The crypto field is relatively young so we tend to think that mostly the younger generation is involved. But still, the age and net worth of some of them may come as a total surprise. The oldest person on the list was barely 16 when the first cryptocurrency, bitcoin, was created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009.
Jeremy Gardner, 25
Net worth: $300 million
“I was a screw-up for the vast majority of my life”
A two time college dropout turned into a self-made millionaire and joined the ranks of cryptocurrency investors by the age of 25. At first, Gardner’s perception of online marketplace and bitcoin was controversial. A friend offered him a bitcoin for cash, way back in 2013. Later, out of curiosity he bought some bitcoin and earned his first big gains. In 2013 he launched Augur – a prediction market protocol which is based on blockchain. Further development of understanding in crypto world led him to founding a network of cryptocurrency clubs and societies at universities all around the globe, called – Blockchain Education network.
Now alongside Augur, he also works at Blockchain Capital, advising the firm on new investments in cryptocurrency-related companies. He doesn’t have salary, thought he receives a share of profits that company earned on their investments. Gardner, lives in San Francisco in a ‘Crypto Castle’ – with about a dozen other true crypto fans and entrepreneurs.
Erik Finman, 19
Net worth: $4 million in bitcoin
“If you don’t become millionaire in the next 10 years, it’s you own fault”
What motivates this young man could seem strange to some. At the age of 12, he made a bet with his parents, that if he will become a millionaire by 18 he will not need to go to college. His rise began from when he borrowed $1,000 from his grandmother for education, but instead he bought bitcoins at $10 each. Suffice to say, he did win the bet by the time he was 18.
Now he aims to build a system which will be true to the key beliefs of Satoshi Nakamoto's – where a decentralized system, is not corrupted or smeared by politics. He is now recruiting “bitcoin whales” to bring forth the next generation of cryptocurrencies which will be far less volatile, more user-friendly, with smaller fees and faster transactions. This project will also be concerned with climate impact of mining, promising to cut down the electricity consumption required to create new tokens.
Although these problems are now well recognized among crypto experts, they are mostly treated as built-it shortcomings of crypto. Others believe, that in order to overcome these issues, mediators should be involved to centralize the infrastructure. Fishman believes that there is a way to overcome these problems keeping the core beauty of crypto – decentralization.
Should someone make a bet with him over the success of his new project?
Dominik Schiener, 22
Net worth: Unknown amount of IOTA tokens, $300-400 million on company accounts
“My parents could never really believe it all – that you can sit at the computer all day and earn money at the same time.”
Dominik realized the potential of blockchain as a teenager, as he entered the digital world when he was 10, learned programming, spending days and nights in front of computer. At 14 he hacked a lead rating list in a well-known computer game and sold this knowledge to other players. At the age of 16 he first learned about bitcoin and when he was 17 he founded his first start-up and claims that he earned more than his parents at the time.
In Berlin, Dominik says he was turned around by banks every time he told them that he was representing a blockchain startup, as the reputation surrounding blockchain firms was highly negative. Therefore, he moved to Switzerland, to the now famous cryptovalley in Zug. But suddenly, the air castle crushed in 2013, at the time when Dominik was planning on creating a trading platform. He lost half million euros and had to sell his company, but luckily he had no debts left. And he started all over again with an even greater aspiration.
"Although I lost all my money, I was still convinced of cryptocurrencies."
Later in 2015 he launched IOTA – now a top-10 token in crypto world wich develops machine-to-machine transactions. In 2016, Dominik moved back to Berlin, referring to this city as the “right ecosystem for crypto”, in addition he has contacts with large German companies such as Volkswagen Group and Bosch. Now IOTA foundation holds over 300 million euros in tokens, employs over 50 people in Berlin, receiving salaries in IOTA tokens.
Kingsley Advani, 24
Net worth: Over $1 million
"I think at no point in human history have people in their twenties had such an opportunity to invest in such high-growth assets"
Another success story comes from a late bird bitcoin adopter Kingsley Advani. He has degrees in finance, investments and data mining from LSE, Stanford and the University of Melbourne. He learned about bitcoin in 2012, though he didn’t get into crypto world until 2017. Kingsley started to dig into crypto world thoroughly and last summer he started in-depth research and reading on blockchain technology to understand its behaviour. But once he went “all in” and invested all money he got in his bank account alongside that that he got from selling his laptop and headphones, the profit was just around the corner. The total $34,000 investment in bitcoin, ethereum and NEO returned in a form of over a million dollars in just 6 month.
He quit his job and now travel the world as an advisor and investor supporting digital start ups without asking for a salary. Advani sold 8 percent of the technology he developed for $120,000 to several angel investors, including the founder of Skype. Currently he lives in a ‘Crypto Castle’ which was mentioned before and spend all his free time researching and reading about cryptocurrency, and of course he ... meditates, (not parties as most would presume). Advani convinced that his success relies upon careful prioritisation and focus. He also promotes learning about crypto technology before investing.
And here comes a very young man we all know about Vitalik Buterin. But how did he get here?
Net worth: $200 million
"I remember knowing, for a while, for a long time, that I was kind of abnormal in some sense."
The story began in 1994. Both of his parents studied computer science and at the age of four, Vitalik was gifted a computer as a birthday present from his parents, surprisingly his favourite thing was not gaming, but macros programming. His family moved from Russia to Canada in 2000. His abilities were noticed and he soon began attending a private school. There at the age of ten, he learned C++ coding language and started creating computer games. It was hard to ignore his technical talent.
In 2011 his father introduced him to bitcoin technology, however it didn’t take hold of Vitalik at first. Only later he realized the full potential of crypto and so he became a co-founder of bitcoin magazine where he published over 400 articles. Vitalik gained a great understanding of cryptocurrencies through feedback on his articles from various crypto specialists. After school he entered University of Waterloo, though he dropped off after first year as his interest in crypto world prevailed. He realized that there is a potential to maintain more than just a payment processing technology. Later in 2012, he published the ethereum white paper. Vitalik employed a more robust scripting language than Satoshi Nakamoto. And so, etherium turned into the most admired blockchain technology for Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) and Decentralized Applications (DApps).