2022 was a year of loss, and many crypto billionaires – from Changpeng Zhao of Binance fame to the Winklevoss Twins who run the Gemini exchange – have lost a ton of money. So much in fact, that in just nine short months, many of them have seen their net worth virtually collapse – in some cases, to zero.
Changpeng Zhao and Others Have Lost Tons of Money
Changpeng Zhao, for instance, had a net worth of approximately $65 billion in March of last year. By the end of December, that worth had dropped to less than $5 billion. This should give you a clear idea of just how bad the previous year was for crypto. Matt Cohen – founder of Ripple Ventures – commented in an interview:
We’re now at the breaking point in crypto where everyone will have to take a pause and say, ‘Okay, we’ve seen a ton of economic wealth destroyed in the last couple of months. We need to start taking this seriously. A lot of blockchain technologies and companies… built solutions for problems that didn’t need fixing, and I think we’re now going to have a hard reset.
Lisa Ellis – an equity analyst at Moffett Nathanson – took aim at Binance and claimed it had a “dodgy operating model.” She said in a statement:
I don’t believe a business can persist, operating in this amorphous way, not governed by anyone or anywhere, especially when it’s run by a public individual.
There has been plenty of speculation as to whether Binance is in trouble. Recently, Zhao took to social media to explain the firm was not experiencing any difficulties and that it had enough reserves in its pockets to stay afloat. He said:
We are quite a unique organization. We don’t have loans from any other organizations. We will prove all the FUD [fear, uncertainty and doubt] is wrong.
Brian Armstrong – CEO of Coinbase – also struck at Zhao, saying:
Coinbase and Binance are following different approaches. We’re trying to follow a regulated, trusted approach. To look at it intellectually honestly, we’re choosing to follow the rules. It’s a more difficult path and sometimes your hands are tied, but I think that’s the right long-term strategy.
Changpeng Zhao was number one in the crypto wealth category, but a close second was Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX fame. In his early 30s, SBF was lauded as a genius by many as his company rose through the ranks to become one of the world’s top five crypto exchanges in three years.
SBF: Riches to Rags
Sadly, his poor accounting skills and Ponzi-like behavior led to the complete collapse of his company, and he recently served time in a Bahamian jail before being extradited back to the U.S. where he now awaits trial.
His net worth prior to FTX’s fall from grace was $24 billion. It is now zilch.
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