Some people have been able to ride Bitcoin’s momentum all the way to the moon, but the actual names of those raking in millions have largely remained a mystery. Pulling the curtain back on Bitcoin’s biggest success stories, Forbes has published its very own cryptocurrency “Rich List”. Slightly different to the normal Forbes Rich List – this isn’t a countdown – it has instead placed the spotlight over a group of individuals known as the “Prophets of Boom”.
The idea of a cryptocurrency Rich List probably isn’t going to be warmly received, given the rocky patch that Bitcoin has been going through is since the start of the year. However, Forbes has defended its publication, saying that its intention isn’t to be a simple boast of wealth; instead it provides a look at Bitcoin’s impact. Randall Lane (Forbes Editor) said, “The Rich List provides a snapshot of a pivotal moment, part of the transparency needed to pull crypto away from its provenance as the favorite currency of drug dealers and into the adolescence of a legitimate asset class.”
The Newly Minted Crypto Rich
Forbes is globally known for its “World’s Billionaires List”, which covers the true financial heavyweights. Admittedly, the cryptocurrency list is slightly below this in terms of the truly “big bucks”, but it still proves to be a comprehensive selection of names. By all accounts, compiling this list wasn’t easy for Forbes, as determining the total level of wealth held by the world’s wealthiest cryptocurrency tycoons proved to be quite the task. As most already know, cryptocurrencies – for the most part – are decentralized, with the encrypted payment method starting its life on the fringes of the “standard” global financial system. This hasn’t meant that the “newly minted crypto rich” – as Jeff Kauflin (Forbes Staff Writer) so aptly puts it – haven’t been easy to pin down. He says that many of Bitcoin’s richest individuals “live in a strange milieu that blends paranoid secrecy with ostentatious display”, with this being hard to argue against.
Forbes cryptocurrency Rich List is split up into five sections – establishment investors, builders, idealists, opportunists, and infrastructure players. The criteria to qualify was also pretty specific, as anyone featured on the list needs to have a wealth of more than $350 million, with this figure to be calculated on post-tax profits from trading crypto-assets, estimated holdings of cryptocurrency, and stakes in crypto-related businesses. Due to the nature of the determining factors, Forbes has admitted that some financial estimates might not be accurate.
The Fountain of Youth
19 people in total made the list, with Forbes making it easy to learn about how they’ve amassed their wealth. Outside of the names and faces, Forbes has also published some insightful data. For example, the average age of crypto’s wealthiest compared to the age of Forbes 400 richest is 42 against 67, showing that youth is on the side of those involved with cryptos. It also compared the growth figures and volatility of Ripple, Ethereum, and Bitcoin against Gold, Proctor and Gamble, and Apple.
While it’s great to see a crypto Rich List come to fruition, it has proven to be a pretty controversial publication. ConsenSys founder Joe Lubin recently spoke on how it might thrust Bitcoin’s biggest players unwillingly into the limelight, while he’s also raised questions on how Forbes has come about its figures. That being said, he did begrudgingly recognize that the publication of the list did represent a milestone and is probably warranted.
From the Top 100 to the “Booming 19”
There is a processor to this list, as CryptoWeekly led the way with the “Top 100 Most Influential People in the Crypto Community”, but it didn’t strictly deal in net worth. For those that want the figures, Forbes has stepped up and shone the spotlight on what some are describing as the invisible rich. Kauflin writes, “We firmly believe we made the world a better place by shining a light on the invisible rich. Just as crypto has evolved from the days of the Silk Road drug site and the Mt. Gox digital hijacking, fortunes of this magnitude should never be allowed to lurk in the shadows.”