Bitcoin billionaire list revealed

Crypto news: JP Morgan report offers qualified support for cryptocurrencies while the EU delivers a warning
By Eddie Taylor
Tue 13 Feb 2018 09:10 AM

The richest people in cryptocurrencies have been revealed today.

A list from Forbes ranks the people holding the most crypto-wealth, whether that’s in Bitcoin, Ethereum or Ripple. For those with knowledge of the space, the names probably won’t be too much of a surprise, with the founders and early champions of the new asset class all featuring strongly.

Forbes calculated their estimates based on fund size, profits from crypto-trading and shares in businesses that deal with them. Here are the top three:

1. Chris Larsen

The 57-year-old president and co-founder of Ripple, which has shot to prominence in the last six months, has an estimated net value of $7.5bn- $8bn – including 5.2 billion Ripple tokens (XRPs).

2. Joseph Lubin

The 53-year-old Canadian is the co-founder of Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, and also ConsenSys a global network with offices in 28 countries – including Dubai – that helps establish crypto-based companies. He’s worth $1bn-$5bn.

3. Changpeng Zhao

Proving how lucrative the trading of cryptocurrencies has become, Changpeng Zhao makes it into the top three. The founder of Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange with more than six million users, is said to be worth $1.1bn-$2bn.

JP Morgan privately backs cryptocurrencies

When JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon said that Bitcoin was “a fraud” last September, it helped trigger a broad-based crypto sell-off. He has since walked that statement back, saying he “regrets” that language, and now it appears the financial institution he heads is beginning to embrace the new technology.

A 71-page internal report on cryptocurrencies has been completed which unequivocally suggests that they “could potentially have a role in diversifying one's global bond and equity portfolio” – even if that statement came wrapped in caveats. Bitcoin and its peers, it says, are “unlikely to disappear completely”.

EU authorities: cryptocurrencies “highly risky”

The European Supervisory Authorities for securities, banking and insurance and pensions came together to issue a warning about the volatility and risk associated with investing in cryptocurrencies on Monday. In a statement they said they were concerned about people over-exposing their portfolios to the asset class and could risk losing a lot of money.

“The ESAs warn consumers that VCs (virtual currencies) are highly risky and unregulated products and are unsuitable as investment, savings or retirement planning products,” the statement said, before suggesting that prices were a bubble.

Withdrawals from Japans’ Coincheck start today

Coincheck, the Japanese cryptocurrency exchange hit by the $530 million hack, have started allowing Yen withdrawals this morning, offering some relief to account holders who’d been unable to access their accounts since the heist. The exchange is limiting the scale of the withdrawals, however, until further tests had been carried out on the security of its system. Tuesday is also the day that they are due to file a report with Japan’s regulators on the hacking.

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