The vast fortunes of crypto billionaires are destroyed in weeks

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The vast fortunes of crypto billionaires are destroyed in weeks

Shares of the company have fallen 84% since their first day of trading in April 2021, closing Wednesday at $53.72 after the company warned that trading volume and monthly trading users were expected to be lower in the second trimester than in the first.

Coinbase Global Inc. founder Brian Armstrong had a personal fortune of $13.7 billion in November and about $8 billion at the end of March. That is now just $2.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, after a sell-off of digital currencies from Bitcoin to Ether triggered a sharp drop in the market value of Coinbase, the largest US cryptocurrency exchange. USA

Doubts were raised about Coinbase’s ability to withstand the sharp decline in cryptocurrency prices, forcing Armstrong to take to Twitter to defend the company. There is no “bankruptcy risk” even in the midst of a “black swan” event and user funds are safe, said Armstrong, the firm’s chief executive.

Then there is Michael Novogratz. The CEO of crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital has seen his fortune plummet to $2.5 billion, from $8.5 billion in early November.. He has been a champion of TerraUSD, the algorithmic stablecoin now at risk of collapsing entirely amid a collapse in the price of a crypto token in the same ecosystem, Luna.

“I’m probably the only guy in the world who has a Bitcoin tattoo and a Moon tattoo,” Novogratz said at the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami on April 6.

Multi-billion dollar crypto fortunes that grew in the last two years are disappearing after a sell-off that started with tech stocks and turned into digital money. Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, and Ether are down more than 50% from their all-time highs late last year.

While almost all cryptocurrency holders have suffered declines in wealth, some of the largest and most visible losses are concentrated among the founders of exchanges, where traders buy and sell digital currencies.

On paper at least, Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of closely held Binance, has lost an even bigger fortune than Armstrong or Novogratz. He debuted on the Bloomberg Wealth Index in January with a net worth of $96 billion, one of the largest in the world. By Wednesday, that had dropped to $11.6 billion, using the average enterprise value for sales multiples from Coinbase and Canadian crypto firm Voyager Digital as the basis for calculations.

Cryptocurrency exchanges in the US appear to be suffering from a bigger downturn than their global competitors. Trading volumes on Coinbase have been steadily declining since the beginning of the year, while Binance, which has a more international focus, saw a spike in volume last month. Binance’s US-focused business, by comparison, saw even steeper declines than Coinbase’s.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, co-founders of rival crypto exchange Gemini, have each lost around $2.2 billion, or roughly 40%, of their wealth this year. The fortune of Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of crypto exchange FTX, has halved since the end of March to about $11.3 billion.

Armstrong is not the only Coinbase billionaire losing money. Co-founder Fred Ehrsam, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. trader, is currently worth $1 billion, down more than 60% this year.

Armstrong owns 16% of Coinbase and controls 59.5% of its voting shares, according to the company’s 2022 proxy statement, while Ehrsam has a 4.5% stake and controls 26% of Coinbase. their voting shares.

Coinbase bonds have also tumbled, recently trading in line with some of the riskier junk-rated notes.

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