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Meet the richest bitcoin and crypto-billionaires who are worth more than $17 billion combined

Tech Insider logo Tech Insider 12/02/2018 Harrison Jacobs

A visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin A visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin  The life of a bitcoin and crypto-billionaire is stressful.

After seeing unprecedented gains over the last year, driving bitcoin, ethereum, and Ripple's XRP token up 1,300%, 8,000%, and 32,000% respectively, the last few weeks have seen a coming back down to earth.

As of Friday afternoon, bitcoin was down 28% since late January. On Monday, bitcoin hit $7,000, 64% down from its all-time high of nearly $20,000 in late December. 

The total value of all digital currencies has dropped 61% from its January 7 peak at $826 billion to $320 billion as of Tuesday. 

But don't tell that to the crypto-billionaires. 

While stories abound of regular people making fortunes in crypto, the world's richest crypto and bitcoin-billionaires are primarily the people making the pans and shovels in the digital gold rush.

Related: Bitcoin Owners Struggling To Get In '21 Million Club' ( Wochit Business )

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On Wednesday, Forbes Magazine released its first-ever list of the richest people in cryptocurrency, a similar list to its Forbes 400 annual list, which dates back to 1982. The numbers are estimates based on the price of cryptocurrencies as of January 19.

In his letter explaining why Forbes created the list, editor Randall Lane said such transparency could help the crypto industry move out of its shadowy beginnings to financial maturity.

Meet the kings of crypto and the world's richest bitcoin billionaires:

13. 38-year-old Valery Vavilov founded bitcoin mining company Bitfury in 2011. The company has mined about 800,000 bitcoins and employs 400 people. He's worth $500 - $700 million.

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12. Dan Larimer, Block.One's 35-year-old chief technology officer, is worth $600 - $700 million after helping found three blockchain platforms.

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11. Brendan Blumer is the 31-year-old CEO of Block.One, the company behind blockchain platform EOS.IO. He is worth $600 -$700 million.

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10. Michael Novogratz, the 53-year-old CEO of digital assets bank Galaxy Digital and a former hedge-funder, was a billionaire prior to the 2007 recession. He's now worth $700 million - $1 billion in crypto.

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9. Former child actor Brock Pierce has helped fund tons of crypto-based companies, including Coinbase, Ethereum, and Tether. Currently residing in Puerto Rico, Pierce is worth $700 million - $1 billion in crypto.

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8. Anthony Di Iorio, the 43-year-old co-founder of Ethereum and the founder of cryptocurrency wallet Jaxx, has invested in Qtum, Vechain, and ZCash among others. His crypto fortune is worth $750 million - $1 billion.

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7. Matthew Rozak, the co-founder of blockchain startup Bloq and founder of Tally Capital, a crypto-focused private investment firm, was an early investor in bitcoin. He now has $900 million - $1 billion in crypto.

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6. Brian Armstrong, the 35-year-old CEO of digital currency exchange Coinbase, has a crypto fortune of $900 million to $1 billion.

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5. Matthew Mellon, a 54-year-old investor and an heir to the Mellon banking fortune, invested early in Ripple's XRP token. He now has a $900 million - $1 billion fortune in crypto.

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4. Twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, both 36 years old, have an estimated $900 million to $1.1 billion in crypto. The two were early investors in bitcoin and founded the digital currency exchange Gemini in 2015.

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3. Changpeng Zhao, the 41-year-old founder and CEO of Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, has $1.1-$2 billion in crypto investments.

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2. Joseph Lubin, the 53-year-old co-founder of blockchain platform Ethereum and a former Goldman Sachs exec, currently has between $1-$5 billion in crypto.

Joseph Lubin © Ethan Lou Joseph Lubin

1. Chris Larsen, 57-year-old co-founder of Ripple, currently has $7.5 - $8 billion in cryptocurrencies. His fortune is primarily in 5.2 billion XRP, the token launched by Ripple.

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