The cryptocurrency industry has been developing over the years in terms of wealth and people involved. The thing with wealth is, it brings fame. Lots of people look up to those who made millions in this industry and one thing that’s for sure; this industry has made many ‘regular’ people millionaires if not billionaires. Today we’ll look at 10 important and famous figures in the industry that have made a name for themselves in the past years. There will be no specific ranking, just a list of all of those that should be named when thinking of this industry.
Vitalik Buterin – Ethereum
The mastermind behind the network we know today as Ethereum. Vitalik was born in Russia, emigrated to Canada when he was six years old and slowly people started noticing his intelligence. He excelled in programming and mathematics and eventually ended up diving into cryptography, Bitcoin and crypto in general. In 2011 he was approached to start writing articles for Bitcoin Magazine and so he did until 2014. This was the year where he officially announced the launch of the Ethereum network.
Where Bitcoin was there for the store of value and a means of digital currency, Buterin thought the blockchain technology could be used for more than that. The Ethereum network aims at hosting decentralized applications with the use of smart-contracts. Where in 2014 Vitalik raised 18 million in Bitcoin where ETH was sold for just 31 cents. To put that in perspective, ETH was worth more than $1000 dollars at its all-time high. The amount of Bitcoin that was raised back then is now worth more than a billion – oh boy.
Vitalik currently works actively in improving the network as part of the Ethereum Foundation, a collective non-profit organization that aims at improving the network by means of actively contributing to the open-source software.
Identical twins are something interesting, to say the least, two people that are extremely similar are a nice thing to see. Now take two identical twins that have participated in the Olympic games, settled for a 65 million lawsuit against Mark Zuckerburg’s Facebook and those identical twins that became Bitcoin Billionaires. After investing a huge part of their earnings of the lawsuit they claimed to own 1% of all Bitcoin available in 2013. Their Bitcoin holdings are now worth over 1 Billion US Dollars.
After an entrepreneurial youth and college years, the twins went on to found a venture capital called ‘Winklesvoss Capital’. They have an impressive portfolio investing in companies lake Angellist, Cabify, Earn.Com, Tezos, and Ethereum. To say they gained from this is an understatement. Later on, the now-famous company ‘Gemini’ was founded by the Winklevoss Twins as an addition to their empire. It’s a next-generation crypto exchange that includes many options for traders and those only interested in holding. Gemini has issued the Gemini Dollar that’s now functioning as an alternative to FIAT currencies.
Anthony ‘Pomp’ Pompliano – Off The Chain
This man is well known if you’re active in the realms of Crypto Twitter. With his big claims regarding the price and being a true advocate for Bitcoin, ‘Pomp’ has been shouting to ‘short banks and long Bitcoin’ for years now. He started off his career working for a social media agency he founded himself and later on working for some bigger companies. As part of the growth team within Snapchat, he was part of the success formula that’s now known across the globe. Later on, he led the growth team for Facebook Pages to then move on to his own venture; Full Tilt Capital. It was an early-stage venture capital that was later on acquired by Morgan Creek Digital Assets.
The venture capital is a digital asset index fund part of the Morgan Creek branch functioning as the gateway to digital currencies for institutions and rich family offices. Investments start at $50,000 dollars for accredited investors in the USA only, so better to start saving up. Nowadays, Pomp is known for his ‘Off The Chain’ podcast that he’s running and his newsletter with the same name.
Carlos Matos – Bitconnect
Remember the screaming guy doing his presentation about Bitconnect? The huge pyramid scheme that promised anyone crazy returns for simply putting their precious Bitcoins into the hands of the platform, that was Bitconnect. The prominent figure behind the scheme was Carlos Matos, little is known about the man but he has sure made a name for himself.
After a short run with his fraudulistic company Bitconnect, the show was over after the pyramid scheme failed to live up to its expectations and investors started asking back their funds. Suddenly the platform collapsed and overnight, the platform was inaccessible and thousands of users were unable to access their funds. Until this day, the court cases surrounding this platform are still going on. Matos himself became a little quiet after announcing he started selling a new product called ‘Herballife’. Who knows when we might see the man popping up next.
Arthur Hayes – Bitmex
Growing up in the United States in a middle-class family, Hayes wasn’t anything spectacular growing up. After considering a career in real estate, he moved on to the finance sector. This led to Hayes moving to Hong-Kong where he moved on to work for Deutsche Bank and gaining his experience in the economics world. He moved on to work for two other companies and slowly started gaining knowledge of Bitcoin and its surroundings.
After experimenting with trading Bitcoin, Hayes noticed the potential and found that there was a need for a Bitcoin Derivative exchange, thus the birth of Bitmex. Together with Ben Delo, a University of Oxford-educated computer scientist and Samuel Reed, a U.S. programmer who specialized in designing fast web applications, they created the now well-known cryptocurrency exchange. It grew out to one of the biggest exchanges we see today and has an annual volume of one trillion dollars.
Changpeng Zhao – Binance
Born in China, the man we now know as CZ has seen other times working his way up to where he is today. Working several service industry jobs to support his family, CZ could even be seen as a McDonald’s employee. Years later CZ gained experience within the finance sector and later on moved on to the cryptocurrency industry. Starting off working for companies such as Blockchain.Info and thereafter the exchange OkCoin.
in 2017, CZ left Okcoin to start his own project, his own exchange; Binance. In less than a year the exchange grew out to one of the dominant exchanges in the industry-leading in terms of volume and presence. The exchange has done some revolutionary work and is now even hosting its own Blockchain connected to their native token, the BNB token. The past year the exchange has launched lending possibilities, the allowance of staking within the platform, margin trading and it brought life to a new phenomenon; the IEO.
Nowadays Binance is active all across the globe and has exchanges for ‘just’ cryptocurrencies, a fiat exchange and a dedicated exchange for the United States. Next to these centralized exchanges, this year the Decentralized Binance Exchange was created.
Talking controversy is talking John McAfee. This man has been around for several years and has earned his stripes for creating the legendary anti-virus software sharing the same name, McAfee. This has earned John millions and millions causing him to act like an untouchable person, acting like he was above the law. After a controversial run within the United States and afterward in Belize, John suddenly showed up in the cryptocurrency industry.
Radically calling for any altcoin with a good plan to reach a million dollars, the McAfee shills were well known in the industry and everyone knew what kind of effect it could have. After printing a tattoo on his body for SkyCoin, shilling tons of others, John made an incredible prediction. 1 million dollars by the end of 2020 for one Bitcoin. The moment this does not happen, he has sworn to eat his private parts on live television. Well, that will be some quality television.
Justin Sun – Tron
One of the most-followed people on twitter with close to two million followers, Sun is known for shilling and shilling of anything he represents. After an academic career that is nothing spectacular to compare with others, his list of accomplishments is impressive. Sun founded a mobile Social App that caught the eye of many big entrepreneurs like Jack Ma, the man behind Alibaba. Ma chose Justin to study at his own university and this brought Justin in the eye of the public and eventually ending up in the list of Forbes 30 under 30.
Nowadays Justin Sun is active as the CEO of the Tron foundation that acquired BitTorrent and has been steadily present in the top-20 cryptocurrency projects. Sun is known for making announcements of announcements on twitter, hyping up people to highs that make prices spike to enormous highs. Now leading Tron to develop great things, Sun has also recently caught the public eye for his 4.3 Million bid to have dinner with Warren Buffet. That must be one hell of a steak they will be having.
Brain Armstrong – Coinbase
The co-founder of Coinbase, probably the biggest name we now today for buying, selling and holding cryptocurrencies. This firm has its arms extending well across its own exchange and is responsible for many parts of the industry. With a global user base of more than 30 Million people that that transacted over 150 billion dollars, Coinbase is here to stay. The service has expanded with innovative metrics for earning cryptocurrencies by simply studying the metrics behind the projects. Momentarily getting your project listed on Coinbase basically secures an instant surge in price, Chainlink is a proper example.
With his success with Coinbase, Armstrong has suddenly reached a financial status, not even he could have dreamed of. He stated that his current wealth is way more than he could ever spend on himself or anyone associated with him. With this in mind, Armstrong decided to join the ‘Giving Pledge’, the association started by Bill Gates to spend a big part of their wealth on helping others rather than aiming for more and more wealth. Meanwhile, Coinbase keeps growing and so will Armstrong’s wealth. Luckily, the world will benefit from this in some way.
At this point, if you have not heard the name Satoshi Nakamoto, what are you even doing in this industry? The man that started this all, well, is it even a man? The big question surrounding the creator of the Bitcoin protocol, and thereby the infamous whitepaper, is who he is. Who is responsible for changing millions of life and disrupting economies across the globe, scaring banks and financial institutes for many years now. Will we ever know or will we remain grasping in the dark and making wild guesses for the many years to come? Probably.
Earlier this year another big name in the industry, Craig Wright, claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto. He even dares to back it up and say this in court, but after some hard trials and hearings he came clean. He is not Satoshi Nakamoto. With this dead, he was even forced to hand over half of his Bitcoin ownings, which are equal to 1 billion dollars. Wright moved on to create his own version of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, that’s now forked into yet another coin, Bitcoin SV. The mystery surrounding Nakamoto will remain here but that will actually be good for the decentralized vision Nakamoto had. It can not be stopped, by anyone.
This list can go on and on. The industry is growing every day and every day there are new celebrities raising from their Telegram groups to bigger companies to leading the industry into new ways. It’s unclear to say where we’re heading, but the fact that there are many eyes pointed towards a bright future, that’s evident by now.