Bitcoin has been on a tear for well over a year now, but a few other cryptocurrencies have increased in value far more than BTC. This past week the two digital assets ripple (XRP) and ethereum (ETH) have spiked in value exponentially, making the founders of these projects some of the wealthiest men in the world — Right up there with bitcoin’s creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
The Founders of Bitcoin, Ripple, and Ethereum Are Among the Richest Individuals On Earth
The total market capitalization of all the digital assets combined is currently over $770Bn and is quickly approaching the $1 trillion mark. A bunch of cryptocurrencies have been rising, but four digital assets in particular, bitcoin core, ethereum, ripple, and bitcoin cash as well, have made the founders of these projects very rich. It is believed that at one time Satoshi Nakamoto may have mined over 1 million BTC during the first year the original bitcoin codebase was born. RSK Labs chief scientist, Sergio Lerner, has done quite a bit of research on the fortune of Satoshi Nakamoto. According to Lerner’s report, Nakamoto using a single computer may have mined over 1 million BTC, and none of these coins have ever been spent.
At the time of writing Satoshi’s net worth with all of his BTC reserves is roughly around $16Bn USD. That number does not include the tokens Nakamoto owns from the recent fork last summer creating the digital asset bitcoin cash (BCH). Nakamoto’s BCH reserves gives the creator another $2.6Bn as both assets make the anonymous group or person among the top 200 wealthiest people on earth. Many bitcoin investors are confident with the fact that Satoshi is missing and believe he’s not a threat to the market as far as dumping his coins. Some believe the creator may be a threat in the future if Nakamoto decides to spend those coins. So far, Satoshi has been gone since 2010, and the coins in his possession have not moved since the day they were mined.
Ripple Co-Founder Chris Larsen is Worth More Than the Founders of Google
Another digital asset market valuation that has grown exponentially is the ripple (XRP) market which is worth over $120Bn USD right now. This makes the co-founder of Ripple Labs, Chris Larsen, to be worth an estimated $50Bn and among the 200 wealthiest individuals in the world. Ripple has been controversial since its inception creating 100Bn XRPs and releasing only 38Bn of these tokens to the general public. Ripple Labs, Chris Larsen, and the other co-founders are in control of a vast majority of the uncirculated XRPs. A 100 billion is a significant number making people leery from investing in the project, especially when over 50Bn are held by the founders. Ripple investors believe the price of XRP gained significantly in value because Ripple Labs promises to keep the ‘founders coin’ in a time-locked escrow.
ETH Inventor Vitalik Buterin: ‘I Am Not Going to Apologize for Sound Financial Planning’
Lastly, the other digital currency founder who is one of the wealthiest individuals on earth is the inventor of ethereum, Vitalik Buterin. Back in 2016, Buterin told the public on the forum Reddit that he held roughly 630,000 ETH. At the moment less than half of the total ETH ever to be released is in circulation which makes Buterin a very wealthy individual holding $656.5Mn worth of ether. However later that year Buterin disclosed that he had sold over 25 percent of his original ETH holdings making his estimated worth roughly $500Mn.
“I’ve sold about a quarter of my ETH — Meh, I am not going to apologize for sound financial planning,” explains Buterin.
Cryptocurrencies Have Created the Largest Transfer in Wealth Since the 1800s
The birth of bitcoin and other digital assets that followed is proving to be one of the largest transfers of wealth since the 1850s when people discovered oil. Cryptocurrencies have made these founders extremely wealthy, and investors of these blockchain tokens don’t seem concerned about the founder’s holdings. To these people, it’s likely that people like Nakamoto, Larsen, and Buterin won’t ‘dump’ their reserves in order to keep the cryptocurrency growing in value. Many individuals and those who are confident in these founders understand that if they did dump their coins on the market, it would be devastating.
What do you think of the founders of these digital currency projects becoming the wealthiest people on earth? Do you think investors should be worried about these vast holdings? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, Sergio Lerner, Techcrunch, and Haberturk.
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