The Crypto Kings: Meet the Young and Unexpected Crypto Fortune Stories

A list of investors and traders who took ‘the road less traveled’ and emerged as winners.
Kashyap Vyas
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The numerous opportunities created by social media, technology, and modernization, are enough to leave anyone spoilt for choices.

The Internet is also driving new worlds of possibilities that were practically impossible to imagine just a couple of decades ago. Blockchain business is just one of the many areas of emerging opportunities that we see today.

To those who are not too familiar with crypto deals, here is a heads-up. Cryptocurrency is an online media or asset platform that is used as a medium of exchange for secured digital transactions.

To make it more simple, it is an alternative kind of currency that is usually operated as virtual or digital currency. One of the most popular types of Cryptocurrency is Bitcoin. These digital transactions have been ongoing for years now.

But, it became more famous and broke into the limelight in 2017 when Japan and South-Korea formally adopted the blockchain technology. Today, millions of these transactions take place daily and more people are bound to get involved in the coming months.

However, the volatility of cryptocurrency makes it a risky investment, but the heights bitcoin gained last year proves the risk is worth taking. The success of early adopters, growing user base and hefty returns have certainly grabbed everyone’s attention.

Not everyone is getting rich with cryptocurrency, but the success stories are growing each day. We have curated a list of investors and traders who were lucky enough to make a fortune with the decentralized currencies.

These fortune stories are worth a read and are definitely inspiring for millions of people around the world.

1. Kingsley Advani – One of the Early Adopters of Bitcoin

The Crypto Kings: Meet the Young and Unexpected Crypto Fortune Stories
Source: Kadvani/Twitter

Advani was introduced to bitcoin by one of his friends in 2012. Back then, bitcoin was a means of payment in the criminal world, not an investment option. But Advani realized its true potential and started staking up money for investment.

Advani emptied all his savings he earned from his data scientist job at a small software company and went all in. His $34,000 investment was a big gamble, in his own words, but it paid off.

The value of bitcoin doubled and now he is a 24-year old millionaire. Advani is as passionate about crypto and blockchain technology as ever.

He left his software job and now travels around the world as an advisor and angel investor.

2. Peter Saddington – Runs A Cryptocurrency Social Network

The Crypto Kings: Meet the Young and Unexpected Crypto Fortune Stories
Source: Peter Saddington/Twitter

Peter is the CTO of Atlanta-based start-up VinWiki and runs a cryptocurrency social network called He studied Computer Science at Florida State and earned three Master's degrees in counseling, education, and theology from Luther Rice College & Seminary in Georgia.

Peter got to know about bitcoin through an Ars Technica publication, which reported a massive dip in crypto’s value. Peter was intrigued by this new technology and researched extensively about bitcoins.

He, then, decided to take the risk and purchased more than 1000 bitcoins at a meager price of $2.52 each. You can guess yourself how much he made after the bitcoin boom.

Peter became famous in crypto circles when he cashed 45 bitcoins and bought a Lamborghini Huracan for himself.

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3. Erik Finman – One of the Youngest Crypto Kings Yet

The Crypto Kings: Meet the Young and Unexpected Crypto Fortune Stories
Source: Erik Finman/Twitter

Like most of the kids of his age, German teenager Erik was fed up with schooling. He didn’t want to continue, and so he made a bet with his parents.

If he managed to become a millionaire before 18, he wouldn’t have had to attend college; his parents agreed. Erik invested 1000 Euros, a gift from his grandmother, in bitcoin.

The returns were unexpected and seriously ballooned up Erik’s net worth. Erik founded a peer-to-peer tutoring service with his profits and sold it for 300 bitcoins. With this sale, Erik is now a bitcoin millionaire and one of the youngest yet.

Erik plans to set-up new enterprises and believes in cryptocurrencies more than ever before. Erik was named TIME’s most influential teen in 2014.

4. Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss – The First Bitcoin Billionaires

The Crypto Kings: Meet the Young and Unexpected Crypto Fortune Stories
Source: TechCrunch/Flickr

Unlike other entries, Winklevii Brothers are not small fry. They have a crypto net worth of around $1 billion and they have established themselves as the leading figure in the crypto world with their cryptocurrency exchange, Gemini.

Winklevii Brothers began investing in bitcoin in 2012. The twin brothers got widespread media coverage when they accused Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg of stealing their idea of social network and settled for $65 million as compensation by the court.

For the brothers, the success in their new venture helped them prove their brilliance and reshape their public image. But it was not an easy road.

During bitcoin’s great drop between 2013 to 2015, they lost 80% of their investment. Now, they are the first bitcoin billionaires.

5. Huai Yang – A Millionaire through Bitcoin Trading

The 28-years old millionaire was not faring very well in his life before he came across a new way of transaction viz cryptocurrency. Yang hails from Beijing and used to make his living with branding consultancy and hedge-fund management.

Yang got involved with bitcoin some years back, but without a large sum of money in his hand, he couldn’t invest. He chose bitcoin trading to get into and now he is making 1m Yuan (£116,000) a month.

However, Yang is not a crypto evangelist and see cryptocurrencies fit for trading only.

6. Kristoffer Koch – One of the Luckiest Crypto Kings

The story of Koch’s successful investment in bitcoin has made him a legend and an inspiration for many to try their luck with cryptocurrencies. The young Norwegian stumbled upon the world of crypto while writing a thesis on encryption.

Koch invested 150 Kroner (roughly $27) and acquired 5,000 bitcoins in 2009. He didn’t care about his investment until media started positive coverage of the new decentralized currency.

Koch promptly searched for private keys of his encrypted wallets and found $886,000 waiting for him!

7. Jeremy Gardner – The Owner of ‘Crypto Castle’

The Crypto Kings: Meet the Young and Unexpected Crypto Fortune Stories
Source: Jeremy Gardner/Twitter

The Silk Road controversy and bitcoin’s involvement in illegal trades piqued young Gardener’s interest in bitcoin. In 2013, with the help of a friend, he bought some bitcoins.

He started reading as much as possible about cryptocurrencies, but the lack of proper guidance made it difficult for Gardner to realize bitcoin’s potential worth. In 2014, he was convinced that bitcoin was there to stay and thrive.

He invested a few thousand dollars and in a very short period of time, his net worth just doubled. It was quite shocking for him but things had only started to get better. Jeremy is now a bitcoin millionaire.

His residence at San Francisco, named ‘Crypto Castle’, hosts crypto enthusiasts from far and wide. Gardner claims that over half-a-dozen people who lived there, have become millionaires.

8. Charlie Shrem – The Founder of BitInstant

The Crypto Kings: Meet the Young and Unexpected Crypto Fortune Stories
Source: Cshrem/Wikimedia Commons

No discussion about bitcoin fortune is complete without Charlie Shrem. He was one of the early advocates of bitcoins and successfully earned millions with skyrocketing value of the cryptocurrency.

Charlie was a college senior when bitcoin was emerging in 2011. He was a computer geek and this revolutionary technology intrigued him.

Charlie bought thousands of bitcoins at a nominal price. His entrepreneurial instincts dictated him to found an exchange for bitcoins. His BitInstant became the choice of investors to convert dollars to bitcoins.

It attracted the interest of Winklevoss Brothers and other bitcoin enthusiasts and soon became a successful enterprise. Charlie is a renowned figure in cryptocurrency world.

Due to his involvement in unlicensed transactions, which helped illegal drug trade on Silk Road, he had to serve a two-year term in prison. He is free now and ready to make a bigger impact on the world with cryptocurrency and blockchain innovations.

9. Eddy Zillan – A Genius Who Turned Few Thousand Dollars to Millions

Becoming a millionaire before you turn 18, was an impossible feat before the advent of the cryptocurrencies. Still, not everyone has amassed huge money because trading crypto requires business acumen as much as other trades.

Eddy Zillan proved his genius by turning his savings into a fortune. Eddy made his first bitcoin investment with $100. The quick and high return imbued him to go with a bigger amount.


Eddy invested all his savings worth $12,000 and soon money started pouring in. Eddy explored the different dimensions of bitcoin trading and tried his luck with altcoin as well, especially Ethereum.

Zillan reports his crypto fortune over a million dollars. He is also capitalizing his success by ‘advising’ and guiding others to get rich with crypto trading.

10. James and Julian Spediacci – Ethereum Investors

The twin brothers were among the earliest Ethereum investors and hoarded large amount of it when Ethereum cost only 30 cents. The recent rise in Ethereum’s value has earned them thousands of dollars.

The brothers also run one of the largest cryptocurrency trading community in San Francisco. They call themselves ‘crypto enthusiasts’ and are open to career opportunities in blockchain technology.

11. Olaf-Carlson Wee -  The First Employee at Coinbase

Olaf-Carlson Wee saw the most spectacular rise in the cryptocurrency space. His earliest investment in bitcoin failed when bitcoin crashed from $16 each to $2, but he still believed in crypto.

Carlson sent his resume to crypto wallet Coinbase and became its first employee. Carlson opted to be paid in coins only. He gained commendable insights in the cryptocurrency with his stint at CoinBase.

By the time, bitcoin soared high, he had enough coins to make him a millionaire. Carlson founded Polychain Capital, a blockchain asset hedge fund in 2017.

His enterprise’s assets swell from $4 million to more than $200 million in a couple of months.

12. Chris Larsen – The Richest Crypto King

The Crypto Kings: Meet the Young and Unexpected Crypto Fortune Stories
Source: Chris Larsen/Twitter

According to Forbes, Chris Larsen, co-founder of Ripple, is the richest person in Cryptocurrencies. A Stanford M.B.A holder and a veteran Silicon Valley operator, his business controls 61 billion of the 100 billion XRP globally.

As of February 2018, his net worth in Crypto was almost 8 billion dollars. Before he started at Ripple, Larsen has been involved in many other highbrow businesses even though he’s 57.

For instance, he co-founded Mortgage Lender in 1996 before he co-founded Prosper Marketplace in 2000. By February 2018, Forbes listed him as the richest Crypto king on the planet and his total worth is put at $59 billion.

13. Brian Armstrong – The Founder of Coinbase

The Crypto Kings: Meet the Young and Unexpected Crypto Fortune Stories
Source: Brian Armstrong/Twitter

Brian Armstrong founded Coinbase, a leading platform for cryptocurrency trading in the United States in 2012. The 35 years old Crypto king has since thrived in cryptocurrency after overcoming the initial stormy take-off.

Today, the customer base has become rich and diverse. Just in August, at a valuation of $1.6 billion from six firms, Coinbase raised $100 million. In 2017, the business generated $1 billion in revenue. He’s said to worth is about $1 billion.

14. Brock Pierce - Member of the Bitcoin Foundation

The Crypto Kings: Meet the Young and Unexpected Crypto Fortune Stories
Source: Sebastiaan ter Burg/Wikimedia Commons

He is the founder and Managing Partner of Blockchain Capital. Pierce became popular as the pioneer of the market for digital currency.

The 37 years old graduate of the University of South California is a venture capitalist. His business interests are focused on digital currencies, gaming and ad tech.

Some of the Blockchain companies he is having stings with include Blade Financial, GoCoin, Tether, Zen box and BitGo. Others are BlockStreet, Coin Congress, ChageTip and many more.

He became an elected member of the Bitcoin Foundation in 2014. Today, he has raised over $200 million for his companies and has led over 30 acquisitions.

His IMI Exchange is the world leading digital currency for gaming activities. Annual sales from the business are over 1 billion US dollars.

As of January 2018, his crypto net worth is pegged around 1 billion dollars.

15. Changpeng Zhao - Owner of the Largest Crypto Exchange

The Crypto Kings: Meet the Young and Unexpected Crypto Fortune Stories
Source: Changpeng Zhao/Twitter

Changpeng Zhao, CZ, is the CEO of the multi-language, international cryptocurrency platform known as Binance. Binance didn’t exist 12 months ago.

But after raising $15 million last July in Binance’s 200 million crowd-sale, the business leaped. Today, Binance is world’s largest crypto-exchange with 6 million users and is capable of processing 1.4 million transactions per second.

On his pre-Binance years, CZ moved from Japan to Canada in the late 80s. He juggled between Tokyo and New York after he graduated with a Degree in Computer Science from Montreal’s McGill University.

At the time, he worked at Bloomberg’s Tradebook and on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. He later moved to Shanghai in 2005, where he started Fusion System, one of his most famous business to date.

Specifically, the Fusion Systems created high-frequency trading platforms for brokers. Eventually, he joined in 2013.

He came onboard as the third member of the team. He also worked in a couple of other cryptocurrencies businesses but had his mind stuck on starting his own company.

The opportunity came last year and CZ couldn’t but cease it. Today, Binance is one of the fastest growing businesses in cryptocurrencies across the world.

At the beginning of 2018, it bagged the title of the largest crypto-exchange with 1.3 billion BNB market capitalization.

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