Crypto founders top young Australian rich list

Seven of Australia’s 87 richest entrepreneurs aged 40 and under are crypto founders, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The AFR’s list contains 87 of Australia’s richest entrepreneurs aged 40 and under, with each boasting a net worth greater than AUD 36 million ($26.9 million).

The list is topped by Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht, the co-founder and chief operating officer (COO) of popular graphic design software providers Canva. The married couple has an estimated net worth of AUD 16.5 ($12.3) billion between them.

Seven crypto luminaires have debuted on the Australian Financial Review’s (AFR) “Young Rich” list of 2021, including the minds behind some of the leading protocols in the decentralized finance (DeFi) and nonfungible token (NFT) sectors.


Kain Warwick, the founder of derivatives trading protocol Synthetix is ranked as the most affluent crypto figure in Australia, coming in at seventh overall with an estimated net worth of AUD 879 million ($657 million).

Kain founded Synthetix in 2017, with the protocol comprising an Ethereum-based decentralized synthetic asset issuance protocol that offers exposure to a wide range of markets such as crypto, stock and commodities via synthetic assets.

Synthetix ranks as the 22nd-largest DeFi protocol with a total value locked (TVL) of $2.2 billion, while its native SNX token comprises the 85th-largest crypto asset with a capitalization of $1.9 billion.

Synthetix has raised a total of AUD 46.1 million ($34.46 million) over six funding rounds. The round included participation from Paradigm, Coinbase Ventures and IOSG Ventures according to Crunchbase.

Illuvium and the Warwick brothers

Kain Warwick is not the only member of the family on the list, with three of his brothers in Aaron, Grant and Keiran also making the list this year.

The three brothers co-founded the upcoming play-to-earn crypto game Illuvium in 2020. Keiran leads the pack with a net worth of AUD 463 million ($346 million) to rank 22nd, while Aaron is close behind at 26th with AUD 425 million, and Grant comes in at 34th with AUD 196 million.

Despite the Illuvium game currently still being in development, ILV has shot up the market cap rankings this year amid meteoric price growth to currently sit at 145th with a capitalization of $721 million.

To date, Illuvium has raised $5 million from a funding round that included participation from Framework Ventures and IOSG Ventures.

Sustainable Bitcoin miners

Brothers Daniel and William Roberts also made the list, with the duo ranking in at 19th with a combined AUD 484 million. The duo founded a sustainable energy-focused Bitcoin (BTC) mining firm dubbed Iris Energy earlier this year. Cointelegraph reported in July the firm was looking to raise $200 million in preparation to go public on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Last week the firm filed for an initial public offering (IPO) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to raise up to $100 million. The firm intends to list its shares under the REN ticker later this year.

Related: Aussie firm to launch $100M class action over dodgy QOIN token

Sergienko’s rise to fame

Finally, Sydney-based Sergei Sergienko ranked in at 60th with a net worth of AUD 97 million ($72.5 million) in part due to his work with Chronobank, a blockchain-based firm he founded in 2016 that streamlines recruiting processes and enables workers to get paid in crypto assets.

“The company empowers HR and recruitment professionals with blockchain technology, as well as enabling global freelancers to secure the best jobs and make sure they are paid quickly and fairly,” Chronobank’s website reads.

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