The dream of the “crypto kings,” the crypto kings who lived their dreams swinging on a “lambo,” seems to be over or at least fading away. On November 11, the Ftx trading platform went bankrupt. The crack is only the latest to affect digital money exchange operators and platforms. What until recently seemed like an ideal world, where it was enough to be a little nerd to be able to own a Lamborghini (or “Lambo”, colloquially), today seems increasingly difficult. The unstable cryptocurrency industry, which, as The Washington Post reported, compares it to a “house of cards,” has gone through different phases. Since its inception, cryptocurrency has been marked by sudden wealth production but also major scams, clandestine trading, and shattered dreams. Over the years, as institutions scrambled to regulate the market, digital currencies experienced very rapid growth, but also experienced cracks and devaluations. The world of cryptocurrency kings rejects everything conventional about traditional finance. Blazers, suits, and double ties are off the table in favor of more comfortable but less stylish Bermuda shorts and sneakers. The “Kings of Cryptocurrency” live a life of luxury and pleasure, but they lead a more “street” life than the classic tokens of finance. Cryptocurrency kings are elusive personalities, who like to appear in their contexts, outside of which they are almost incomprehensible characters. The foremost example is Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin. A mysterious figure, inaccessible and enigmatic, about whom there have been speculations for years, even questioning his existence. Still today no one knows for sure who is behind the lucky nickname.
However, for many of them, it seems their idyllic destiny is coming to an end. Cryptocurrency betting allowed these funky nerds to get rich in no time before the bubble burst. Private jets, homes in the Hamptons, sneakers, and finally a Lambo. However, it seems that recently all cryptocurrency “gurus” have been experiencing difficulties and their assets have been shrinking. naked king Lamborghinis are gone and the doors of oblivion are opening for them. The founder of Ftx, the platform that went bankrupt last week, is Sam Bankman-Fried, who ranked 60th on the Forbes list of billionaires in the world until he saw his wealth go from $26 billion to 991 in a few hours in the millions. Bankman-Fried usually wears a white T-shirt, army green Bermuda shorts, and sneakers with ankle socks. It is said that he lives in some sort of community with ten other people, goes to work in a Toyota Corolla (no Lamborghini for him) and doesn’t mind sleeping in the office, in a sleeping bag under his desk. Bankman-Fried majored in physics at MIT, but also said things like “school is useless for most jobs.” Except then say “annoyance” for his Ftx creature havoc, and admit he “fucked everything up.” After the collapse of FTX, another crypto king, Changpeng Zhao, tried to take matters into his own hands, launching a bailout fund for cryptocurrency projects. Changpeng, the CEO of Binance, is the son of Chinese exiles who immigrated to Vancouver in the 1980s and built his fortune with the $1 million he earned by selling his home. His Binance is very strong at the moment but the impact of Ftx has also affected his fortune.
Therefore, the cryptocurrency market often hits investors hard. The rule seems to apply to many except for one person, Jed McCaleb. He is the only billionaire who has not lost money since April and one of those working in the crypto sector for the longest time. He owes a large portion of his assets to XRP, which he owned as co-founder of Ripple and which he kept despite leaving the company the following year. In 2014, he created the cryptocurrency Stellar. Twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, from whom Zuckerberg stole the magic formula from which Facebook was born, are certainly not part of the group of weird crypto kings. With the $65 million they had at the end of the legal battle with Meta sponsor, they had made a fortune of $4.2 billion with which they decided to launch their own Personal Revenge: metaverse to oppose Zuckerberg. It will probably end badly for everyone. But perhaps the king of cryptocurrency par excellence, one who built his fortune in his garage like any self-respecting geek would be, is Brian Armstrong. His creation, Coinbase, was born in Armstrong’s high school room when he was still writing code for California startups, including Airbnb. Coinbase is today the main cryptocurrency exchange in the US, he owns a fifth of it and although the company has lost 90% since its IPO in the spring of 2021, nearly $2 billion is still in his hands. It’s another person who has strange obsessions. Its employees, for example, are strictly prohibited from discussing politics in the workplace. What he hates most is the EU’s focus on new cryptocurrency rules.
At nearly 50, Matthew Roszak has seen it all in the world of blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies. He founded Tally Capital, a privately held crypto-focused investment firm with a portfolio of companies including Binance, Block.One, Blockstream, Civic, Messari, Orchid, Spacechain, Tzero, and Qtum. He is perhaps the person with the largest corporate profile in this sector in the world, so much so that he is the President of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, the largest trade association in the world. He’s convinced that technology isn’t just about making money and that’s why he sits on the board of directors of BitGive, a charitable organization that digital tech moguls are trying to show themselves to be more generous than greedy. His approach is perhaps the most secular and least fundamentalist, so much so that he produced the first ever documentary devoted to cryptocurrency whose descriptive title sounds a little optimistic today: “The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin.” Age, we know, is a good advisor, and Roszak knows there is no worse mistake than burning bridges behind him. This is why, in addition to having made himself available to the United States Congress and the Federal Reserve as a cryptocurrency expert, he is keen to court big names in information such as CNBC, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and the Financial Times by offering himself as an advisor.