The unprecedented rise of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies have made many people overnight millionaires, but the smartest executives in the industry are beginning to leave their imprints in the global scene too.
Hurun, an organization that tracks high net-worth individuals in China and worldwide, released its latest list of the wealthiest executives in China on Wednesday – a catalog of individuals in the country with a net worth over 2 billion yuan ($209 million).
Six executives from major bitcoin mining firms and cryptocurrency exchanges now hold a net worth of more than $1 billion each, while, 13 executives from the industry made it to the list of 1,893 individuals. The ranking includes Micree Zhan Ketuan, co-founder of computer chip manufacturer of and software firm Bitmain Technologies, in the top 100 richest people in China, with an estimated wealth of 29.5 billion yuan ($2.4 billion). Bitmain co-founder Wu Jihan comes next, taking the 204th place, with a personal worth of 16.5 billion yuan ($2.3 billion).
Binance founder Zhao Changpeng ranked 230th, with an estimated wealth of 15 billion yuan ($2.1 billion). Zhao is followed by OKCoin crypto exchange founder Star Xu and founder of Huobi Li Lin. Zhang Nangeng, founder of computer hardware manufacturer Canaan Creative, and Hu Dong, founder of Bitcoin (BTC) mining machine producer Ebang International Holdings are listed in the Hurun report as well.
The list also includes Li Xiaolai, an English teacher turned BTC whale and serial investor at an estimated wealth of 7 billion yuan ($1 billion). Li recently said that he has done investing in future projects, “So, if you see ‘Li Xiaolai’ associated with any project (I have been associated with countless projects without my knowledge, 99% is not an exaggeration), just ignore it,” Li warned.
Six out of the total 13 crypto executives who made it to the list are from Bitmain, while three come from the firm’s rival chip maker Canaan Creative. Since its inception in 2013, the company has risen meteorically in value and established itself as the biggest manufacturer of cryptocurrency mining equipment in the world.
Reports published in June pointed to a potential launch of an intended initial public offering (IPO) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange by Bitmain, scheduled for September. These reports were based on comments from Wu, who had hinted at the possibility of an IPO by the firm. Investment analysts were speculating that the company could raise anywhere between $3 to $18 billion.
Subsequently, high-profile investors like Chinese tech conglomerate Tencent, investment firm DST Global, and Japan’s SoftBank, distanced themselves from the crypto giant’s pre-IPO in August. The companies promptly denied their involvement. A Softbank official clarified to Cointelegraph that “neither the SoftBank Group Corp. nor the SoftBank Vision Fund were in any way involved in the deal.”
Temasek, the Singapore-based investment company also officially denied its participation in Bitmain’s IPO, stating that “Temasek is not an investor in Bitmain, and has never had discussions with, or an investment in Bitmain. News reports about our involvement in their IPO are false.” DST Global also confirmed that it had “never invested” in Bitmain’s pre-IPO.
Bitmain has brought the IPO one step closer to life by filing a draft application for listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange late in September.
A New Dawn
An increasing number of great minds from the blockchain and crypto industry has been giving company to the elite in the business, technology, and financial world in recent times. Forbes, which is renowned for its annual rich list, has even compiled la ist of the most wealthy in the crypto industry.
Fortune’s 40 under 40 features four innovators from crypto, who have been extremely influential in the development of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Fortune too released a 40 under 40 of the wealthiest influencers in the crypto world
As Anthony Pompliano suggested in his Off The Chain newsletter, the rise of the internet saw many innovators profit off of it, while now crypto seems to be the next big thing. “The richest people in the world today built their fortunes on the back of the internet. It wouldn’t surprise me if the richest people of tomorrow build their fortunes on the back of crypto. The reward for creating value in a decentralized, global world is bigger, faster, and comes with more responsibility than ever before.”