Forbes Magazine has featured two crypto-currency billionaires for the first time in its list of the world’s richest.
Chris Larsen, the richest man in crypto, and Changpeng Zhao, the owner of the crypto exchange Binance, have found place among 259 newcomers in Forbes’ 2018 World’s Billionaires list.
Larsen is ranked 14th with a net worth of $4.6 billion, while Zhao’s net worth is estimated to be $1.4 billion.
Forbes found 259 new billionaires over the past year as surging markets have pushed the number to a record-high of 2,208. The newcomers’ ‘lucky products’ range from cryptocurrency to animal style In-N-Out burgers to Hatchimals kids toys.
A Stanford M.B.A. and veteran Silicon Valley operator, Chris Larsen earned the bulk of his revenues from his 5.2 billion XRP, the token of Ripple. He co-founded the company with Jed McCaleb in 2012 to facilitate international payments for banks using blockchain technology.
One of the most popular cryptocurrencies in the world, Ripple controls 61 billion of the 100 billion XRP in supply. Forbes calculated his net worth based solely on the XRP he owns personally and the value of his 17 percent share in Ripple.
Changpeng Zhao, popular as CZ, is a 41-year-old Chinese-Canadian coder who runs Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world.
His exchange can process a blazing 1.4 million transactions a second, according to Forbes. On a peak trading day in January, Binance is estimated to have processed 3.5 billion new orders, cancellations, and trades.
His stake in Binance and his coins give CZ a personal fortune worth as much as $2 billion, Forbes said.