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These 2 Peo­ple in the World Have Become Bil­lion­aires Off Cryp­tocur­ren­cy

Image result for Meet the Only 2 People in the World Who Have Become Billionaires Off Cryptocurrency
Cryp­tocur­ren­cy has two king­pins. Forbes’ 2018 rank­ing of the world’s bil­lion­aires includes only a cou­ple peo­ple who accu­mu­lat­ed their vast for­tunes from dig­i­tal assets: Chris Larsen and Chang­peng Zhao.

While Bit­coin typ­i­cal­ly dom­i­nates the press around cryp­tocur­ren­cies, nei­ther Larsen nor Zhao direct­ly earned their bil­lions from it. They’re instead deeply involved busi­ness­men who are part of the larg­er, rapid­ly expand­ing ecosys­tem of cryp­tocur­ren­cy, help­ing to dri­ve the coins into the future. Mean­while, they’re prov­ing that there’s more than sim­ply a lot of mon­ey to be had in this still con­fus­ing world.
The tech vet­er­an turned cryp­to-king

Chris Larsen, a 57-year-old Amer­i­can, is a vet­er­an of the country’s tech indus­try. The co-founder and for­mer CEO of Rip­ple, a cryp­tocur­ren­cy and pay­ment net­work intend­ed for glob­al trans­ac­tions, pre­vi­ous­ly served as CEO and co-founder of Pros­per, a peer-to-peer lend­ing mar­ket­place, and Eloan, an online plat­form for lend­ing. Rip­ple counts major banks among its clients, includ­ing Bank of Amer­i­ca and UBS, and has more direct con­trol over its cur­ren­cy than Bit­coin, whose founder remains anony­mous.
Ripple’s token, XRP, had an unprece­dent­ed rise over the win­ter that made Larsen almost overnight one of the rich­est peo­ple around the globe. His net worth brieflysky­rock­et­ed to about $60 bil­lion. But the coin steeply dropped, and, based on Forbes’ report­ing, Larsen will have to set­tle for a worth of $4.6 bil­lion at the moment, putting him at No. 456 on the magazine’s list. The cur­rent exec­u­tive chair­man of Rip­ple, Larsen report­ed­ly holds 5.19 bil­lion XRP as well as a 17% stake in his com­pa­ny.
Larsen, who wrote a Wall Street Jour­nal op-ed argu­ing that banks should be seen as par­ent-like fig­ures to their cus­tomers, has deep con­nec­tions to finance that have no doubt helped pro­pel Rip­ple.
A Chi­nese-Cana­di­an ace coder
That also hap­pens to be true of Chang­peng Zhao, aka CZ, 41, CEO of the cryp­tocur­ren­cy exchange Binance, which is on a remark­able hot streak. It became the largest exchange of its type on earth in under 180 days.
Zhao, a Chi­nese-Cana­di­an, start­ed his career as a coder work­ing on trad­ing sys­tems for the Tokyo Stock Exchange and, lat­er, at Bloomberg’s Trade­book, devel­op­ing soft­ware for futures trad­ing. 
Hav­ing spent time in Tokyo and New York City, Zhao moved to Shang­hai and start­ed Fusion Sys­tems, spe­cial­iz­ing in high-fre­quen­cy tech for bro­kers.
He found his call­ing in 2013 when he heard about Bit­coin. But it was only last year that he launched Binance, along with rais­ing $15 mil­lion for its BNB token. What sep­a­rates Binance from com­peti­tors is its furi­ous speed. The dig­i­tal exchange can process 1.4 mil­lion trans­ac­tions per sec­ond, for which it has attract­ed mil­lions of users. “No decen­tral­ized exchange today can han­dle our vol­ume, and none are as secure as we are,” said Zhao, who stud­ied com­put­er sci­ence at Canada’s McGill Uni­ver­si­ty and wears hood­ies.
While Binance trades var­i­ous coins, its own BNB has been steadi­ly climb­ing, with a mar­ket cap as of this writ­ing of about $1 bil­lion. The exchange has sweet­ened the deal by offer­ing a 50% dis­count on trad­ing fees for BNB. The company’s lat­est ven­ture is cre­at­ing a decen­tral­ized, pub­licblockchain—soft­ware that sup­ports cryptocurrencies—which is meant to shield against thiev­ing hack­ers.
Zhao’s large stake in Binance and his stock­pile of coins have moved him up the moguls’ list in short order. With an esti­mat­ed net worth of $1.4 bil­lion, his pro­gram­ming smarts and entre­pre­neur­ial spir­it have made him one of a cou­ple thou­sand of the rich­est peo­ple any­where.

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