There is no question that the entire cryptocurrency sector is in a bear market, with many cryptocurrencies losing over 50% of their value. However, this certainly hasn’t prevented individuals from becoming very wealthy through cryptocurrency-related ventures.
Specifically, despite the decrease in market capitalizations of various cryptocurrencies, several Chinese businessmen have landed onto a list of China’s wealthiest individuals thanks to companies associated with cryptocurrency.
The Hurun report is released annually, and 13 cryptocurrency-related businessmen have made the list, which includes individuals with at least a net worth of 2 billion yuan, or $289 million USD.
The highest entry belongs to Micree Zhan Ketuan, the founder of Bitmain Technologies, and the only cryptocurrency-related businessman to penetrate the list of the 100 wealthiest people in China, with an estimated net worth of 29.5 billion yuan. This is not surprising, considering Bitmain – the largest bitcoin mining company in the world – is on track to reach $10 billion in revenue by the end of this year, and is valued at over $10 billion already. Another high entry belongs to the other co-founder of the same company, Bitmain, Wu Jihan, who comes in at #204, with an estimated worth of 16.5 billion yuan.
China has been known to dominate the bitcoin mining sector. In fact, Bitmain, and its two main competitors, Canaan Creative and Ebang International Holdings, have all applied to go public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX). Nine of the thirteen entries on the Hurun report come from these three companies alone.
This is even more interesting considering the fact that China has been cracking down on the cryptocurrency sector in general. The Chinese Central Bank has repeatedly warned bitcoin exchanges about their activity, and went on to ban initial coin offerings, which led to the iconic cryptocurrency exchange BTCC closing, which many in the cryptocurrency community felt was a symbolic end to an era where China seemed to tolerate cryptocurrency – and that the tides were shifting.
Ironically, it was this crackdown that actually helped Binance, the world’s largest exchange by daily volume, adapt and expand to countries such as Japan and Singapore, rather than keep China as headquarters. Zhao Chenpeng, 41, also makes the list, at #230, with an impressive 15 billion yuan.
It is clear that despite the crackdowns on cryptocurrency in China, and the volatility of the markets – the leaders in the cryptocurrency market have certainly been able to accrue substantial wealth in 2018.