7 influential figures in the world of cryptocurrencies in 2024

7 influential figures in the world of cryptocurrencies in 2024
Photo by Clark Tibbs / Unsplash

Cryptocurrency is gaining popularity at a rapid pace. Every day, articles on how to invest in cryptocurrency or news about new crypto projects appear. However, many still do not understand what it is. This is where influential figures in the crypto world come to the rescue, helping to explain complex concepts.

Finding reliable information about cryptocurrency can be challenging, especially given the numerous fraudulent schemes. It is important to follow trusted individuals to get quality content. Here are 10 trusted crypto influencers to follow:

Vitalik Buterin

Vitalik Buterin was born on January 31, 1994, in Kolomna, Russia, and moved to Canada at the age of six. From an early age, he showed outstanding abilities in computer science. Vitalik attended the Abelard School in Toronto and then the University of Waterloo. However, his passion for blockchain led him to drop out of university to delve deeper into the world of cryptocurrencies and co-found Bitcoin Magazine.

At 19, he introduced Ethereum to the world, envisioning it as a multifunctional blockchain platform. In 2013, Vitalik received the Thiel Fellowship, which allowed him to focus entirely on developing Ethereum. The publication of the whitepaper in 2014 generated massive interest, and by 2015 the platform was launched, revolutionizing the field of smart contracts and decentralized applications (dapps).

Ethereum's success was bolstered by its open-source code and initial coin offering (ICO) model. Since then, Vitalik has tirelessly worked on improvements, including Ethereum 2.0, addressing scalability and security issues. His innovative vision and dedication have made Ethereum a key player in the blockchain industry.

Brian Armstrong

Brian Armstrong is the founder and CEO of Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US. He was born on January 25, 1983, in San Jose, California. From an early age, he was passionate about technology and decided to pursue his knowledge in this field by enrolling at Rice University, where he earned a master's degree in computer science.

Before founding Coinbase, Brian gained experience working at companies like IBM, Deloitte, and Airbnb. He also founded UniversityTutor.com, a platform for finding tutors, and GiveCrypto, a charity project aimed at helping those in need using cryptocurrencies.

In 2012, Brian co-founded Coinbase with Fred Ehrsam. They received $150,000 from Y Combinator for this venture. By 2013, Coinbase had raised $5 million from Union Square Ventures, and in 2014 another $25 million from Andreessen Horowitz. Under Brian's leadership, Coinbase grew from a startup into a full ecosystem for crypto enthusiasts. Coinbase has become more than just an exchange; it is a platform providing a full range of services for working with cryptocurrencies. The launch of Coinbase Pro and Coinbase Wallet made cryptocurrencies accessible and convenient to use. By 2021, the company was valued at nearly $100 billion and operated in over 100 countries. Brian actively promotes cryptocurrencies, advocates for transparent regulation, and supports economic freedom and innovation.

Justin Sun

Justin Sun is a prominent figure in the world of cryptocurrencies and the founder of the blockchain platform Tron (TRX).

He was born in 1990 in Xining, China. He studied at Peking University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in history, and then went to the University of Pennsylvania for a master's degree in East Asian studies. He also attended Hupan, Jack Ma's school of entrepreneurship.

His crypto journey began in 2013 at Ripple Labs. Later, he created Peiwo, a Chinese analog of Snapchat that connected users based on voice samples. In 2017, Justin launched Tron and held an ICO, raising about $70 million. In 2018, he bought BitTorrent for $140 million and launched the BTT token. He later added the Poloniex exchange to his portfolio, which was fined $10 million by the SEC in 2021.

In 2021, Sun invested $65 million in Animoca and is possibly behind the acquisition of the Huobi exchange through About Capital Management. In 2023, the SEC charged Sun and his companies with fraud and selling unregistered securities TRX and BTT, as well as artificially inflating trading volumes.

Keith Gill

Keith Gill, known online as Roaring Kitty, became an icon thanks to the rise of GameStop stock in 2020. Hailing from Brockton, Massachusetts, Gill attended Stonehill College, where he excelled academically and became the only student to earn All-American status in multiple track and field events.

After graduating in 2009, Keith worked for various companies, including MassMutual. In 2019, he began sharing his thoughts on the stock market on various platforms. Gill drew attention to GameStop stock, believing it to be undervalued. He invested $53,000 in these shares, which sparked massive interest and drove the price up to $483 per share in January 2021, increasing his investment to $48 million.

In February 2021, Keith testified before the US Congress, explaining his role in the GameStop situation. He stated that he considered the stock "significantly undervalued." A class-action lawsuit was filed against him, but it was dismissed.

Gill's story became a sensation. In September 2022, Netflix released the documentary series "Eat the Rich: The GameStop Saga," and in September 2023, Sony Pictures presented the film "Dumb Money," telling his remarkable story. Gill disappeared from the public eye after 2021 but returned in May 2024 with several new social media posts, continuing to post memes referencing his return.

ZachXBT

ZachXBT is a legend in the world of cryptocurrencies, an anonymous detective hunting down scammers. Active on Twitter since 2015, he began his career as a crypto detective in May 2021.

ZachXBT uses his blockchain analysis skills to expose fraudulent NFT projects and influencers. Here are some of his high-profile exposures:

  • Rogue Society raised $5.5 million and disappeared. ZachXBT found the founder, Jahvin Bowman.
  • Laurent Correia, a French reality TV star, used funds from the Billionaire Dogs Club project for personal purchases.
  • Jolan Lacroix stole TICKER tokens worth $900,000 during the presale.

Zachary (likely his real name, according to court documents filed by Jeffrey Huang against ZachXBT) keeps his identity hidden, even giving podcast interviews using a voice-altering program.

Arthur Hayes

Arthur Hayes, an American entrepreneur and co-founder of the cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX, was born in 1985. A graduate of the Wharton School of Business, he quickly made a career in the financial sector, leading him to co-found BitMEX in 2014. The exchange became one of the first to offer derivatives and futures on cryptocurrencies, attracting professional traders' attention.

Under Hayes' leadership, BitMEX grew rapidly but faced legal issues. In 2021, Hayes was charged with violating the US Bank Secrecy Act due to insufficient anti-money laundering measures on the platform. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months of house arrest.

Despite these problems, Hayes continues to influence the crypto industry, supporting bitcoin as an alternative to traditional financial systems.

Zion Thomas (Ansem)

Ansem is a star in crypto trading. Since childhood, he loved math and science, leading him to study computer science at Georgia Tech. In his senior year, he discovered the world of cryptocurrencies.

After graduating, Ansem began actively trading crypto. Noticing that most analysts in blogs and on Twitter were venture capital representatives and that ordinary private traders rarely shared their in-depth market insights, he decided to share his thoughts. In late 2021, Ansem started publicly journaling his trades on Twitter, discussing his successes and mistakes, attracting a lot of attention and follower support.

Encouraged by his followers, Ansem launched a blog on Substack, publishing longer and more detailed articles about the crypto market. Today, Ansem continues to share his experiences, combining technical analysis with market sentiment understanding, helping traders of all levels navigate the crypto world. His influence is confirmed by the launch of the meme coin Ansem’s Cat (HOBBES), which reached nearly $100 million on its first day.