Top 10 People in Bitcoin Industry 2019
The crypto industry isn’t just startups, projects, coins, or strings of code. It’s also about people who do all those things.
We made up our own list of people in the crypto industry whose ideas, statements, or initiatives were the most widely discussed or influential in 2019. Here we go.
10. Vitalik Buterin
It was a hard but productive year for Ethereum. There were two hard forks, Constantinople and Istanbul, and a complexity bomb that cut off 25% of the issuance. Meanwhile, Vitalik spoke about the network’s problem areas, explain the transfer to Ethereum 2.0, invite Elon Musk to a conference, and even rap.
9. Xi Jinping
When President Xi Jinping stated that China has to become a blockchain leader, bitcoin price rallied, the parliament passed a law on cryptography, the People’s Bank remembered about Digital Yuan, shares of China’s leading blockchain companies skyrocketed, and the very word “blockchain” became the word of the year.
It’s not quite clear how China’s claim for blockchain leadership will turn out in the end. But whatever it might be, Xi Jingping’s statement amped up the stakes in the gave without a doubt.
8. Rune Christensen
Rune Christensen’s MakerDAO is the key ingredient in the growing popularity of decentralized finance (DeFi). This year, the project eliminated a critical vulnerability, presented a multi-collateral version of stablecoin Dai, and raise $27.5 million for Asian expansion.
7. Justin Sun
The founder of TRON is one of the most popular people on Twitter with over 2 million followers. And gosh, he’s good when it comes to social media marketing. Even though the community perceives him somewhat ironically due to his announcements of announcements, donations to Greta Thunberg, a quarrel with Disney attract very much attention.
He even went beyond crypto by buying BitTorrent with almost 100 million user base. Later the project held a crowdsale reaching its cap of $7.2 million in just 18 minutes. He also released Sun Network for the “unlimited scalability” of TRON. Finally, in November he bought a part of Poloniex.
6. Kelly Loeffler
Kelly Loeffler headed the long-awaited Bakkt that many believed would liven up the market. Even though the project hardly lived up to expectations, it was a great year for Kelly Loeffler herself. In December she became a senator for Georgia and left Bakkt behind. Many believe that she will become a powerful lobbyist of cryptocurrencies in American politics.
5. Pavel Durov
Telegram Open Network was nearly launched when the SEC intervened once again. Still, it didn’t seem to scare the investors: they supported the team and stated they are willing to wait. As Mr. Durov himself is preparing for the court, Russia keeps on trying to block Telegram to no avail. The Telegram team sends out vive-la-résistance messages to their Russian users, obviously laughing at the inability of a giant government machine to shut down a single application.
4. David Marcus and Mark Zuckerberg
Libra became a sensation immediately upon being announced. Regulators were troubled as much as other people were hyped. The U.S. Congress called David Marcus and Mark Zuckerberg to hearings to no avail. Even though Facebook failed to persuade the regulators, it became a signal to foreign governments. Some believe that China’s Digital Yuan is but a response to Facebook’s initiative.
3. Brian Armstrong
The head of Coinbase is a regular guest in all kinds of entrepreneur charts. And it’s for a reason. He has an ambitious plan to make 100 million people use cryptocurrencies, and he’s going towards this aim. This year Coinbase covered 11 more countries, and its debit card is available for the residents of Spain, Germany, France, Italy and other countries in the EU. The exchange also bought Xapo and patented a method to send bitcoins via email. Finally, in cooperation with Kik, Coinbase launched a foundation to cover legal expenses when litigating with the SEC.
2. Jack Dorsey
The CEO of Twitter is a well-known bitcoin enthusiast. He is so enthusiastic that he rejects even the possibility of joining Libra or launching some Twittercoin because, as he believes, bitcoin alone can become the native currency of the internet. He claims he will finance the development of a decentralized standard for social networks, will pay the developers in cryptocurrency, and promotes bitcoin amongst the elite. Very commendable.
1. Changpeng Zhao
Right now Binance looks like the Rolling Stones of cryptocurrency projects. They launched an OTC platform, a decentralized exchange, a margin trading platform, two platforms for futures, the developer initiative Binance X and even fiat exchanges. Mr. Zhao himself is now one of the richest people in China. Man, he even gave us an interview.
0. Satoshi Nakamoto
Satoshi Nakamoto is always on the list, even if there are only 10 places, and he’s the eleventh. It’s been 11 years since the publication of bitcoin whitepaper. It kicked off an enormous development that is now being discussed by the G7 leaders. It created a multi-billion capitalized market. And it seeded the idea that the world can be changed by ordinary people, like you and me. That’s way cooler than anything else on this list.
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