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Biggest moneymakers from BitcoinBy Nishant Kumar | April 5, 2018, 6:37 a.m. GMT
Every success story in this world faces critique. Bitcoin is no exception to that. Even after a magnificent run in the past year, there are a lot of famous critics of Bitcoin. For example, Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., called the cryptocurrency a “fraud” and said it would blow up. Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister of India quoted in his annual budget speech that India doesn’t consider cryptocurrencies legal tender “and will take all measures to eliminate the use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system”.
Complain all you want, but no one can deny the fact that early Bitcoin investors were the least “stupid” keeping their skepticism aside to understand the potential of this new technology. Bitcoin has witnessed a huge spike in 2017, rising from $966 at the start of the year to a record high of more than $9,000 this month. While Bitcoins allow for anonymity, using hashes to identify sources of transactions, certain people have publicly revealed about them. Here are some of those people with the biggest known stakes in Bitcoin.
The Winklevoss Twins - The twins who sued Facebook
For all the movie buffs out there, “The Social Network” was one great movie. You might be remembering Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the Olympic rower twin brothers, who tried and failed to gain control of Facebook after alleging that it had been appropriated from them. They won the lawsuit filed against Facebook and had been given a compensation of $65 million.
They used a part of the compensation money to buy $11 million worth of Bitcoin in 2013, with a plan of creating a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund. Although the fund was denied in March 2017, that same amount is worth approximately a 100 times as much now, putting their total at about $1 billion.
Barry Silbert - The lucky one
A venture capitalist and founder of Digital Currency Group - Silbert was an early investor in Bitcoin who got really lucky. He bought 48,000 Bitcoins in an auction held by the U.S. Marshals Service in 2014 which the government had seized from Silk Road, an online marketplace which was infamous for the trading of illegal drugs. Bitcoin was then worth $350. We know what that means. Silbert’s investment has spiked about 27 times, from approximately 16.8 million to $452 million.
Barry Silbert, built SecondMarket, which enables private companies and investment funds to customize, control and seamlessly execute primary and secondary transactions. Silbert started his second project, Digital Currency Group after selling SecondMarket to Nasdaq in 2015.
Silbert's company is a venture capital arm that has invested in prominent cryptocurrency businesses like Coinbase and Ripple.
Tim Draper - The typical VC
Draper, a venture capitalist was also in news for his purchase of 30,000 Bitcoins in 2014 from the same government auction that got Barry Silbert lucky. Then worth about $19 million, that stash would be up to $250 million now. Draper is clearly really enthusiastic about the digital currency market, as he is investing in Tezos, a new cryptocurrency.
Charlie Shrem - The “Criminal” Entrepreneur
Cryptocurrency investment was just confined to the elite clean rich guys - said no one ever. As a matter of fact, the fishy level of privacy Bitcoin offered made it all the more a delicious idea worth investing for rich people to hide all their dark stash. Many young entrepreneurs had to face investigation for advocating in support of Bitcoin. Shrem is one of those.
Mr. Shrem got in on the early days of Bitcoin and was a member of the Bitcoin Foundation, which was supposed to protect the use of Bitcoin for its righteous nature. Irony struck when several of its leaders were charged under criminal investigation themselves. Shrem also had to go to the prison for 2 years on charges related to money laundering.
He is back with a crypto-investment startup, and while he hasn’t disclosed exactly how much he owns in Bitcoins, he reportedly bought around some 2-3 thousand Bitcoins when they were of little worth and those would be worth several million now.
Satoshi Nakamoto - The Big Boss
Well, the list of the biggest money makers would be incomplete without mentioning the one name who made it all possible. While no one knows much about the creator of Bitcoin as this guy seems to be one heck of an unsocial person. We don’t even know the person’s name for real. After inventing Bitcoin with a 2008 white paper, Nakamoto disappeared. As per some estimates in 2013, Mr. Nakamoto had a whopping 1 million bitcoins in his kitty. You know what that means. There’s an unknown guy somewhere in this world sitting on more than $10 billion worth of wealth.