Meet 20 of the most influential people in the cryptocurrency world
Get To Know The People Behind The Decentralized Currency; The Founders, High-Rollers, And The Decision-Makers. May The Crypto-Gods Be Kind To The Bottom Line
Every year, the US congressional committee prepares a report that lists and correspondingly studies events and occurrences that will affect the US economy. For the first time ever, the US Congress Joint Economic Committee has released its annual economic report which with a significant mention of cryptocurrency as well as related trends and technology. The report suggests that policymakers and economists familiarize themselves with the technology behind cryptocurrency and understand the impact it will have on the country’s economy in the future.
If that isn’t a sign that it is time to educate yourself in all things crypto, I don’t know what is. AiThority helps you familiarize yourself with the who’s who with our player guide of the rich, brainy and influential in the crypto-community;
Brendan Blumer, CEO, Block.one
Brendan Blumer’s Block.one developed EOS.IO, a blockchain platform that challenged Ethereum. Early this year, EOS became the world’s biggest token sale, even though the platform is only due to launch in June. EOS’ coin’s total market value reached as high as $10.9 billion last year, and recently sat at $8.8 billion, with Blumer owning an estimated 15% of Block.one.
That’s not even the best part about Blumer. He started his journey into virtual assets at the age of 14, selling characters, magic weapons and houses in online game titles such as Ever- quest and World of Warcraft. His company, Gamecliff, was acquired by Brock Pierce’s Internet Gaming Entertainment (IGE) in 2005. Blumer, fresh out of high school, relocated to its Hong Kong headquarters to run operations which is where Block.one took birth. Block.one is a publisher of Decentralized Autonomous Corporations (DAC’s), a concept introduced by Block.one CTO Daniel Larimer in 2014 that empowers open source communities to disrupt existing centralized business models.
Perianne Boring, Founder & President, Chamber Of Digital Commerce
Perianne is the president and founder of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, an American trade association that represents the interests of the digital asset community. The Chamber of Digital Commerce is the world’s largest trade association representing the blockchain industry. The mission of the Chamber is to promote the acceptance and use of blockchain-based technologies. Working with policymakers, regulatory agencies and industry, the Chamber educates and advocates for a pro-growth policy environment that fosters innovation and investment. She has a significant contribution for pressing the blockchain technology into the US House of Representatives and the need for legislation. She has been named the top woman in Bitcoin by Coinfilter, for her efforts in public policy and for promoting a pro-growth legal framework for digital assets. Her “Boring Bitcoin Report,” a leading industry news blog is one of the most read blogs, while she has also hosted television show “Prime Interest,” an international finance program aired over 100 countries to over 650 million viewers.
Emin Gün Sirer, Co-Director, Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts
This is how Emin describes himself on his blog, “I build things. Mostly, I build software, typically backed by some principled reason for why it should work as advertised. I’m currently a professor at Cornell University.”
He is a Turkish-American computer scientist and associate professor of computer science at Cornell University. Emin makes it to this list because he is the co-director of IC3. CryptoCurrencies & Contracts (IC3) demonstrates the newest version of “Teechain”, an off-chain transaction protocol which uses SGX. Teechain can offer state channel-like transaction rates, while addressing the problem of transaction malleability: if you have any piece of data that can be altered in the transaction without having the transaction itself becoming invalid you have a case of malleability. Payment channels offer a very powerful way to remove pressure from the blockchain by netting together transactions in series, while only having to place the opening and closing transactions on the blockchain.
Nick Szabo, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, and Smart Contracts pioneer
You’re aware of the mysterious figure of Satoshi Nakamoto. Well, in 2008, a paper was released in Nakamoto’s name — a proposal for bitcoin. There have been many conspiracy theories around the real identity behind the elusive Nakamoto; Elon Musk has been a part of this list as well. Although Szabo has repeatedly denied it, people have speculated that he is the real Nakamoto.
What we do know about Szabo is that he is referred to as a living legend in both the cryptocurrency and cryptography worlds. The man’s extensive range of interest, extending from the origins of money, economic and legal history to cryptography and blockchain technology makes him a natural polymath. Both a computer scientist and a legal scholar, he married his two central interests and, in 1996, gave birth to the concept of “smart contracts.” Many years later, “smart contracts” became the central “feature” of the Ethereum blockchain protocol and gave rise to a whole new way of commerce on the Internet.
But Szabo still remains a puzzling character. His blog, Unenumerated is a temple of his thoughts and ideas. However, with more than a hundred entries starting from 2005 up until now, one cannot find any personal information. Hence, the picture of the adorable toddler on this Twitter handle.
Chris Larsen, Co-founder of Ripple
Forbes is calling him the richest person in the world of cryptocurrency. According to them, the Stanford M.B.A. and veteran Silicon Valley operator had a fortune of some $20 billion, the bulk of it derived from his 5.2 billion XRP, the token of Ripple.
You might know him as the founder of Ripple along with Jed McCaleb. Prior to Ripple, Chris co-founded and served as CEO of Prosper, a peer-to-peer lending marketplace, and E-LOAN, a publicly traded online lender. During his tenure at E-LOAN, he pioneered the open access to credit scores movement by making E-LOAN the first company to show consumers their FICO scores.
Brock Pierce, Chairman of Bitcoin Foundation
Brock Pierce is a venture capitalist and serial entrepreneur best known for pioneering the market for digital currency. He is a Founder and Managing Partner of Blockchain Capital. Blockchain Capital has invested in more than 30 blockchain enabling technology companies.
Pierce is also a founder, advisor, or board member of GoCoin, Tether, ZenBox, Blade Financial, Expresscoin, Noble Markets, BitGo, ChangeTip, BlockStreet, Coin Congress, and Plug and Play.
What’s most interesting, however, is that Pierce is a former child actor who co-founded a precursor to YouTube, at 17. It was called Digital Entertainment Network, and raised $88 million during the dot-com bubble. Until it went bust. In the 2000s Pierce, an avid gamer, built one of the largest virtual-asset trading companies, Internet Gaming Entertainment, which employed thousands of people in China to play videogames, like World of Warcraft, in order to win coveted virtual prizes–which he then sold to millions of videogamers globally for real money. Video game currency arbitrage led him to crypto in its earliest days.
Gavin Wood, CTO and Chairman, Parity Technologies
Gavin is a British programmer who is a co-founder and former CTO of Ethereum. In August 2014 he proposed Solidity, a contract-oriented programming language for writing smart contracts. He is the founder and current CTO and Chairman of Parity Technologies who released the Parity Bitcoin technology stack; Parity Technologies created a browser for the Ethereum network.. He also authored the Polkadot paper; Vision for a Heterogenous Multi-Chain Framework.
Valery Vavilov, CEO of Bitfury
Valery is the CEO of BitFury, a leading Blockchain infrastructure provider and Blockchain transaction processing company, founded the Company in 2011.
BitFury produces semiconductors and servers for bitcoin transaction processing and runs some of the largest bitcoin operations in the world with data centers in Finland, Iceland and the Republic of Georgia. The company has successfully delivered three prior generations of silicon chips and has a roadmap to double performance-per-watt every 6-12 months. Simply put, the company “mines” Bitcoin, or uses computers to solve complex mathematical problems that add a new block of transactions to the blockchain and earn Bitcoin,
Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase
Brian is the CEO of Coinbase, which became the blockchain industry’s first “unicorn” after it raised $100 Million in August, valuing the company at $1.6 Billion. Armstrong, who now personally owns even more Ether than he does Bitcoin, is responsible for introducing much of America and beyond to cryptocurrency: The world’s largest exchange for trading digital currency, Coinbase’s customers have more than doubled in the past year, while trade volume in 2017 alone is roughly eight times last year’s total.
Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance
There are more than a few reasons for Changpeng Zhao, known as CZ, making it to the cover of Forbes. According to their profile of the man, his only indulgence is mobile phones (he owns three), sold his house in Shanghai in 2014 to go all in on Bitcoin and doesn’t own any cars, yachts nor fancy watches. CZ was born in Jiangsu, China. Both of his parents were educators; his father, a professor, was labeled a “pro-bourgeois intellect” and temporarily exiled shortly after CZ was born. The family eventually emigrated to Vancouver, Canada, in the late 1980s. As a teenager, CZ pitched in to cover the household expenses, flipping burgers at McDonald’s and working overnight shifts at a gas station. Among the crypto-rich, Zhao falls squarely in the builder camp.
Suffice to say, CZ is currently worth upwards of $2 Billion. The CEO of Binance made the news again for this sincere take on why the initial coin offering (ICO) model is preferred to venture capital “even with the risk of fraud”. In a blog post, he published entitled “ICOs — Not Just ‘Good-to-Have,’ But Necessary,” the Binance chief took aim at the VC world, notably writing that he believes “raising money through ICOs is about 100 times easier than through traditional VCs, if not more.”
Next 10 bigwigs in the cyrptocurrency world
Michael Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital
Dan Larimer, CTO in Block.one
Charles Hoskinson, Co-founder of Ethereum and IOHK (Cardano)
Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple
Barry Silbert, CEO of Digital Currency Group
Vitalik Buterin, Creator of Ethereum