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Forbes: Ripple's Chris Larsen Tops First-ever Crypto Rich List


Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen is the richest person in cryptocurrency market, according to the first-ever list of richest digital currency holders presented by Forbes.

The list is based on estimated holdings of cryptocurrencies, post-tax profits from trading crypto-assets and stakes in crypto-related businesses as on January 19.

Larsen's estimated crypto net worth is $7.5 billion to $8 billion, while he had at the January market peak a fortune of some $20 billion, based on his ownership of 5.2 billion XRP, the tokens of Ripple. His company controls 61 billion of the 100 billion XRP in supply.

The value of XRP has crashed later by around 65%, still Larsen tops Forbes' crypto rich list, which gives account of the 20 wealthiest people in crypto industry.

The list also features Joseph Lubin, cofounder of Ethereum, with crypto net worth of $1 billion to $5 billion, Changpeng Zhao with $1.1 billion to $2 billion, and Cameron & Tyler Winklevoss with $900 million to $1.1 billion, among others.

Forbes noted that the average 2017 price change of Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP, three of the most common cryptocurrencies, were 14,409%.

According to Forbes, there are now nearly 1,500 crypto-assets in existence, valued at an aggregate of $550 billion, up 31 times since the beginning of 2017.

"While the prices of individual cryptocoins continue to swing wildly—Bitcoin is down almost 50% from its peak—it's clear that blockchain-based currency is here to stay and that these virtual assets have real, albeit volatile and speculative, value," the publication noted.

It required $350 million minimum in crypto assets to make into the list of cryptocurrency's wealthiest people. According to Forbes, 42 was the average age of the cryptocurrency's richest people versus 67, the average age of the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans.

Forbes Editor Randall Lane added, "In the world of cryptocurrency, fortunes can be made overnight, and the winners of this digital lottery differ from those in previous manias. The shadowy beginnings, at once anarchistic, utopian and libertarian, have drawn an odd lot of pioneers—from antiestablishment cypherpunks and electricity-guzzling "miners" to prescient Silicon Valley financiers and a larger-than-usual assortment of the just plain lucky "hodlers," the typo-inspired crypto jargon for "buy-and-hold" investors."

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