For the first time, Forbes has added a new category to their elite lists, this time making some room for recognition for the richest people in cryptocurrency. For Forbes editor Randall Lane, this is to “provide a snapshot of a pivotal moment, part of the transparency needed to pull crypto away from its provenance as the favorite currency of drug dealers and into the adolescence of a legitimate asset class.”
As this is the publication’s first time delving into this kind of list, categories and qualifications are still certain to evolve. For now, however, there are five categories that they looked at: “idealists, builders, opportunists, infrastructure players, and establishment investors.” Another qualification is for the candidate to have earned at least $350 million—these net worths are calculated based on the “estimated holdings of cryptocurrencies (a few provided proof), post-tax profits from trading crypto-assets and stakes in crypto-related businesses.”
Joe Lubin, Consensys founder, questioned how Forbes could have possibly come up with the list without any accurate numbers. He also criticized the potential risk to the safety of the individuals as a result of being on the list. While he reiterates that he and his peers are not out for public attention per se, he Lubin does recognize the importance of the list. Meanwhile, Forbes does concede that their list, comprising of 19 individuals in total, could have invariably left out some other folks that meet the criteria.
For Forbes staff writer Jeff Kauflin, the publication “firmly believe we made the world a better place by shining a light on the invisible rich. Just as crypto has evolved from the days of the Silk Road drug site and the Mt. Gox digital hijacking, fortunes of this magnitude should never be allowed to lurk in the shadows.”