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Although cryptocurrencies are based on blockchain technology, where each transaction is a strict set of accurate digits that form a cryptographic hash, people are still creative in the industry. These professionals all come from differing backgrounds—one person might have come from working in development, whilst another from economics, or a director from an executive corporate environment, but one thing they all have in common is their imagination and willingness to think outside of the box. Each of our heroes are united by that rare quality of being visionaries with the ability to spot and seize and act upon the technological opportunities of the future. For each of them their victory is to analyse, to innovate, to build, and to implement an effective action strategy for success.
Today, we’ve gathered the top 10 most influential people in the cryptocurrency market—the creators of the largest projects that have influenced the development of the entire industry.
The creator of Bitcoin
Rocking in as the undisputed number one on our list is ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ the creator of Bitcoin, and the most mysterious personality in the cryptocurrency industry. Indeed, not only does nobody know whether it is one person, or a group of developers, the very fact that of whether this legendary figure actually exists has often been called into question. Is Satoshi Nakamoto just a pseudonym?
Be that as it may, it was ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ who developed the Bitcoin protocol and created the first version of the software.
Of course, there’s a wealth of speculation as to real identify of ‘Nakamoto,’ and several theories have come to light to unmask him. Indeed, as we seek to unmask his true identify, let’s take a look at the two leading suspects.
Nick Szabo is one of the rumoured candidates for the ‘Nakamoto’ crown. Szabo is a well-known cryptologist and lawyer, the developer of smart contract technology, the Bit Gold algorithm of decentralised virtual currency and the publication of which appeared just a few short months before Nakamoto’s article on Bitcoin.
Craig Wright is one of the most scandalous candidates for being the real Satoshi Nakamoto. In 2015, this Australian entrepreneur told the world that it was he who created the unique technology and filed more than 150 patent applications for the authorship of distributed registry technology, smart contracts, and six cryptocurrencies. In his favour, the patents were undisputed, and this didn’t lead to any legal consequences.
The founder of Ethereum
Age: 26 years old
Buterin gained his fame as the creator of the world’s second-largest digital currency in terms of capitalization: Ethereum. Buterin is a true child prodigy: at the tender age of just 7, he wrote his first computer game using Excel macros! Then, aged 10 he studied C ++ and began developing full-fledged games. Blockchain arrived into his life in 2011, and by 2013 he’d already realized the shortcomings of Bitcoin. This gave him the idea to create his own unique cryptocurrency platform, and by 2014 he had funded and launched his project Ethereum through an online crowd-sale.
It can be said that it was Buterin who indirectly initiated the ICO (initial coin offering)-hype, made the Ethereum code open-source (made it available to the general public). This allowed hundreds of developers to write their own projects on the Ethereum blockchain, while saving resources and time. Tokens created on Ethereum are called ERC-20 (Ethereum Request For Comments and 20)—today there are more than a thousand.
The founder of VK and Telegram
Age: 35 years old
Pavel Durov is the talented Russian entrepreneur and the developer best known for founding the social networking site VK, and then later Telegram. At just 22 years of age, Durov had already launched his social network VKontakte, but at 28 he was forced to leave the project due to disagreements with shareholders. This allowed him to focus on Telegram—the messenger that brought Durov worldwide fame. By the end of 2017, Telegram was already worth more than $1 billion, which made its creator a dollar billionaire.
Until 2018, the name of Durov wasn’t associated with cryptocurrencies, however, in that Telegram announced the development of the Telegram Open Network—a secure embedded proxy and blockchain platform anonymizer. Durov plans to launch messaging and data storage services on it, as well as payment tools in his own cryptocurrency of the GRAM project. They will also add the ability for developers to create their own applications. 2018 also marked the time when the messenger attracted $1.7 billion from more than 170 investors for the development of new two projects: the Gram cryptocurrency, and the TON blockchain platform.
The founder of cryptocurrency exchange Binance
Age: 43 years old
The Chinese Canadian Changpen Zhao is one of the most prominent figures in the crypto industry. He’s the founder and CEO of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, as of April 2018, an international cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in Hong Kong. Changpen Zhao is better known in the cryptocurrency community as CZ. And, CZ has an enormous following. His Twitter account has almost half a million crypto zombie followers who feast on reading his hundreds of articles and posts and hanging on his every word. With an estimated net worth, according to the Forbes rich list, of $1.2 billion, Zhao earned his first billion dollar in less than six months and is today one of the richest representatives of the crypto industry.
Since the beginning of his career, CZ has specialised in trading—he first worked in the IT department of the New York Stock Exchange, and then moved on to Bloomberg to develop a service for traders. Thanks to the experience of the fundraising, it took the Binance exchange only 180 days to become the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Today, according to the exchange’s blog, the average daily trading volume of Binance is $2,852,591,354, with more than 15 million traders from around the world trading on the exchange. Additionally, Binance is one of the few exchanges that provides margin and futures trading services.
The co-founder of Coinbase
Age: 35 years old
Brian Armstrong is the founder and CEO of Coinbase, a California cryptocurrency exchange. Brian has been interested in development since his high school days—as a teenager he studied the Java and CSS programming languages, and then, having received two degrees in computer science and economics, he worked as a programmer for major companies.
In 2012, after receiving venture capital funding, he launched Coinbase—one of the world’s first cryptocurrency exchanges. Today, Coinbase is one of the most popular platforms for exchanging fiat money for cryptocurrencies. Traders can buy Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether and Litecoin using their regular bank cards. In August 2017, when cryptocurrency fever first swept the world, the mobile version of the Coinbase exchange in the AppStore became the most downloaded application in the US.
The CEO and founder Coinmarketcap
Age: 33 years old
Brandon Chaz is a 33-year-old US programmer, and the founder of Coinmarketcap, the largest online cryptocurrency aggregator. This site consolidates data from all exchanges and based on this data determines the value of cryptocurrency. Users can learn basic information about cryptocurrencies: capitalization, price, number of circulating coins, trading volume in 24 hours, percentage of price change per hour, 24 hours, and per week.
The name of Brandon Chez is associated with the largest crash in the cryptocurrency market in history. On January 8, 2018, almost all cryptocurrencies fell in value by 15 per cent or more, and the market capitalization decreased by $100,000,000,000. Chez was figured as the culprit; it turns out that on February 7, his Coinmarketcap excluded data from South Korean exchanges without warning, the prices of which are consistently above the world average, and resultantly, the value of Bitcoin fell, pulling down all the other cryptocurrencies along with it.
Charlie Lee is a talented programmer and computer scientist from Japan, an iconic figure in the crypto industry, and the creator of the third cryptocurrency in history: Litecoin. Before Litecoin, Lee worked as a developer for Google. He learnt about blockchain in 2011 by reading an article on Bitcoin. The innovative technology was incredibly interesting to him, and he immediately bought one Bitcoin for $30. In that same year, in October 2011, Lee created the open source cryptographic protocol Litecoin, an early Bitcoin spinoff of Altcoin, and also got a job at the largest Coinbase exchange. In the summer of 2017, Charlie Lee left Coinbase and completely focused on developing Litecoin.
The main purpose of Litecoin is payments on the Internet. In addition, like Ethereum, on Litecoin’s blockchain developers can create their own applications.
The Founder of PLATINCOIN
Age: 38 years old
Alex Reinhardt is a serial entrepreneur, and venture investor from Germany. Alex is the founder of more than 10 projects in the IT and fintech industries with a total capitalisation of over €200 million. In 1996, when Alex was 15 years old, his family emigrated to Germany and lived on social security benefits for the first few years. None of the family knew German, so they faced many challenges, were living hand to mouth, and facing a difficult future. It was Reinhardt who pulled the family up by the bootstraps and used his charisma to help him to urgently learn to speak the German language. The rest, as they say is history, and by the 11th grade, in 1998, Alex had begun to earn thousands of marks by selling products to German pension funds. Between 2002 and 2013, he was involved in attracting investments in start-ups and young companies, and in just over 10 years he’d raised more than €500,000,000 for them.
In 2015, he survived the betrayal of partners who had effectively bankrupted his business. Huge debts and the necessity to pay bills became a call to action, so by using all his experience and innate talent as a salesman, as well as his brilliant experience in crypto trading, Alex launched his most successful project to date—PLATINCOIN. PLATINCOIN is a global cryptosystem that includes more than 10 high-tech products and services. The audience of the company’s product audience is more than 500,000 people around the world, and every day there are more and more users.
The main goal of all PLATINCOIN products is to make cryptocurrencies accessible to every user in the world and give people a simple tool to enter the financial market, which today is more than 2 billion people are deprived of.
David A. Marcus
Libra director, and the former president of PayPal
Age: 46 years old
David Marcus is an American entrepreneur born in Paris. Since April 2012, David has been the director of PayPal. In August 2014, he became the vice-president of messaging products at Facebook where he heads the Facebook Messenger unit. In parallel with his work on Facebook, David actively studied blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and in 2017 became a member of the board of directors of the Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange. Since 2018, David has been responsible for the Facebook blockchain business, and since June 2019 he has headed the Calibra project.
Calibra or Libra is a new cryptocurrency developed by Facebook and other companies. Libra is perhaps one of the most controversial blockchain projects, and opinions are divided about it. On the one hand, some sees the Facebook initiative as a threat to the anonymity and decentralisation of the blockchain, whilst, on the other hand, others see it as the long-awaited breakthrough for the technology.
According to a white paper published in the summer, Libra is a global currency based on blockchain technology, the value of which is tied to a basket of real world currencies (for example, US dollar, euro, Japanese yen). The cost of Libra is equal to the weighted average exchange rate of these currencies. The initial issue of Libra is scheduled for this year in 2020.
CEO of Bitcoin.com
Age: 40 years old
Roger Ver is a true crypto world legend. Known as the ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ for his promotion of Bitcoin, Roger made his first profit by buying and reselling hard drives on his summer school holidays. The business grew, and in 1999, Ver launched an online personal computer accessory shop, which he still runs to this day.
When Roger Ver found out about Bitcoin in 2011, he started investing heavily in technology and also began conducting educational activities. He posted advertisements on roadside billboards and posted them on the Internet, he lectured to schoolchildren and distributed free tokens. It was then that he earned the title of the ‘Bitcoin Jesus’.
Ver is quite the colourful character, and between these two stages of his life, Ver spent 10 years in prison for illegally selling explosives, ran for the California State Assembly from the Libertarian Party, left the US for Japan, and renounced US citizenship.
In the crypto community, Roger Ver is known as an ardent supporter of Bitcoin Cash: one of the famous forks of Bitcoin. Right after the spinoff, Roger announced that this digital asset was developing exactly along the path that was originally intended for Bitcoin. His main bugbear with Bitcoin is what he claims is its too small block size and his gripe with the low transaction speed.
And remember, cryptocurrency: ‘It’s money 2.0, a huge, huge, huge deal.’ —Chamath Palihapitiya, venture capitalist