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Crypto Rich: 6 Leading Bitcoin Investors
Despite being a relatively new industry, the crypto world is home to some well-known masterminds. Some may think that the strict code that regulates blockchain technology doesn’t leave room for creativity. Think again. It is brimming with professionals from diverse backgrounds. Some come from development, others from law and politics or the big corporate world. However, they all share a commonality; their innate imagination and ability to think outside the box.
Each of these visionaries has the desire (and power) to identify and seize opportunities that can change our future for the better. Not long ago, we brought to you the most influential people in the forex domain.
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Bitcoin Investors in All Their Glory
Since its inception in 2009, Bitcoin’s popularity has grown exponentially. Indeed, it holds the title of the first and the most successful digital currency in the world. According to Coindesk the game-changing cryptocurrency’s market capitalization stands at approximately $174.6 billion. Subsequently, it makes sense that some of the most renowned early adopters and Bitcoin believers make our top 10 list.
The person (s), the legend, the pseudonym. Rocking in at number 1 is Satoshi Nakamoto – the brain (s) behind the operation, the creator of Bitcoin and one of the world’s biggest mysteries. It is still unknown whether it is in fact one person, a group of developers or if this being exists.
Despite all the hypotheses and the speculation, Satoshi has remained elusive. Several individuals have been identified as leading suspects and we couldn’t resist having a look at them.
Dorian Nakamoto was the first high-profile suspect. In March 2014, Newsweek identified several similarities between Satoshi and Dorian. Supposedly, both are libertarian-leaning and have a connection to Japan. Nakamoto, a Japanese-American and physics graduate that worked on classified defense projects denied any claims and at the time of the “outing” had not been working as an engineer for several years. Many within the Bitcoin community didn’t believe the claims. However, they were aghast by the complete violation of his privacy. As a result, a campaign was set up and it raised more than 100 Bitcoins on Dorian’s behalf.
Another rumored candidate was Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright. In 2015, Wright declared to the world that he was the person who created Bitcoin. Furthermore, he filed more than 150 patents for the authorship of the distributed registry technology. Also, smart contracts and 6 cryptocurrencies. Although the patents where undisputed and Wright didn’t face any legal consequences. Big names in the crypto world were also skeptical about his claim and daubed him as a fraud.
Barry Silbert is a pioneer in Bitcoin investment, starting his journey in 2012. He quickly established himself as one of the earliest and most active investors within the industry.
In his early days before becoming a budding entrepreneur, Silbert worked as an investment banker after graduating from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University.
Silbert is also the founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group (DCG). Established in 2015, DCG’s mission is accelerating the development of blockchain and Bitcoin companies all over the world. DCG sits at the epicenter of the blockchain industry supporting 140+ companies across 30 countries, including big names such as Coinbase, Ripple and Circle. Moreover, it invests directly in digital currencies and other digital assets. DCG is the parent company of Grayscale Investments, the largest regulated crypto trading and lending firm and CoinDesk, the preeminent news & events site specializing in Bitcoin and digital currencies.
Blythe Masters is a financial services and technology innovator. At a time when the financial sector was predominantly male-driven, Masters broke through the glass ceiling and made a name for herself. While studying economics at Trinity College at Cambridge University, Blythe interned at JP Morgan every summer until she joined as a full-time employee in 1991. She went on to take several roles in her 27-year career at the bank. At 28, she become the youngest woman in the firm’s history to attain the status of managing director.
During her tenure at the bank. Blythe was very influential in creating the credit default swap as a financial derivative that allowed investors to offset their credit risk with other investors. She left the bank in 2014, following the successful sale of the physical commodities business that she had built.
So, she embarked on the next chapter and Blythe became the first and most notable Wall Street banker to go blockchain. In 2015, Blythe joined Digital Asset Holdings as CEO. Since its launch, the company has raised more than $100 million in funding from the world’s biggest technology and financial firms including Citibank, JP Morgan, IBM and many more.
Tyler & Cameron Winklevoss are no strangers to the spotlight. Once Olympian rowers, the twins are now two of the most well-known figures in the crypto space. They were catapulted to stardom after conceiving ConnectU (Facebook’s predecessor), while studying at Harvard. They later sued Mark Zuckerberg and alleged that he briefly worked for them and stole part of their code. This lawsuit ultimately provided them with $65 million which they parlayed into Bitcoin and became the first crypto billionaires in 2017. At the time, the brothers boasted that they owned approximately 1% of all Bitcoin in circulation.
The business moguls set up Winklevoss Capital Management in 2015 – a company that invests across multiple asset classes and provides seed funding to start-ups. They also co-founded Gemini, the world’s first regulated ether exchange that earlier this year acquired Nifty Gateway, a platform for non-fungible cryptos. The dynamic duo are also the brains behind WinkDex and are currently seeking approval to set up a Bitcoin ETF that makes crypto accessible to retail investors. Unfortunately, they have been unsuccessful to date.
A true crypto legend and voluntaryist, Roger Ver is best known for early Bitcoin evangelism, angel investment and for being an overall ardent supporter of Bitcoin Cash. Ver is the former CEO of Bitcoin.com – a company that hosts a Bitcoin related web portal and provides several Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash services.
Ver’s first taste of the business world came as a schoolboy where he made a profit by buying and reselling hard drives. The business grew, and in 1999 Ver launched an online PC accessory shop that he still runs to this day. Ver is an interesting character and also had some encounters with the law in his younger days. In fact, he served time in prison for selling explosives on eBay. It was in prison that he saw the true potential of Bitcoin.
He began his Bitcoin journey in 2011 and was the first person in the world to actively invest in Bitcoin start-ups. Ver began to promote the crypto giant heavily and was responsible for the very first Bitcoin roadside billboards, national radio ads and the first large-scale website that accepted Bitcoin payment, the million-dollar bet. It was this promotion of Bitcoin that got him the nickname “Bitcoin Jesus”.
Last, but by no means least, we have Jihan Wu. Wu is the former CEO and co-founder of the world’s largest cryptocurrency mining-chip company Bitmain Technologies. In early 2019, he stood down as Bitmain’s CEO to start Matrixport, only to reassume command later that year and ousting his co-founder Micree Ketuan Zahn. Moreover, he threatened employees with immediate termination if they interacted with the expelled executive.
At the young age of 34, Wu stands at 1196 on the Forbes’ 2020 billionaires list and has a real-time net worth of $1.8 billion.
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