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Forbes Releases Its First “Richest People in Cryptocurrency” List


It seems odd to bestow the title of “visionary” upon anyone in the cryptocurrency market, especially considering its recent struggles.

On December 15th of last year, Bitcoin – the most well-known form of cryptocurrency – had reached an all-time high: the value of one Bitcoin (BTC) was around $18,000. Twenty-four hours later, BTC had lost one-third of its value, dropping to just under $14,000. And since then, however, BTC has steadily plummeted; as of yesterday, one BTC is now worth under $6,000.

Economist Nouriel Roubini – also known as “Dr. Doom” and one of the few people who predicted the bursting of the housing bubble in 2007 – doesn’t think BTC is done crashing just yet:

“Visionary” might not be the best term to use, is all I’m saying.

Nevertheless, Forbes released their list of the richest people in cryptocurrency, and it’s filled with…well, people you’ve never heard of.

The list is headed up by Chris Larsen, a tech exec who founded Ripple and owns 5.2 billion Ripple tokens (XRP). Other honorees include Changpeng Zhao, also known as CZ, whose cryptocurrency exchange Binance is the largest on the planet, and Matthew Mellon, who invested $2 million into XRP and saw its value rise to $1 billion. (Of course, XRP has dropped 65% in value, but those are just minor details.)

According to the Forbes article, the main people making money on cryptocurrency are 1) people who created their own; 2) people who invested a shitload of money in it when it was dirt-cheap, or; 3) people who just run the exchanges on which cryptocurrency is traded.

Roubini’s tweet, by the way, is absolutely correct: with the value of BTC dropping so quickly, the people who’ve invested massive sums of money will start dumping their BTC at discounted rates, and others (commonly known as “suckers”) will buy it up, unable to pass up a “good deal.” But unless mainstream society suddenly universally adopts BTC as a viable form of currency, there will be nothing propping up these currencies after all the big-money people have left, and the value will continue to plummet.

Put it this way: let’s say you bought 100 BTC in 2013 when it was worth around $50, for an initial investment of $5,000. By last December, you were worth almost $1.8 million. And yes, the price has dropped dramatically, but let’s say you sell off your BTC at the market rate right now; hell, let’s say you offer it for $5,000 just so people will buy it. You’ll end up with $500,000 – a profit of $495,000 – in real, actual currency that’s accepted everywhere. Not too shabby for a 4-year investment.

Meanwhile, the guy who put all his savings into buying one BTC in December has, in less than two months, lost over $10,000. It’s the same shit, just in a different toilet.

But yes, by all means, let’s keep calling these people “visionaries.”

[via Forbes]

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