Crypto billionaires losing fortunes as bitcoin tumbles

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The Winklevoss twins and other cryptocurrency moguls who bet big on bitcoin have seen their fortunes plummet in recent weeks during a steep selloff in the market.

The crypto tycoons have gotten slammed as investors look to dump riskier assets during global economic turmoil, according to Bloomberg. Bitcoin on Thursday was recently trading at $27,787.20, down 4% from a day earlier and off nearly 60 percent from the all-time high of $68,990.90 it hit in November.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong’s net worth has plunged to approximately $2.2 billion this week – down from roughly $13.7 billion last November when the crypto market was going strong, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and CEO of crypto exchange FTX, has lost roughly half of his on-paper fortune since March and is now worth about $11.3 billion.

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, both prominent bitcoin touts who founded the crypto marketplace Gemini, have lost about 40% of their respective fortunes, or more than $2 billion each.

The Winklevoss twins have lost some 40% of their on-paper wealth.
AFP via Getty Images

Michael Novogratz, CEO of the crypto investment firm Galaxy Digital, has lost approximately $6 billion since last November and is currently worth about $2.5 billion.

The selloff has wiped some $200 billion in value from the cryptocurrency market, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao appears to have suffered the worst losses. Bloomberg estimates that his fortune has declined to $11.6 billion from $96 billion as recently as January.

Michael Novogratz
Michael Novogratz heads up the crypto-focused firm Galaxy Digital.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Leading cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and Ethereum have drawn scrutiny from regulators in recent months due to their propensity for volatile trading. Lately, crypto selloffs have often moved in tandem with declines in high-growth tech stocks as investors lose their appetite for risk.

Armstrong’s personal fortune has fallen alongside Coinbase’s shares, which are down more than 80% over the same period. Armstrong owns about 16% of the company’s stock.

This week, Coinbase’s stock fell sharply this week after the exchange warned customers that their crypto holdings could be lost if the company is ever forced to declare bankruptcy.

Brian Armstrong
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong tried to reassure customers this week.
Getty Images

The company also revealed dismal first-quarter earnings that showed a decline in crypto trading volume – a trend that was expected to continue in the current quarter.

Armstrong aimed to reassure Coinbase customers about the business’s health in a series of tweets – asserting that the company was in no danger of a bankruptcy that could put their holdings at risk. He said Coinbase issued the warning in order to comply with updated SEC guidance.

“There is some noise about a disclosure we made in our 10Q today about how we hold crypto assets. Tl;dr: Your funds are safe at Coinbase, just as they’ve always been,” Armstrong said.

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