(Yicai Global) Feb. 8 -- Business magazine Forbes has released its first ever list of cryptocurrency's richest individuals. The ranking shows only one Chinese business magnate among the top 10. Forbes's new list comes at a time when both the finance world is preoccupied with debates about virtual assets and China moves to cut access to offshore cryptocurrency trading sites.
According to Forbes rankings, Changpeng Zhao, founder of Binance, cryptocurrency exchange platform, ranked third with an estimated net worth between USD1.1 billion and USD2 billion. He is the only Chinese among the top 10.
Chris Larsen, co-founder of Ripple, a real-time gross settlement system, currency exchange and remittance network, ranked first with an estimated net worth of between USD7.5 billion and USD8 billion, followed by Joseph Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum, an open-source public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform and operating system, with a net worth of between USD1 billion and USD5 billion.
Cameron Winklevoss & Tyler Winklevoss ranked fourth. Their estimated net worth ranges between USD900 million and USD1.1 billion. In 2013, the Winklevoss brothers spent USD11 million investing on bitcoin, and they became the first batch of bitcoin billionaires.
Changpeng previously served as chief technology officer of Bloomberg and also joined OKCoin as co-founder and CTO, leading its technical team and overseeing the international marketing team.
Binance completed its international coin offering, or ICO, last July, raising USD15 million in digital assets, public data show. He unveiled Binance last July and secured its angel round funding of USD10 million in September, invested by Funcity Capital and Black Hole Capital. In just more than six months since its founding, it has become one of world's largest virtual currency exchanges.
Binance adds millions of new users every week, Changpeng claimed in an interview last month. In only one hour on Jan. 10 , some 240,000 users registered and the platform had to close the registration channel to ensure service quality, he said.
China imposed a ban on digital currency exchanges last September and halted trading for purchases of virtual currencies with real money, shutting down domestic digital currency exchanges. On Feb. 1, Binance announced that it will no longer serve users in the Chinese mainland.