Chinese research group the Hurun Research Institute has released its annual list of the richest Chinese citizens and, for the first time, individuals from the blockchain industry made the list.

This is the 20th edition of the Hurun China Rich List and only includes individuals with a net worth higher than 2 billion yuan ($289 million).

Including 13 blockchain entrepreneurs, the highest entry on the list belongs to Micree Zhan – Bitmain co-founder – who placed 95th with a net worth of $2.4 billion.

Following close behind is the other co-founder of Bitmain, Jihan Wu, taking the 204th spot with a net worth of $2.3 billion. With Bitmain’s upcoming IPO expected to raise $3 billion, Jihan and Zhan might place even better in the next year’s list.

Founder and CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, was able to reach 230th place with an estimated $2.1 billion in earnings. Binance is the current biggest exchange in terms of trading volume, so it comes as little surprise that Zhao is doing so well financially. In order of ranking, other notable figures on the list are Star Xu, founder of OKCoin, Li Lin, founder of Huobi, and Li Xiaolai, creator of BitFund and renowned Bitcoin “whale” that recently announced he no longer intends to work on blockchain projects. Also in the list are the leaders of Canaan Creative and Ebang, companies that compete with Bitmain in the mining equipment industry.

China and Crypto

Although most Bitcoin mining is still occuring in China, the country used to be the epicenter of the crypto-economy until the Chinese government banned ICOs and exchanges.

This, coupled with the fact that most of 2018 has been characterised by an ongoing bear market, underscores how interesting it is to see so many crypto figures reach so high up the list – and also attests to the incredible growth seen in 2017.