After an incredible 2017 in the crypto world and the years leading up to it, we’ve had fortunes that have been made. I’ve personally seen more Ferraris, Maseratis, and Lamborghinis than I ever remember. Either this is the QE-fueled stock market or it’s the disintegration of the millennials’ view of the stock market, which is the belief that blockchain tech and crypto are the way of the future. The amazing part to me is that the answer is most definitely a combination of both. A paradigm shift is happening, and what I see is that no one wants central banks ruining our lives anymore.

Millennials, at least the ones who are awake, understand that the boom/bust cycle only helps the top. The average Joe does not benefit from boom/bust cycles unless they time the market correctly, which does not happen often. Most are so heavy with debt that it means nothing. Arguably, Bitcoin is owned by a small number of individuals, which can be seen on the blockchain. The latest sell-off most likely rid the market of the true speculators and only enhances the people who already held the majority of the chips or gave the ones who thought they missed out an opportunity. The future will most likely blend the stock market together with blockchain tech in the form of the traditional equities being tokenized. The entire S&P 500 may end up being one huge tokenized index where fund managers invest in a crypto benchmark. For $100,000, you get the top 50 cryptos or equities. At the end of the day, confidence is what will keep things together, and with millennials taking over the majority of the population, blockchain tech will move forward.

With that being said, the Warren Buffetts, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos of the old system may end up being people from the crypto world. Forbes recently released its third edition of the FinTech 50, a list of the top 50 financial technology companies in the world for 2018. The founders of the Bitfury group, Ripple, and Coinbase were on the list, and they also made Forbes Magazine’s list of the richest people in cryptocurrency. Of the nine companies on the list, 5 of them were just added this year. According to Randall Lane, Forbes editor, the point of the list is to bring exposure to the crypto world as a legitimate asset class. In order to make this list, one must have amassed $350 million or more. As expected, the average age of these crypto tycoons is 42, while the average age of the Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans is 67. The Bitfury group is located in Amsterdam and produces both hardware and software for Bitcoin mining and security. Valerie Vavilov, the CEO, is a computer scientist from Latvia, and the firm has secured $90 million from Credit China Fintech Holdings, DRW Venture Capital, and several others. ShapeShift also made the list, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. ShapeShift is pretty well-known amongst Americans because 1/5 of its users are Americans. It powers the exchange feature in the Exodus wallet and its versatility makes it useful. It allows its users to trade between 70 different cryptocurrencies without an account or wallet. Erik Voorhees, well-known in the crypto world, is the founder.

Coinbase also makes the list, to no one’s surprise. Coinbase is known to everyone who is in cryptocurrencies because it is the easiest place to get Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. Brian Armstrong, the CEO, is definitely on the list as well, with reports that Coinbase brought in over $1 billion in 2017.


Colin Bennett