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Crypto billionaires jump on this year’s rich list which sees Elon Musk remain the richest person in the world

SpaceX founder Elon Musk - the richest man in the world for a second year in a row. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

SpaceX founder Elon Musk - the richest man in the world for a second year in a row. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Published Mar 25, 2022


Cape Town - South African-born Elon Musk, 50, remains the world's richest person for the second consecutive year with a fortune of $205 billion, up $8 billion from last year.

This is according to the annual Hurun Report’s rich list, ranking over 3 300 billionaires from 2 500 companies and 69 countries, including South Africa.

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When you put Musk’s worth into rands we are talking astronomical digits - in fact R2 979 312 150 000!

And while some billionaires dropped off the list, it’s thanks, in part, to the ongoing digitalisation of the global economy plus tech innovations that saw almost 500 new names make the list.

The Russia-Ukraine war, Covid-19 and the US-China Trade War contributed to 337 billionaires dropping off the list this year, almost one a day, says Hurun Report chairman and chief researcher Rupert Hoogewerf.

“However, continued digitalisation of the economy, tech innovations as well as inflation helped 490 new faces making the list, giving a surprising net increase of 153 billionaires. Specific industries that had a good year include energy, especially renewables, biotech, luxury goods, semiconductors, software services and shipping.”

Crypto billionaires - who normally make their money from cryptocurrency exchanges - also jumped on the list with crypto markets producing 17 known-at-this-time billionaires.

Singapore-based Cz Zhao Changpeng, of Binance fame, is leading these crypto billionaires with an estimated net worth of $23 billion.

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Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX founder Musk, is right behind crypto saying at the 2021 Code Conference: "It's impossible to destroy crypto…"

Musk and Sergey Brin of Google (born in Russia) are listed as the richest immigrants in the world.

Women do not feature in the top ten richest which Musk leads followed hotly followed by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

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However, Beijing-based property developer Wu Yajun of Longfor is listed as the richest self-made woman, while Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, 68, of L-Oreal is the richest woman in the world with US$79BN.


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Interestingly healthcare took over from real estate to second place in terms of number of billionaires, Hoogewerf said.

Financial Services was still number one for 9.3% of the world’s billionaires.

With the majority of billionaires over 40, there are however 120 who are 40 or under, of which 86 are self made, while 34 inherited their wealth.

On the South African billionaire front, five super-wealthy individuals are listed among the global elite.

Luxury goods boss Johann Rupert’s wealth went up 56% over the last year to $10 billion. He is ahead of Nicky Oppenheimer, who dropped 10 places on the global list.

Mining chief, Patrice Motsepe’s wealth dropped 23% to $2.3 billion and media and internet tycoon, Koos Bekker’s wealth declined by 3.7% to $2.6 billion. Meanwhile Capitec founder Michiel le Roux, saw his wealth increase 14.3% to $1.6 billion.

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