There are six notable newcomers on the Forbes 400 rich list this year and they are all prominent figures in the crypto industry. The Forbes 400 tracks the wealthiest people in America, and while the past year has been pretty dire for most people, many of those listed have actually got richer.

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In total there are seven crypto billionaires on the list, which requires a minimum net worth of $2.9 billion, and six of them are newcomers. The total collective worth for these digital moguls is an estimated $55.1 billion according to Forbes. That’s more than the current market capitalization of Ripple’s XRP token.

It added that around 40% of that total (~$22.5 billion), the same as the market caps of Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash combined – belongs to just one person.

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Sam Bankman-Fried raking it in

FTX and Alameda Research founder Sam Bankman-Fried was named the richest person in the crypto industry, having made most of his fortunes over the past two years.

In that short span of time, Bankman-Fried has built one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world. FTX currently processes $2.4 billion in daily spot volume and a whopping $10.5 billion in daily derivatives volume according to CoinGecko. FTX secured the crypto industry’s largest fundraiser to date in July netting $900 million.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong is another newcomer to the Forbes 400 with an estimated worth totaling $11.5 billion or roughly the same as the Algorand market cap. The Winklevoss twins who own Coinbase competitor Gemini are also new entrants with a net worth of $4.3 billion each.

Fred Ehrsam, who co-founded Coinbase with Armstrong in 2012, also made it on the list with an estimated net worth of $3.5 billion.

Ripple executives reign

Early crypto pioneer Jed McCaleb is reportedly worth $3 billion according to Forbes, most of which comes from his XRP holdings as a Ripple co-founder despite having dumped a massive amount of tokens last year.

Fellow Ripple co-founder, Chris Larsen, featured in last year’s list with a net worth of $2.7 billion, increased his wealth 122% to a current estimate of $6 billion. 

Forbes attributed the increase in crypto billionaires, most of whom are connected with centralized exchanges or companies, with a surge in mainstream and institutional interest,

“The increase in the number of crypto billionaires is largely a byproduct of unprecedented levels of mainstream interest in the space, led by institutional investors,”

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Martin Young

Martin has been covering the latest developments on cyber security and infotech for two decades. He has previous trading experience and has been actively covering the blockchain and crypto industry since 2017.

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