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The crypto industry has seen a tough nine months, with a bear market and a wave of bankruptcies leading to a loss of $116 billion for founders and investors, according to recent estimates by Forbes. The loss represents the combined personal equity of 17 people in the space, with over 15 losing more than half of their fortunes since March. As a result, 10 names were removed from the crypto billionaires list.
One of the biggest losses was suffered by Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, whose 70% stake in the crypto exchange was valued at $65 billion in March but is now worth $4.5 billion. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong saw his net worth drop from $6 billion in March to an estimated $1.5 billion, while Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen’s fortune was reduced from $4.3 billion to $2.1 billion. The Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler of Gemini, were valued at $4 billion in March but are now worth $1.1 billion each.
Among those who lost their billionaire status are FTX co-founders Sam Bankman-Fried and Gary Wang, whose fortunes in March were valued at $24 billion and $5.9 billion, respectively, and are now worth $0. The $3.2 billion fortune of Barry Silbert, founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group, was also lost due to the ripple effect of the FTX collapse, according to Forbes.
Other former billionaires include Nickel Viswanathan and Joseph Lay from crypto software firm Alchemy, Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah of OpenSea, Fred Ehrsam of Coinbase, Microstrategy founder Michael Saylor, and venture capitalist Tim Draper.
The bear market for cryptocurrencies is expected to continue until the end of 2023, with the FTX crisis having damaged investor confidence and created a liquidity crisis across the industry, according to Cointelegraph.