The Most Famous People in Cryptocurrency and Blockchain
The real name of Bitcoin’s creator is unknown. The first cryptocurrency ever to be created as described in the whitepaper was launched under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. While the identity of the real Bitcoin creator remains a mystery, numerous people have contributed to the development of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain, and investments have poured into the digital asset market and blockchain technology. The names of these contributors are well-known inside and outside the crypto world—these people are some of the most influential names in the cryptocurrency sphere.
Andreas Antonopoulos is one of the biggest names in crypto-oriented media as the speaker and host of the podcast Let’s Talk Bitcoin. Born in Greece and currently residing in the UK, the 47-year-old influencer and media master is a leading expert in the public blockchain and cryptocurrency sphere. Antonopoulos is the author of many pieces on the topic of crypto and blockchain; the book he published in 2014, Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies, is one of his most recognized works.
Adam Back, the 49-year-old co-founder and CEO at Blockstream, was born in the UK and currently resides in Malta. Back is a seasoned cryptographer and is well-known for creating assets similar to Bitcoin—he created Hashcash back in 1997. Back’s work on Bitcoin-like assets before Bitcoin was even a thing was recognized by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto as one of the eight references in the Bitcoin whitepaper.
Brian Armstrong is the co-founder and CEO of one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase. Armstrong has a long list of titles, including consultant, software engineer, crypto entrepreneur, and risk manager. The 37-year-old computer scientist is also the co-founder of the Give Crypto Foundation, which has already donated $4 million to people living in poverty. Armstrong presently resides in San Francisco.
Silbert is a major investor with an interest in the cryptocurrency market. He currently resides in New York City, where he runs Grayscale Investments as the CEO. Silbert also founded the Digital Currency Group while supposedly investing in over 140 different companies. Silbert has received a flattering number of awards, among which is Entrepreneur of the Year from Ernst & Young and Crains.
One of the biggest names in the crypto sphere when it comes to leadership and investing is the 49-year-old Brad Garlinghouse. Garlinghouse is best known as the CEO of Ripple, a position he originally took over in 2015. Garlinghouse is also a member of the board of directors at Ripple Company. Garlinghouse previously held positions at Yahoo and AOL, and he is an angel investor in more than several companies, including Wonolo and Diffbot.
Born in the Ivory Coast and presently residing in San Francisco, Charlie Lee is best known as the founder of the first Bitcoin fork, Litecoin(LTC). Lee is a computer scientist and a former Google employee. He created Litecoin while working for Google, and Litecoin soon emerged as one of the top cryptocurrencies on the market. Aside from being known as the creator of Litecoin, Lee is also the managing director of the Litecoin Foundation.
Circulating from San Francisco to New York, 39-year-old Elizabeth Stark has a long list of achievements, starting with graduating from Harvard Law School. She was also an entrepreneur-in-residence at Stanford StartX. Stark participated in the effort that led to the defeat of SOPA/PIPA, engaging millions of people around the globe. One of her greatest achievements in the sphere of cryptocurrency is building a programmable financial layer for the internet through fast transactions after the public beta of the Lightning Network was released in 2018.
Gavin Andersen was born in Melbourne, Australia, and commenced his career by working as a 3D graphics and virtual reality designer. He graduated from Princeton University and is best known as one of the leading Bitcoin Core developers. Andersen is also the founder of the Bitcoin Foundation, which supports the development of the digital asset. Andersen originally supported Craig Wright’s claim of being the real Satoshi but later regretted his involvement in the name game.
Jack Dorsey born in St. Louis, Missouri, is the founder and CEO of Twitter and Square. The 43-year-old long-term Bitcoin advocate and evangelist currently residing in San Francisco created a new team in 2020, Square Crypto. The team will be focused on supporting Bitcoin adoption through UX design, infrastructure, and protocol development.
Jameson Lopp has been in the cryptocurrency space as a developer and a cryptocurrency evangelist since 2015. During the course of only a couple of years, Lopp became one of the most respected voices in the cryptocurrency community. Lopp joined Casa in 2018, a company that develops plug-and-play solutions and secure wallets for Bitcoin. Previously, Lopp was an engineer at BitGo, where he worked on developing a multi-sig, high-grade custody service.
Jimmy Song is a Bitcoin educator, entrepreneur, and developer. He resides in Austin, Texas, and earned a degree in mathematics from the University of Michigan in 1998. Song became a venture capital partner in 2018 by joining Blockchain Capital. Song also runs a for-profit company called Programming Blockchain, which teaches blockchain-based programming and development. Song is also a known author who has published two books: The Little Bitcoin Book and Programming Bitcoin.
Joseph Lubin was born in Toronto, Canada, and he currently resides in New York City. The founder of Consensys and one of the co-founders of Ethereum, Lubin was also a Wall Street technologist. When founding Consensys after holding the position of COO at Ethereum, Lubin focused on founding a startup incubator that represents a network of projects where different teams build infrastructure and applications mostly for the Ethereum network.
The 29-year-old prodigy from Peking University is best known as the founder and CEO of the Tron Foundation and TRON(TRX). TRON has become one of the biggest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. As of 2018, Sun had acquired BitTorrent and created BTT, BitTorrent Token. Sun is also known for his sensational marketing tactics in the crypto sphere.
Previously running and founding a management software company called Netscape, which was known for the browser Mosaic, Andreessen now runs a venture capital firm, A16z, also known as Andreessen Horowitz Venture Capital. He was born in Cedar Falls, Iowa, but now resides in San Francisco, where he operates his VC firm. Andreessen has raised $300 million for his VC crypto fund.
Nic Carter earned an MA in philosophy from St. Andrews University in Scotland. The young co-founder of Coinmetrics was focused on studying ethical and political philosophy, which helped him understand the importance of cryptocurrency. Carter is one of the founders of Coinmetrics and a partner at Castle Island Ventures, a venture company focused on public blockchains.
Nick Szabo is considered one of the pioneers of blockchain technology. He has dealt with the sector of cryptocurrency and the idea of digital money since the ʼ90s. Some crypto enthusiasts even believe that Szabo is the person behind Satoshi Nakamoto. Szabo is famous for designing BitGold, as well as for his idea for smart contracts. Szabo was also one of the proponents of Bitcoin’s scalability solutions, such as the Lightning Network.
Pieter Wuille was born in Belgium and now lives in San Francisco. This 34-year-old developer is one of the most significant contributors to some of the most important Bitcoin upgrades. At the same time, Wuille is one of the most active Bitcoin Core developers. He is also responsible for the Segregated Witness scaling solution. Wuille is currently the co-founder and core engineer at Blockstream, a company that works on infrastructure and scalable solutions for Bitcoin.
Rune Christensen is CEO and co-founder of MakerDAO, a novel and complex structure in the DeFi sector and the network that issues Dai digital assets. The 29-year old Dane is known as the visionary behind the project with the nickname “Rune Radio.” Before Christensen arrived, MakerDAO is said to have been only a collective of programmers and developers. Dai was the first stablecoin ever to be launched on Ethereum.
Residing in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, Ricardo Spagni is a software engineer and entrepreneur who first heard about Bitcoin in 2011. Shortly after the privacy-focused crypto Monero(XMR) was launched in 2014, Spagni became part of a group of seven, becoming a lead maintainer of the Monero project. Spagni is currently focused on a new project, Tari—a protocol for decentralized assets.
Roger Ver has been in the cryptocurrency sphere since Bitcoin was still valued below $1. Ver is best known as the executive chairman of Bitcoin.com. The 41-year-old American-born crypto investor currently resides in Tokyo. Ver has been interested in crypto since the very beginning of the concept, which resulted in him funding numerous crypto startups that emerged with the first wave of interest in the new market of crypto assets. Ver is one of the five founders of Bitcon.com and was one of the main proponents of the Bitcoin Cash(BCH) fork.
This 26-year-old programmer and writer is one of the co-founders of Ethereum and the face of the project. Born in Russia, Vitalik Buterin has been involved in the cryptocurrency community since 2011, starting as a writer at Bitcoin Magazine. Ethereum is the second-most valued crypto in the market after Bitcoin; however, the market cap is not what interests Buterin. He is focused on the technology behind Ethereum, including smart contracts and Dapps.
Born in Brasov, Romania, lived in Ottawa, Canada and London, England, Vlad Zamfir is a well-known consensus protocol and crypto-economics researcher with a special focus on the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) protocol. In anticipation of Ethereum’s transition to PoS, Zamfir has been working on PoS implementations. He is currently working on correcting the model for Ethereum’s Casper protocol, dubbed correct-by-construction. Recently, he has stirred up the crypto crowd with his stance against immutability of Ethereum. His view led to a heated debate on crypto twitter, where Szabo, Buterin and a lawyer Shapiro argued against his proposition. His standpoint is: “Immutability undermines the rule of law”.
The Winklevoss Twins
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss were born in Southampton, New York, and they currently reside in New York. The Winklevoss twins are famous names in the crypto sphere and beyond—they are best known for founding Gemini, a custody and exchange platform for cryptocurrencies. The twins attended business school together at Harvard and Oxford University, gaining a background in social media technology before committing to cryptocurrency investments.
Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn is a 45-year-old computer scientist and one of the top influencers and developers in the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain. He was born in Phoenix, Arizona, and presently resides in Denver, Colorado. Wilcox-O’Hearn earned his fame in the crypto sphere for developing resilient and secure network protocols for transactions and safe storage. He holds the position of CEO of Electric Coin Company, which he founded. Electric Coin Company is a for-profit firm focused on the development of Zcash(ZEC).