Since its inception, cryptocurrency has given birth to ‘crypto-millionaires’. Early adopters who held on to Bitcoin have risen to be the wealthiest individuals in the market. According to BitInfoCharts, an anonymous account that began purchasing Bitcoins in March 2011 (and has never sold) collected a fortune north of A$4.8bn. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, twin brothers prominent for losing a legal battle over the social network idea behind Facebook, purchased 120,000 bitcoins in 2012. With current prices, their haul would be worth over A$8b today.
Investors holding on to other cryptocurrencies have shared the same fate. Vitalik Buterin, creator of Ethereum, reportedly received 533,000 ether -- a holding worth A$3bil today. The founder of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, like Buterin, was awarded 40 per cent of the token’s total supply.
In the world of cryptocurrency, investors are not the only participants who can benefit from the increasing prices of the market. Founders of crypto-services companies also rank among the top earners. Brain Armstrong, co-founder of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, owns more than 35m shares in the company -- worth more than $12bn. Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of cryptocurrency exchange FTX was worth $22.5bn in 2021, much of it from his stake in the start-up.
Even with the transparency of cryptocurrencies, it is still
a difficult task to determine who the individuals are behind the largest digital wallets.
Government regulations, tax authorities and cyberattacks are amongst the larger concerns held by these wallet owners.