Cryptocurrency bigwigs made it to the list of China’s wealthiest people for the first time, despite the crash in digital currency prices and the government’s crackdown on trading of these assets.
At least 13 cryptocurrency entrepreneurs, with businesses that range from bitcoin mining and virtual currency trading to venture capital funding, are now among the wealthiest individuals in the country, according to the latest ranking compiled in the annual Hurun Report. Those in the list have a personal net worth of at least 2 billion yuan (US$289 million).
Micree Zhan Ketuan, the 39-year-old co-founder of Bitmain Technologies, was the only one among his industry peers to rank in the report’s top 100 richest people in China, with an estimated wealth of 29.5 billion yuan.
Bitmain co-founder Wu Jihan, 32, was the next highest-ranked cryptocurrency tycoon in 204th place, with a personal wealth of 16.5 billion yuan.
Beijing-based Bitmain, the world’s biggest supplier of so-called cryptocurrency mining rigs, along with rivals Canaan Creative and Ebang International Holdings have each applied to go public in Hong Kong, which would put their secretive bosses under public scrutiny for the first time.
A total of nine individuals from the three companies made it to the Hurun list, including Canaan founder Zhang Nangeng and Ebang founder Hu Dong.
The leaders of the world’s top cryptocurrency exchanges were also featured in the list. Zhao Changpeng, 41, founder of Binance, the world’s biggest digital currency exchange by trading volume, was the third highest ranked industry mogul at 230th place, with an estimated wealth of 15 billion yuan.