Twelve crypto billionaires have made the Forbes list for 2021, with Sam Bankman-Fried the leader in crypto with a net worth of $8.7 billion.

Forbes released their annual billionaires list on April 6, with Amazon overlord Jeff Bezos and his $177 billion topping the list for a fourth consecutive year.

The “digital gold rush” has seen nine new crypto billionaires join the Forbes list, pushing the total up to 12 (depending on whether you count the Winklevoss twins as one or two entries.) That's up from just four in last year's Forbes World’s Billionaires list

Sam Bankman-Fried - Newcomer

Sam Bankman-Fried is the wealthiest crypto-billionaire, with a net worth of $8.7 billion. Bankman-Fried founded trading firm Alameda Research and popular derivatives exchange FTX. The 29-year old has made waves in the crypto space, with FTX recently winning the naming rights to Miami Heat’s home stadium for 19 years. Cointelegraph recently ranked Bankman-Fried as the third most influential figure in crypto for 2020.

The Winklevoss Twins - Newcomers

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have a net worth of $3 billion each and started investing in Bitcoin in 2012. The brothers famously sued Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg for IP theft in 2004 and won a $65 million settlement which they used to invest in Bitcoin. They started the crypto exchange Gemini in 2014, and they purchased Nifty Gateway in November 2019.

Chris Larsen - Returnee

Larsen, the co-founder of Ripple Labs saw his net worth grow from $2.6 billion to $3.4 billion over the past year.

Larson and Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse have been fighting an ongoing dispute with the SEC in relation to XRP and unregistered securities offerings. However, the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple hasn’t appeared to affect its token too badly, with XRP increasing by 387% in the last 12 months.

Jed McCaleb - Newcomer

McCaleb is another co-founder of Ripple, and reportedly holds 3.4 billion XRP and 1 billion Stellar Lumens — the cryptocurrency he founded after leaving Ripple — with his holdings adding up to a net worth of $2 billion. Cointelegraph reported that McCaleb sold off $400 million worth of his XRP holdings in 2020 alone.

Michael Saylor - Newcomer

Saylor is the CEO of listed company MicroStrategy and co-founded the software giant in 1989, and now has a net worth of $2.3 billion. Saylor has become the leading advocate for corporations holding Bitcoin on balance sheets. Since its first purchase of Bitcoin in August 2020, Microstrategy has invested $2.226 billion, taking its tally up to 91,579 Bitcoins at an average cost of $24,311 per Bitcoin.

Brain Armstrong - Returnee

Armstrong is the CEO and co-founder of Coinbase and his net worth has gone from $1 billion to $6.5 billion within 12 months. Coinbase also had a successful year, generating $1 billion in revenue, and it's set for a direct listing in a week. That will value Armstrong's shares somewhere north of $14B, meaning he may well top the crypto billionaires' list next year.

Fred Ersham - Newcomer

Ersham co-founded Coinbase with Brian Armstrong in 2012 and left the firm in 2017. He is now a board member of the company, and his 6% stake has an estimated worth of $1.9 billion.

Changpeng Zhao

Zhao is the founder of the largest crypto exchange Binance and owns an estimated 30% stake in the company. Zhao’s net worth is $1.9 billion, and the digital gold rush has been good to the Binance founder, with Binance Coin becoming the second-largest altcoin by market cap. Zhao revealed earlier this week that he holds close to 100% of his portfolio in crypto.

Matthew Roszak - Newcomer

Roszak is the Chairman and co-founder of blockchain technology firm Bloq and is a leading crypto and blockchain investor. Roszak is also a founding member of Tally Capital a crypto-focused private investment firm and has a net worth of $1.5 billion.

Tim Draper - Newcomer

Draper is a crypto evangelist with a net worth of $1.5 billion. He bought $18.7 million worth of Bitcoin in 2014 after it was confiscated from the Silk Road black market. Draper was also one of the primary investors in the Tezos project and co-founded Draper Fisher Jurvetson, a leading investment firm in early-stage tech startups.

Barry Silbert - Newcomer

Silbert founded the crypto conglomerate Digital Currency Group in 2015 and has a net worth of $1.6 billion. The DCG owns asset management firm Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, which currently has $46 billion worth of assets under management.

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