The year has been tumultuous for the crypto market, and so, has it been for the billionaires in crypto. According to an estimate by Forbes, crypto billionaires, this year, lost 116 billion USD in total.
In February this year, SBF was estimated to have a worth of 24 billion USD and stood as the second-richest person in crypto after CZ. However, now SBF is likely broke. Before his trials started he said he had only 100,000 USD in his bank account. FTX co-founder, Gary Wang, who was also the chief technological officer of the firm, has now surrendered to the SEC. His net worth was estimated to be 5.9 billion USD, earlier this year, which is now somewhere around 1000 USD.
What led to the massive loss to crypto billionaires?
A series of events happened this year in the cryptoverse. First, the Terra sisters, TerraUSD collapsed. Then the hedge fund, three Arrows filed for bankruptcy in July. Voyager Digital, Celsius, and BlockFi, interest-bearing lending companies, all declared bankruptcy. And the biggest of all was the FTX fiasco. The main cryptocurrency and leading indicator of the market, Bitcoin, has decreased by 65% from its top of $69,000 in November 2021. A total of $2 trillion in market value has meanwhile left digital assets for a better market to invest in. thus, taking down a lot of crypto billionaires.
Also read: FTX Founder SBF Released on $250M Bond, Placed Under House Arrest
CZ, the biggest loser?
Binance CEO, CZ has already lost his net worth from 65 billion USD to 4.5 billion USD and might lose more. CZ is dealing with growing skepticism of centralized exchanges, particularly Binance, as well as ongoing investigations into him and his business by European and American authorities over claims that they helped facilitate money laundering and other financial crimes. CZ has recently sought to convince Binance users that their cryptocurrency deposits are properly supported by hiring the accounting firm Mazars to create “proof of reserves” reports. These accounts, which exclude liabilities, have drawn heavy criticism for being inadequate in that they only give a partial picture of a company’s financial situation. Since then, Mazars has stopped working with cryptocurrency companies, which has increased the uncertainty surrounding Binance’s finances and the exchange’s survival.
Also read: Binance Addresses Heavy Withdrawals Amid Ongoing FUD
Other billionaire losers of crypto:
At the centre of the cryptocurrency market’s spread is Barry Silbert, CEO of the crypto Digital Currency Group. According to a source, Genesis Global Capital, a strategic asset of DCG, owes creditors at least $1.8 billion, as Reuters reported. DCG is additionally burdened with debt, due to a problematic 1.1 billion USD loan, Genesis had made to the now-defunct Three Arrows hedge fund. A further 575 million USD is owed by DCG to Genesis and is due in May. Additionally, if Genesis fails, DCG owes 350 USD million to the investment company Elridge.
Brian Armstrong lost most of his wealth as Coinbase‘s shares fell by 64% since August and by more than 95% since its $100 billion IPO in April 2021.
Fred Ehrsam, another co-founder of Coinbase, was hurt by Bankman-Fried. His crypto investment company Paradigm made a $278 million investment in FTX stock. About the investment, Ehrsam has not made any public announcements.
Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah, the cofounders of OpenSea are no longer crypto billionaires.
Based on anticipated markdowns of their interests in Alchemy, a crypto software company that runs other Web3 enterprises, Nikil Viswanathan and Joe Lau have also left the three-comma club. Alchemy recently raised outside financing in February at a $10.2 billion value.