitcoin enthusiasts who even labeled him a “Judas” for his views. As an investor, he is best known for investing in many technology-based startups in Silicon Valley.

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