It’s been a tough year financially for crypto billionaires after the market suffered a trillion-dollar crypto crash. The wipeout has resulted in thousands of lawsuits as investors attempt to recoup their lost billions. The top crypto leaders in the space have lost a combined US$112.7 billion this year alone.
But which of cryptocurrency’s biggest names has lost the most?
1. Changpeng Zhao – US$82 billion
He is known as the Chinese crypto king, but 2022 was not Changpeng Zhao’s year. According to Crypto Presales, he lost an estimated US$82 billion. The Binance CEO lost the money as crypto prices cooled. But Zhao is still the richest figure in the crypto world, with a current net worth of US$14.6 billion. It’s a massive decline from his estimated net worth of US$96.5 billion just last year.
Known as CZ to his friends, Zhao was born in Jiangsu in China but moved to Canada with his parents when he was 12. He started Binance in Singapore and had to relocate the company’s headquarters several times due to regulators. Eventually Binance became a headquarter-less company.
2. Sam Bankman-Fried – US$23 billion
The collapse of crypto exchange FTX saw its founder and frontman Sam Bankman-Fried booted from the Forbes billionaires club. Before the crash, the FTX CEO was worth an estimated US$26 billion. His stakes in FTX and crypto trading house Alameda were his most valuable assets. He lost a staggering US$23 billion in just three weeks as the exchange struggled with liquidity, and the philanthropist is now under investigation in the US and other countries for possible securities violations, Forbes Advisor reports.
3. Gary Wang – US$1.7 billion
As the other co-founder of FTX, Gary Wang lost around US$1.7 billion after the collapse of the crypto exchange. He was the youngest person to appear on the Forbes top 400 rich list in 2022. His net worth now stands at around US$4.2 billion, per the publication.
Ironically, Wang often made headlines for being more elusive than his business partner, Bankman-Fried. According to CoinDesk, the two are childhood friends and met at a maths camp, later becoming university roommates at MIT. Wang worked at Google and reportedly built systems that aggregated prices across public flight data for the company.
4. Brian Armstrong – US$4.7 billion
He’s the chief executive and a co-founder of Coinbase and suffered the third biggest loss among the top five crypto titans. According to Crypto Presales, Armstrong’s wealth has recently dropped by US$4.7 billion. A year ago his net worth was an estimated US$6.6 billion, but it now sits at US$1.9 billion.
Coinbase is the largest cryptocurrency exchange platform in the US and Armstrong is a former Airbnb software engineer. According to Forbes, Armstrong has said he wanted the world to have a “global, open financial system that drove innovation and freedom”.
5. Chris Larsen – US$1.3 billion
Despite remaining in the top six wealthiest people in the crypto space, per Crypto Vantage, 2022 saw Larsen’s wealth decline by US$1.3 billion. The co-founder of Ripple was valued at US$4.3 billion just a few months ago. Now his net worth is valued at around US$3 billion, according to Crypto Presales’ calculations.
According to Forbes, Ripple was founded to facilitate international payments for banks using blockchain technology. Larsen stepped down as CEO back in 2016, but remains executive chairman. In 2019, Larsen’s foundation gave US$25 million to San Francisco State University.
Note: This story was originally published on SCMP and has been republished on this website.