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Top 20 Crypto Influencers That Are Shaping the Crypto Market | CoinCodex (coincodex.com)

Top 20 crypto influencers



Entering the world of crypto can be overwhelming – there’s thousands of different coins, a lot of technical lingo, inside jokes and rivalries all over the place, making the cryptocurrency community difficult to navigate effectively. In this article, we’ll be featuring the top crypto influencers and explaining why they have reached a prominent status within the cryptocurrency community. 

1. Changpeng “CZ” Zhao – The CEO of Binance


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  • Nationality: China
  • Position: CEO of the Binance cryptocurrency exchange
  • Social media: Twitter

Despite significant progress on the fundamental side, the world of cryptocurrency still primarily revolves around speculation and trading. For this reason, it should come as no surprise that Changpeng CZ Zhao, the head of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchange, tops our list of the top 20 crypto influencers.

Before founding Binance, CZ was a software developer specialized in trading software. He worked for the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Bloomberg Tradebook and started his own company which provided tools for high-frequency trading.

He eventually moved into the cryptocurrency space, becoming the chief technology officer of the OKCoin cryptocurrency exchange.

With all of this experience under his belt, CZ decided to create a cryptocurrency exchange of his own and launched Binance in the summer of 2017 after raising the initial capital through an ICO.

Binance quickly became one of the largest players in the cryptocurrency industry and continues to expand rapidly.
CZ is very active on social media and keeps users up to date with the developments at Binance. However, CZ also isn’t afraid to spark a debate, and regularly comments on the cryptocurrency space at large.

2. Vitalik Buterin – Founder of Ethereum


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  • Nationality: Russian-Canadian
  • Position: Founder of Ethereum
  • Social Media: Twitter

Vitalik Buterin came up with the concept for Ethereum when he was just 19 years old, describing it in a whitepaper released in 2013. Buterin a number of other co-founders held an ICO for Ethereum in 2014 to raise capital and help make the idea of Ethereum a reality.
The Ethereum mainnet was launched in July of 2015 and less than 5 years later, ETH is comfortably positioned as the second-largest cryptocurrency on the market, second only to Bitcoin. Buterin remains highly active in the Ethereum community and also comments on various developments connected to cryptocurrency and blockchain on his social media accounts. Buterin is regarded as a highly intelligent individual and when he speaks, the cryptocurrency community tends to listen. 

3. Brian Armstrong – The CEO of Coinbase


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  • Nationality: United States
  • Position: CEO of Coinbase
  • Social media: Twitter

Brian Armstrong is the CEO of Coinbase, which is widely regarded as one of the most important companies in the cryptocurrency industry. Armstrong co-founded Coinbase in 2012 alongside Fred Ehrsam with the aim of providing a platform where users could buy Bitcoin. Fast forward to 2020 and Coinbase now has more than 1,000 employees and a valuation of $8 billion.
Armstrong is an outspoken advocate for cryptocurrency as a tool for financial inclusion across the globe. He has also published a fascinating blog post in which he lays out his predictions for how the cryptocurrency space will develop in the next 10 years.

“By shifting cryptocurrency from being primarily about trading and speculation to being about real world utility, the 2020s will see a huge increase in the number of people holding and using cryptocurrency, and start to really move the needle on global economic freedom.”

4. Elizabeth Stark – CEO of Lightning Labs


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  • Nationality: United States
  • Position: CEO of Lightning Labs
  • Social Media: Twitter

In over a decade of existence, Bitcoin has proven to be a highly secure network for exchanging value in a peer-to-peer, decentralized manner. However, as Bitcoin grew in popularity, its shortcomings when it comes to scalability became more than apparent, with the network slowing down considerably during the height of the 2017 bull market. As the CEO of Lightning Labs, Elizabeth Stark is at the cutting edge of Bitcoin scalability efforts. As the name implies, Lightning Labs is working with the Lightning Network, a layer-2 scalability solution for Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies). The Lightning Network moves individual transactions off-chain, reducing the load on the Bitcoin network while allowing users to transact with each other cheaply at high speeds.

Stark is arguably the most important figure in the Lightning Network movement and regularly promotes and educates people about the technology at cryptocurrency conferences.

5. Justin Sun – Founder of the TRON blockchain project


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  • Nationality: China
  • Position: TRON founder
  • Social Media: Twitter 

While it’s no secret that TRON founder Justin Sun is a controversial figure in the cryptocurrency community, his influence is hard to deny. Sun founded TRON in 2017 and the platform’s native currency TRX is among the 20 biggest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization as well as one of the biggest platforms for decentralized applications (DApps). 
Justin Sun acquired BitTorrent Inc. in 2018 and the company is currently working on ways to integrate its products with the TRON blockchain. Sun was also among the investors that acquired the Poloniex cryptocurrency exchange from Circle. Notorious for his aggressive marketing tactics, Sun has ammassed both followers and critics. From what we’ve seen so far, it’s unlikely that Sun plans to change his approach anytime soon. 

6. John McAfee – Cybersecurity entrepreneur and crypto evangelist


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  • Nationality: United States
  • Position: Entrepreneur
  • Social Media: Twitter

John McAfee founded cybersecurity company McAfee Associates in 1987. He resigned from the company in 1994 and sold his shares when it went public, resulting in a considerable amount of wealth.
These days, however, McAfee is primarily known for his antics on social media, where he regularly posts provocative content and also discusses various cryptocurrencies. McAfee is a particularly vocal proponent of “privacy coins”. McAfee received a lot of publicity in the cryptocurrency community for predicting that BTC would reach a price of $2 million in 2020. If he was wrong, McAfee said, he would cut off his private parts on national television. In early 2020, McAfee abandoned the prediction, saying that it was a “ruse” to gain new followers. He also criticized Bitcoin as “ancient technology”, saying that other cryptocurrencies will surpass Bitcoin. 

7. Brad Garlinghouse – CEO of Ripple


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  • Nationality: United States
  • Position: CEO of Ripple
  • Social Media: Twitter

Brad Garlinghouse is the CEO of Ripple, a US-based fintech company that leverages the XRP cryptocurrency in its products that are designed for making cross-border payments faster and cheaper. 
Before joining Ripple, Garlinghouse was the president of consumer applications at AOL and a senior vice president at Yahoo. XRP is the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, and even though Ripple is keeping distance between itself and XRP to avoid running afoul of securities laws, Garlinghouse often advocates for the benefits of XRP at conferences and media appearances. His opinion also holds a lot of sway within the XRP community, earning Garlinghouse his spot in our list of the top 20 crypto influencers. 

8. Joseph Lubin – Founder of ConsenSys


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  • Nationality: United States
  • Position: Founder of ConsenSys
  • Social Media: Twitter 

Joseph Lubin was one of the co-founders of Ethereum and became incredibly wealthy as ETH grew from a niche idea to a multi-billion dollar asset. This allowed Lubin to substantially expand the operations of ConsenSys, an Ethereum-focused company he founded in 2015. ConsenSys backs multiple projects that are building on Ethereum, including household names such as MetaMask and Infura. ConsenSys might have expanded too quickly, as the company was forced to lay off a significant number of employees in 2018 and announced a fundamental strategy shift in 2020. Nevertheless, ConsenSys remains a key player in the Ethereum ecosystem.Lubin is one of the most vocal proponents of Ethereum and blockchain technology in general. His confidence in the technology can perhaps best be summarized in this quote:

“For those who understand the profound implications of blockchain technology, there is no turning back.”

9. Charlie Lee – Creator of Litecoin


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  • Nationality: United States
  • Position: Founder of Litecoin
  • Social Media: Twitter

Charlie Lee has earned himself a spot as one of the cryptocurrency community’s biggest stars by creating Litecoin, one of the first altcoins. Litecoin was launched in October of 2011, less than two years after Bitcoin’s genesis block was mined. 
Lee forked Bitcoin’s code and tweaked some parameters to make Litecoin a faster cryptourrency. Litecoin also uses a Scrypt-based proof-of-work instead of the SHA256-based proof-of-work employed by Bitcoin. In December of 2017, Charlie Lee publicly announced that he was selling almost all of his Litecoin holdings to avoid potential conflicts of interest. Lee’s decision turned out to be very wise from a financial standpoint as Litecoin was trading close to its all-time high prices when Lee sold off his holdings. Charlie Lee continues to be actively involved with Litecoin. Despite remaining in the shadow of its bigger brother Bitcoin, LTC is not to be taken lightly as the cryptocurrency has a market capitalization of almost $5 billion at the time of writing. 

10. Tyler & Cameron Winklevoss – Founders of Gemini


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We’re including twin brothers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss in this list as one entry since their business careers are inextricably linked. Known affectionately as the “Winklevoss twins”, the duo is a force to be reckoned with in the cryptocurrency industry.In 2014, the Winklevoss twins founded Gemini, one of the most respected exchanges in the cryptocurrency industry. Even before founding Gemini, the Winklevoss twins saw potential in Bitcoin early, investing a considerable amount of money in the world’s first cryptocurrency. The investment paid off handsomely, as their Bitcoin holdings reportedly exceeded $1 billion in value at one point. The Winklevoss twins gained publicity in mainstream media for their legal battle against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The two alleged that Zuckerberg stole the idea for Facebook from them while the three were studying at Harvard, and eventually settled with Zuckerberg to the tune of $65 million. The Winklevoss twins were depicted in the award-winning movie The Social Network.

11. Jihan Wu – Co-founder of Bitmain and founder of Matrixport


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  • Nationality: China
  • Position: Co-founder of Bitmain, founder of Matrixport
  • Social Media: Twitter

Jihan Wu is one of the most influential people in the cryptocurrency industry thanks to his involvement with Bitmain, the largest manufacturer of cryptocurrency mining equipment in the world. The company was founded in 2013 by Jihan Wu alongside Micree Zhan and also runs major cryptocurrency mining pools. However, Wu is looking to expand his business career beyond cryptocurrency mining. In 2019, he founded Matrixport, a company that offers a wide array of cryptocurrency-related services including OTC trading, loans, cryptocurrency custody and crypto payments.Through his entrepreneurship, Jihan Wu ammassed a personal net worth of over $1 billion, making him one of the richest individuals in the cryptocurrency industry.

12. Roger Ver – Bitcoin Cash Proponent and Executive Chairman of Bitcoin.com


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Nationality: United States
Position: Executive Chairman of Bitcoin.com 

Social Media: Twitter

Roger Ver was an early investor in cryptocurrency startups - Blockchain.com, Kraken and BitPay are just some examples of companies he backed at an early stage. He is also the Executive Chairman of Bitcoin.com, one of the most popular crypto-focused web platforms. The company offers a wallet, an exchange, mining pools as well as crypto news coverage. Roger Ver’s relentless promotion of Bitcoin even earned him the nickname “Bitcoin Jesus”, but he has since become much more controversial in the cryptocurrency community. The reason why Roger Ver is a divisive figure in the crypto community today is that he was one of the main supporters of the Bitcoin fork in 2017 that resulted in the creation of Bitcoin Cash. According to Ver, the developers of the “Core” Bitcoin protocol refuse to tackle Bitcoin’s scalability problems, which is why he is now supporting Bitcoin Cash.

13. Barry Silbert – Founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group


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  • Nationality: United States
  • Position: Digital Currency Group Founder and CEO
  • Social Media: Twitter

While he might not be as flashy and active on social media as some of the other people featured in this list, Barry Silbert is undoubtedly among the most influential people in the cryptocurrency industry. He is the founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group (DCG), a company that was established in 2015 and invests in businesses in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. The list of companies backed by DCG is huge, and includes major industry names including the likes of Coinbase, Ripple, Kraken and Ledger.In addition to its investments, Digital Currency Group also has its own subsidiaries – OTC trading firm Genesis, crypto asset manager Grayscale and crypto media outlet CoinDesk. 

14. Meltem Demirors – Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares


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  • Nationality: United States
  • Position: Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares
  • Social Media: Twitter

Meltem Demirors is the Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares, a UK-based company that provides cryptocurrency investment products and manages $750 million in assets. Before joining CoinShares, Demirors worked at Digital Currency Group.Demirors taught courses at Oxford and MIT and she is one of the go-to crypto experts selected by mainstream media when they’re covering cryptocurrency, playing an important role in promoting the technology to the mainstream audience. Demirors has an active presence on social media and is often outspoken about current developments in the cryptocurrency industry. Alongside fellow crypto investor Jill Carlson, Meltem Demirors is also a co-host of the crypto-focused podcast “What Grinds My Gears”.

15. Arthur Hayes – CEO of BitMEX


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  • Nationality: United States
  • Position: CEO of BitMEX
  • Social Media: Twitter

Arthur Hayes is the CEO of cryptocurrency derivatives exchange BitMEX. Hayes founded the company in 2014 alongside Ben Delo and Samuel Reed, and the exchange has since become a leading player in the cryptocurrency derivatives space.
Even though platforms like Binance Futures, Deribit and others are posing a real challenge to BitMEX, it remains one of the preferred destinations for traders that want to try their hand at trading cryptocurrency with (high) leverage.While Hayes is not as active on social media as some of the other influential figures on this list, he does occasionally share his thoughts on Twitter and in articles sent to BitMEX users. In his posts, Hayes tends not to mince his words and knows how to get a response from the online crowd.

16. Michael Novogratz – CEO of Galaxy Digital


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  • Nationality: United States
  • Position: CEO of Galaxy Digital 
  • Social Media: Twitter

Michael Novogratz is arguably the most prominent individual to make the transition from Wall Street to crypto. Novogratz was a hedge fund manager at Fortress Investment Group, with Forbes magazine ranking him as a billionaire in 2007 and 2008.Nowadays, Novogratz has shifted his focus on crypto, founding Galaxy Digital in 2018. Galaxy Digital invests in cryptocurrencies as well as businesses that operate in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. The company is listed publicly on the TSX Venture Exchange in Toronto.Novogratz is an active proponent of cryptocurrencies and often shares his thoughts on social media. In addition, he often appears on mainstream media to discuss the crypto markets, and isn’t shy about giving Bitcoin price predictions. 

17. Anthony Pompliano – Co-Founder and Partner at Morgan Creek Digital


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  • Nationality: United States
  • Position: Co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital
  • Social Media: Twitter 

In many ways, Anthony Pompliano is the definition of “influencer” - through his online presence, Pompliano promotes cryptocurrency (and particularly Bitcoin) relentlessly, ammassing a large following along the way. However, Pompliano is not just an online figure, as he is also a co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital, a cryptocurrency investment firm. The company has developed an institutional-grade investment product that tracks the performance of some of the largest crypto assets on the market. Pompliano is also the host of “Off The Chain”, a popular podcast series in which he interviews influential figures in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. In addition, Pompliano also publishes a daily newsletter covering the most important developments in crypto. 

18. Jed McCaleb – Co-founder at Stellar


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  • Nationality: United States
  • Position: Stellar Development Foundation co-founder
  • Social Media: Twitter

Jed McCaleb has a fascinating past and has been a part of the cryptocurrency space since the very early days. Before entering the world of crypto, McCaleb was one of the key people behind the peer-to-peer file sharing networks eDonkey and Overnet.If you’re at all familiar with the history of cryptocurrency, the name “Mt.Gox” should ring a bell – in fact, the Mt.Gox website was created by Jed McCaleb as a way for users to exchange digital Magic: The Gathering cards. However, he later established the site as a Bitcoin exchange, and sold the business to Mark Karpeles in 2011. In 2014, the exchange collapsed in one of the most controversial sagas in cryptocurrency history. However, McCaleb’s deep involvement in cryptocurrency does not stop there – he was one of the creators of the XRP cryptocurrency and co-founded Opencoin, the company that’s now known as Ripple. McCaleb continues to own a large amount of XRP coins to this day.After his stint as Ripple, McCaleb co-founded the Stellar Development Foundation alongside Joyce Kim. The foundation is active in developing the Stellar protocol. Today, Stellar’s native asset XLM is one of the 20 largest cryptocurrencies by market cap. 

19. Andreas Antonopoulos – Author, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency educator


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  • Nationality: Greek-British
  • Position: Cryptocurrency educator
  • Social Media: Twitter 

In the entire cryptocurrency community, it’s hard to find a person that’s as universally respected as Andreas Antonopoulos. As a speaker and educator, Antonopoulos is introducing Bitcoin and cryptocurrency to audiences across the globe, and he has also authored popular books such as Mastering Bitcoin, Mastering Ethereum and the Internet of Money series. Currently, he is working on a book focused on the Lightning Network. His popularity has earned him appearances on mainstream media and popular alternative media platforms such as the Joe Rogan experience. Antonopoulos has an active presence on social media, sharing his thoughts on Bitcoin and world events. He also publishes a podcast called Unscrypted.

20. Tim Draper – Venture capital investor and Bitcoin proponent


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  • Nationality: United States
  • Position: Venture capital investor
  • Social Media: Twitter

Tim Draper is a venture capital investor from the United States and a very active proponent of Bitcoin. Draper has invested in companies such as Tesla, Coinbase, Skype, Robinhood and Twitch.Draper has been investing in Bitcoin for quite some time, as he participated in an auction in 2014, buying almost 30,000 BTC that was seized by U.S. authorities. At today’s prices, the 30,000 BTC stash would be worth $291 million. However, it’s unclear how much Draper paid for the auctioned Bitcoin. Draper is also known for his extremely bullish Bitcoin price predictions – for example, Draper predicts that Bitcoin will reach a price tag of $250,000 after the 2020 Bitcoin Halving

Conclusion


Whether it's by starting debates, pushing forward the adoption of cryptocurrencies or providing Bitcoin price predictions, these top 20 crypto influencers have a huge presence within the cryptocurrency community. Is there anyone you think we missed? 

    • 1
    Francisco Gimeno - BC Analyst This is THE list. Blockchain and crypto evangelists, doers, makers, influencers, all of them have a strong presence in social media and are extremely well considered. They are the ones which are influencing more and more the spread of crypto in an optimistic mood. Consider following them I social media if you haven't yet, to understand better this movement.