Some saw in them the symbol of the advent of alternative finance capable of competing with traditional finance. They were, in short, the new bosses of the “new Wall Street“.
The cryptocurrency craze had certainly made many millionaires and billionaires: Changpeng Zhao, founder of Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of the crypto exchange platform currencies FTX.com, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, co-founders of Gemini, Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam, co-founders of Coinbase and finally Mike Novogratz, the former Goldman Sachs banker turned cryptocurrency evangelist.
Eight months after the crypto euphoria that had made them even wealthier, they watch helplessly as the billions of dollars they had earned disappear.
Changpeng Zhao had a fortune of $95.8 billion on November 9, 2021, the day before bitcoin’s all-time high. As of June 13, it was only estimated at $10.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. It lost $85.6 billion in eight months.
Brain Armstrong’s fortune was estimated at $13.7 billion in November, it has shrunk by $11.6 billion and is now just $2.1 billion.
Samuel Bankman-Fried saw his fortune shrink from $15.1 billion to $8.9 billion currently, his fortune shrunk by $6.2 billion.
Novogratz, who runs Galaxy Digital, saw his fortune drop from $6.4 billion to $2.1 billion, while Ehrsam’s fell from $4.5 billion to $2.1 billion, a drop of 2. $4 billion.
The Winklevoss brothers are the ones who are doing the best. Their fortunes only shrunk by $800 million each, to $3 billion.
The twin brothers have accused Mark Zuckerberg of stealing their social networking idea to create Facebook. They used part of their million dollar settlement to buy bitcoins and launched Gemini, one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges that allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrency prices have been in freefall for several weeks. But this tumble accelerated on Monday: Bitcoin, the king of crypto-currencies, is thus trading at its lowest levels for 18 months around 22,000 dollars, against 69,000 dollars last November.
The cryptocurrency market has lost more than $2.1 trillion since its November highs, according to CoinGecko data.