Forbes has released its first ever list of richest people in cryptocurrency, which is topped by Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen, with an estimated crypto net worth of USD 7.5-8 billion.
There is a huge spike in the value of the unregulated cryptocurrencies, which are ‘mined’ using secret algorithms based on the blockchain technologies.
According to Forbes, the average 2017 price change of Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP, three of the most common cryptocurrencies, is a whopping 14,409 percent.
As per the publication, there are now nearly 1,500 cryptoassets in existence, valued at an aggregate USD 550 billion, up 31 times since the beginning of 2017.
“Fortunes of this magnitude should never be allowed to lurk in the shadows,” Forbes Editor Randall Lane said.
The list also features Joseph Lubin with crypto net worth (USD 1-5 billion), Changpeng Zhao (USD 1.1-2 billion), Cameron & Tyler Winklevoss (USD 900 million-1.1 billion) and Matthew Mellon (USD 900 million-1.1 billion).
Others in the list include Brian Armstrong, Matthew Roszak, Anthony Di Iorio, Brock Pierce, Michael Novogratz, Brendan Blumer, Dan Larimer, Valery Vavilov, Charles Hoskinson, Brad Garlinghouse, Barry Silbert, Vitalik Buterin, Tim Draper and Song Chi-Hyung.
The publication noted that given the “opaqueness” and crypto’s hyper-volatility, Forbes presented the net-worth estimates in ranges.
“We based our numbers on estimated holdings of cryptocurrencies (a few provided proof), post-tax profits from trading cryptoassets and stakes in crypto-related businesses, and locked in our estimates using prices on January 19, 2018,” Forbes said.
It further said: “It’s a near certainty that we have missed some people and that some of our estimates are wide of the mark”.
Forbes has categorised the crypto rich list into five groups: Idealists, builders, opportunists, infrastructure players and establishment investors and said “many fit into more than one category”.
The minimum amount needed to make it to the list of cryptocurrency’s wealthiest people is USD 350 million.
Interestingly, the average age of the cryptocurrency’s richest people is 42 while for the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans it is as high as 67.
In India, cryptocurrencies are not legal tender and the government will take measures on their use as part of payment systems, as announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Union Budget 2018-19.
“The government does not consider cryptocurrencies legal tender…and will take all measures to eliminate use of these cryptoassets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system,” Jaitley had said.