15 Most Influential People in Crypto – The 2020 Edition
Despite the bearish cryptocurrency landscape in 2019, blockchain projects and cryptocurrency influencers seem to be bolstering the technology with brazen advancements and optimistic views for the future.
This past year has been less fruitful when it comes to blockchain funding. While the first quarter of 2018 saw $15 million plowed into crypto, the same period in 2019 barely crossed the $3 million mark.
While easy blockchain funding may be slipping away for new startups, the top 100 crypto characters of 2019 demonstrate that the crypto space’s focus in 2019 tends to lean more toward pushing mass adoption and integrating blockchain into existing enterprise infrastructure.
This year’s list of crypto’s most influential people is as diverse as ever, with crypto innovation seeping in from all corners of the world. 2019 has seen technologists, investors, policymakers, and visionaries from all walks of life entering the crypto space, making an exciting year in cryptocurrency endorsement and regulation. As these key influencers branch out worldwide, 2020 is predicted to be an exciting year in terms of mass blockchain adoption.
Name: Changpeng Zhao
Changpeng Zhao, also known as “CZ,” is the founder and CEO of Binance – the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. Binance has been very active this year, from developing new products and services, such as DEX, country-specific exchanges to company acquisitions, and even supporting governments with crypto adoption.
Name: Jihan Wu
Jihan Wu is the CEO and co-founder of Bitmain, the world’s largest computer chip company for bitcoin mining. In October, Bitmain announced it would start building the world’s largest bitcoin mining plant. Before Bitmain, Wu was a financial analyst at an equity firm and an angel investor in Kaomao, a bitcoin mining hardware startup.
Name: Jack Dorsey
Co-founder and CEO of Twitter and Square, Dorsey has been an advocate for Bitcoin since the early days. Having launched a crypto division of Square early this year (called Cash App – which helps newcomers buy Bitcoin), Dorsey is now making plans to lead to mass BTC adoption in Africa.
Name: David Marcus
Former president of PayPal, Marcus has sat on Coinbase’s Board of Directors since 2017 and was previously fulfilling VP of Messaging Products at Facebook. Marcus now heads up Facebook’s Libra team – which could potentially introduce digital currencies to Facebook’s billions of active users.
Name: Brian Armstrong
Brian Armstrong is the co-founder and CEO of Coinbase, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges (its reported Coinbase holds 966,230 Bitcoin ($7B) in Cold Wallet). Before his involvement with the blockchain and Coinbase, Armstrong worked at Deloitte and Touche as an Enterprise Risk Management Consultant.
VitalyDmitriyevich “Vitalik” Buterin is the co-founder of Ethereum, the world’s most popular smart contract platform that enables developers to build decentralized applications (at the time of writing this, ETH has a market cap of $2B). Before he developed Ethereum, Buterin was the co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine.
Name: Brad Garlinghouse
Garlinghouse is both the CEO and Chairman of Ripple Labs. This year, Ripple surpassed 300 partners, including over 115 banks worldwide. Having launched On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) for cross-border payments, Ripple now has more than 20 partners using XRP for ODL, including Moneygram, Western Union, and American Express.
Name: Daniel Varzari
Ex-real estate mogul Daniel Varzari is the creator of Crypto Cloud and MD of DVG Group. Previously a partner at Coinsbase, Daniel now focuses full-time on crypto-fiat fintech. To enhance fungibility and crypto acceptance, Moneta’s integration has begun; however, Varzari has recently announced a crowdfunding launch to fund the development.
Name: Kelly Loeffler
Ex-CMO of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Loeffler, is now the CEO of Bakkt, an ICE subsidiary, focused on the increasing institution and merchant access to digital assets. Having launched its Bitcoin Futures in Sep 2019, Bakkt reached an all-time monthly high of $37M within the first month. Before her 15 years at ICE, Loeffler served on the Board of Directors for Georgia Power Company.
Name: Roger Ver
Known affectionately as ‘Bitcoin Jesus’, Ver was an early investor and promoter of Bitcoin. While one of the Bitcoin Foundation’s five founders, in 2017, Ver was an avid supporter of the Bitcoin hard fork to create Bitcoin Cash. Ver was central to opposing Bitcoin Cash’s hard fork in 2018 (creating Bitcoin SV) and has recently taken to Facebook, giving away BCH to encourage adoption.
Name: Peter Smith
Peter Smith is the co-founder and CEO of Blockchain.com, the company behind one of the world’s most popular online crypto wallets, and launched Blockchain Principal Strategies. This institutional platform helps investors gain more exposure to cryptocurrency.
Name: Adam Back
A highly-skilled cryptographer, Back developed HashCash, the proof-of-work anti-spam mechanism. Now the CEO of Blockstream, one of the prominent founders and development teams behind Bitcoin Core, Back often speaks on Bitcoin’s benefits and presented at the G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers this year.
Name: Joseph Lubin
Joseph Lubin is a co-founder of Ethereum and the founder of ConsenSys, a global blockchain company that creates and invests in software for the Ethereum blockchain ecosystem. Before ConsenSys and Ethereum, he worked for eMagine, Blacksmith Software Consulting, and Goldman Sachs.
Name: Brendan Blumer
Brendan Blumer is the CEO of Block.one, the tech company producing the EOS.IO distributed ledger software and developing the EOS community. Before Block.one, Blumer worked on Okay.com, which later merged with a real estate company in Asia called Pacific properties.
Name: Catherine Coley
Catherine Colely is the CEO of Binance.US, the US-based cryptocurrency exchange from Binance. Before her CEO appointment at Bainance.US, Coley spent two years building out the global liquidity network at Ripple as their head of XRP institutional liquidity.