Nick Szabo – Cryptographer and Bit Gold mystery man
The inventor of the smart contract concept. Heavily involved in the development of ‘bit gold’, Bitcoin’s precursor, moving in the same circles as Gavin Andresen. The cryptographer and computer scientist known the world over for his involvement in all kinds of projects, with some theorising he was involved in the creation of Bitcoin itself. There is no denying that Szabo is a heavily influential man in crypto now, and has been since the beginning. While the hunt for the true Satoshi Nakamoto rages to this day, could Szabo be the key to it all? His involvement across the market and his legendary status make him a worthy player in this list of heavy hitters.
Brian Armstrong – CEO of Coinbase, High Profile crypto star
The cofounder and CEO of one of the cryptoexchange giants, Armstrong’s work with Coinbase has cemented him as a key player in the game and a cryptocurrency monster. Speaking at conferences and panels worldwide and even being featured on The 2014 film ‘The Rise of Bitcoin’, Armstrong’s career in the industry is prolific and successful. His double major in Computer Sciences and Economics jumpstarted his career in tech startup, becoming a leading advocate for Bitcoin and the adoption of crypto, he is a real rockstar of the industry, and not knowing of his accomplished past and bright future is frankly criminal.
The Winklevoss Twins – The first Bitcoin billionaires
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss , industry powerhouses and bright sparks in crypto’s future, for their fame for Tyler becoming the world’s first Bitcoin billionaire, purchasing 1% of all supply after a settlement with Facebook. Since then he has become the Principal of Winklevoss and the CEO of Gemini, a digital asset exchange he co-founded with his twin. The Gemini dollar was then created, a stablecoin created to facilitate liquidity for businesses and individuals reliant on crypto. Their movie star aesthetic and public image as a twin unit has made them instantly recognisable even outside the crypto realms. Their recent acquisition of a patent on settling Exchange-Traded Products (ETP’s) with digital currencies in 2018 has kept them as big news and so we can look forward to them making further waves in cryptocurrency’s near future.
Vitalik Buterin – Ethereum giant
The creator of the Ethereum network, Vitalik catapulted Szabo’s smart contract work into a stable platform and is now one of the most vocal and publicly visible advocates for blockchain and decentralisation. He was additionally a cofounder of Bitcoin Magazine, Vitalik’s work with one of the world’s most prolific and highest ranking cryptocurrencies has cemented him as one of the heavyweights and his vocal media presence in the fight for crypto world stage will ensure he maintains his status for years to come.
Roger Ver – Bitcoin Jesus
The public face of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Roger Ver has established himself as a mainstay of blockchain conferences and panels. His investment in crypto startups and running the bitcoin.com site are merely the surface level of his involvement. The famous ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ was one of the first to hop on the bitcoin investment and startup train and is now heavily involved with Bitcoin Cash, which tries to solve the performance issues of Bitcoin Core and be used as cash. His enthusiasm for philosophy clearly spills over into his fanatic preaching of Bitcoin adoption, and you can see him all over the internet supporting blockchain and crypto technology avidly.
Barry Silbert – CoinDesk and DCG mogul
Grayscale Investments, Genesis Capital, CoinDesk, the Digital Currency Group. It doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of startups Silbert doesn’t own nowadays. This is just the tip of the iceberg of crypto startups he has shares in. An investment addict and proponent of Ethereum Classic, Silbert has appeared all over publishing in major US newspapers ranging the NY Times to the Wall Street Journal. Say what you will about him spreading himself thinly, but Silbert has the wealth, image, and influence to secure him as a heavy hitter in the industry for years to come, purely on the weight of how he seems to be everywhere.
Charlie Lee – Litecoin
Many of you may know Charlie as the creator of Litecoin, the ‘digital silver’ to match Bitcoin’s digital gold. You may know him for his… inspired twitter handle @SatoshiLite. Regardless, whether we’re talking about Lee’s highly vocal Twitter about crypto news, his work with the Litecoin Foundation or even his past as Director of Engineering for Coinbase, Lee’s media presence and background make him a mainstay for cryptocurrency’s future. Litecoin continues to rise in popularity and is one of the largest cryptocurrencies in the world currently in terms of market cap.
Gavin Andresen – Bitcoin pioneer
Certainly one of the most elusive and quiet characters to have appeared so far, what Andresen lacks in media presence he more than makes up for in Clout. He’s been mentioned by Nakamoto as the main developer for Bitcoin and his involvement with the Bitcoin Foundation both in the past and at present has secured him a place in the community for years to come. Perhaps next time Gavin rears his head, having stayed dormant and quiet in recent years, it will be at the head of the next big revolution in crypto’s development. Keep posted on his activity, who knows what his next big appearance may bring. At present he stays quiet developing Bitcoin Core and working with the Foundation.
Andreas M Antonopoulos – Public Face of Crypto
If you’ve ever been interested in crypto or remotely done some general internet research on the matter, you have more than likely come across Andreas. He is one of the loudest voices in the crypto-scape advocating adoption and is a highly respected member of the blockchain community. Speaking at global conferences and authoring massively successful guides such as ‘The Internet of Money’ and ‘Mastering Bitcoin’, Andreas is prolific, driven and charismatic. He’s hard to miss, and much of the general public’s knowledge and advocacy for crypto is due to players like him. Furthermore, he has a role consulting for some startups and offers testimony from his experience as an expert in cryptocurrency use and security.
Satoshi Nakamoto – The Legend
The last, the most legendary, and the most mysterious name on our list. Nakamoto’s identity, past and personality are shrouded in hearsay, rumour and misdirection as many lay claim to either knowing him, knowing his identity, or being him. The author of the original Bitcoin white paper, the first blockchain database, and the grandmaster of the entire crypto industry, Nakamoto’s identity being discovered could put anything from massive fame to a massive target on his shoulders. There are many theories as to who Nakamoto is, or even who Satoshi Nakamoto are. He purports to be a 37 year old Japanese man but linguistic inconsistencies make this unlikely. Hal Finney, one Dorian Nakamoto or in fact Nick Szabo are theorised to be the true Satoshi, but who knows. Maybe he is all of the above? The one thing we can be certain of is that Satoshi is big news and a crypto legend, and his influence is still continuously felt even now.