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Crypto, Bitcoin Billionaires Increase by 50% in One Year

2 mins
Updated by Bary Rahma
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In Brief

  • The cryptocurrency market's value increased by 170%, adding $1.6 trillion, largely due to the legalization of Bitcoin ETFs in the US.
  • Bitcoin's record high of $73,000 in March contributed to increasing the number of crypto billionaires to 17, up from 9 last year.
  • Changpeng Zhao leads the list with a net worth of $33 billion, with significant wealth increases also for Michael Saylor and Brian Armstrong.
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The resurgence of Bitcoin and the broader crypto market has minted a new class of billionaires. Over the past year, the total value of all outstanding cryptocurrencies skyrocketed by 170%, adding approximately $1.6 trillion to the market, which was largely fueled by the legalization of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the United States.

This phenomenal growth pushed Bitcoin to a record high of $73,000 in March, creating new billionaires.

17 Crypto, Bitcoin Billionaires

A new list of the world’s billionaires reveals a significant uptick in the number of individuals achieving billionaire status through cryptocurrency. At least 17 were noted this year, up from 9 the previous year, representing a nearly 50% increase.

Collectively, these crypto moguls command a staggering $93 billion in wealth. This wealth spans crypto assets, stock holdings, and private assets, marking a substantial leap from the $37 billion reported last year.

Changpeng Zhao, the founder and former CEO of Binance, remains at the pinnacle of this elite group. Despite legal battles, including a guilty plea to US money laundering charges, Zhao’s estimated net worth has surged to $33 billion from $10.5 billion, making him the standout crypto billionaire of the year.

The success stories extend beyond Zhao. Michael Saylor of MicroStrategy and Brian Armstrong of Coinbase have seen their fortunes swell to $4.4 billion and $11.2 billion, respectively, thanks to the surging stock values of their companies.

Both firms have experienced a fourfold increase in their share prices over the last twelve months, reflecting the booming interest in digital currencies.

Read more: Who Owns the Most Bitcoin in 2024?

MicroStrategy, Coinbase Stock Performance
MicroStrategy, Coinbase Stock Performance. Source: TradingView

This year’s list also welcomes newcomers like Giancarlo Devasini, Paolo Ardoino, Jean-Louis van der Velde, and Stuart Hoegner, key figures in the controversial yet highly profitable stablecoin issuer Tether. Veterans of the crypto market, such as the Winklevoss twins, venture capitalist Tim Draper, and Ripple co-founder Jed McCaleb, continue to feature prominently, their fortunes buoyed by the market’s bullish turn.

Here is the full list of the top crypto and bitcoin billionaires:

  1. Changpeng Zhao
  2. Brian Armstrong
  3. Giancarlo Devasini
  4. Michael Saylor
  5. Paolo Ardoino
  6. Jean-Louis van der Velde
  7. Chris Larsen
  8. Fred Ehrsam
  9. Matthew Roszak
  10. Jed McCaleb
  11. Tyler Winklevoss
  12. Cameron Winklevoss
  13. Mike Novogratz
  14. Stuart Hoegner
  15. Tim Draper
  16. Joe Lau
  17. Nikil Viswanathan

The narrative of crypto’s rising billionaires reflects the sector’s rapid evolution and its emerging role in reshaping the global financial system.

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Bary Rahma
Bary Rahma is a senior journalist at BeInCrypto, where she covers a broad spectrum of topics including crypto exchange-traded funds (ETFs), artificial intelligence (AI), tokenization of real-world assets (RWA), and the altcoin market. Prior to this, she was a content writer for Binance, producing in-depth research reports on cryptocurrency trends, market analysis, decentralized finance (DeFi), digital asset regulations, blockchain, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and tokenomics. Bary also...