The CEO of the United States’ largest cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, has topped the list of global industry billionaires by China’s Hurun Research Institute.
Issued on March 2, the latest Hurun report provides a brief overview of the world’s richest, stating that the number of global billionaires has surged nearly 50% to hit over 3,000 people over the past five years. The report includes 17 “blockchain billionaires,” or industry entrepreneurs who made their fortune “mainly from cryptocurrency” as of January 2021.
According to the report, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong is the world’s biggest crypto billionaire, with his net worth surging ten-fold from $1 billion last year.
According to Hurun’s data, Armstrong now has an estimated wealth of $11.5 billion ahead of Coinbase’s imminent initial public offering. The company officially announced its IPO plans in December 2020 in a draft filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and CEO of Alameda Research and FTX exchange, is ranked the second-richest blockchain billionaire, with a net worth evaluated at $10 billion. The executive is a new entrant in the Hurun list, following the massive growth of FTX in 2020.
Changpeng Zhao, CEO of the world’s largest crypto exchange Binance, is ranked the third, with total wealth estimated at $8 billion, up more than 200% from last year. In 2020, Zhao was featured as the richest crypto billionaire in the Hurun list, overtaking Bitmain’s co-founder Micree Zhan Ketuan.
The Hurun’s new blockchain billionaires list includes a number of major industry players like Ripple co-founders Chris Larsen, Stellar co-founder Jed McCaleb, Digital Currency Group CEO Barry Silbert, the Winklevoss brothers, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, and others. The list features a total of 11 new entrants in the list including major industry investor Tim Draper and Galaxy Digital founder and CEO Michael Novogratz.