The crypto industry had a fantastic year in 2021. The industry experienced a surge in almost every aspect – from Bitcoin and Ethereum reaching new all-time highs to the mainstream adoption of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).
India recorded the second-highest number of cryptocurrencies users worldwide during the year, and India-based crypto exchange platforms attracted millions of users, with CoinSwitch alone amassing over 15+ million of them.
The crypto market fluctuated as well. While expected, given the market’s volatile nature, the fluctuations were often triggered – to a large extent – by the actions of celebrities, tech titans, industry leaders, and artists, and that was new. These influencers impact the crypto market with their support for digital currencies and often use social media to promote them. And following them can be useful for investors as well.
Here’s a list of the seven most influential people in crypto in 2022:
- Samuel Bankman-Fried
In the cryptocurrency space, Samuel Bankman-Fried (SBF) has made many significant contributions. To begin with, he founded FTX, a cryptocurrency and derivatives exchange, in 2019. The company has quickly grown to become the sixth-largest by volume, with a $3.5 billion valuation.
SBF is also regarded as one of the pioneers of crypto–sports collaboration. The Miami Heat signed a long-term deal with FTX, and the team’s stadium was renamed FTX Arena. FTX also became Major League Baseball’s (MLB) official cryptocurrency exchange, giving crypto yet another major push into the mainstream.
An MIT graduate and the founder of Alameda Research as well, SBF is currently the richest crypto billionaire, with a net worth of $22.5 billion. He is also the richest person under 30 since Mark Zuckerberg, according to Forbes.
- Michael Saylor
Michael Saylor is the founder, chairman, and CEO of MicroStrategy, the enterprise analytics and mobility software firm which invested $425 million in Bitcoin as an alternative to gold and bonds. Michael Saylor is a key figure in the cryptocurrency industry.
It was under his leadership that MicroStrategy purchased its first bitcoin (BTC), making it one of the first institutional buyers of cryptocurrency. Since that first purchase, MicroStrategy has never missed an opportunity to buy BTC. The well-known business analytics platform now has 124,392 BTC worth $5.8 billion, making it the public company with the largest Bitcoin portfolio.
Saylor’s Twitter account, too, demonstrates his enthusiasm for Bitcoin. He also stated that he owns 17,732 BTC.
- Elon Musk
Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla and the richest person in the world, is a well-known figure in the cryptocurrency world. He is arguably the crypto world’s alpha influencer and is widely regarded as its first influencer as well.
With 69.9 million followers on Twitter, Musk influences the crypto market to such an extent through his tweets that it makes decentralization seem like a joke. In fact, his tweets have had such an impact on certain coins that the term “Musk effect” came to be coined in the cryptocurrency world. When he announced in February 2021 that Tesla had purchased $1.5 billion worth of BTC, the value of Bitcoin rose by 20% on the same day.
Musk’s attention has recently shifted from Bitcoin to Dogecoin, a popular memecoin. He is now credited with guiding Dogecoin to its current position, and he calls himself the Dogefather.
- Nayib Bukele
Under the presidency of Nayib Bukele, El Salvador became the first country to recognize Bitcoin as a legal tender. El Salvador has found a place on the crypto map as a result of this bold move and Bukele’s other pro-crypto initiatives. Furthermore, the country has been on a BTC buying binge, increasing its holdings whenever possible.
Nayib Bukele has even announced a plan to build an oceanside “Bitcoin City” at the base of a volcano, in addition to starting 20 Bitcoin schools and a mining facility in El Salvador.
- Vitalik Buterin
Vitalik Buterin is a Russian-Canadian programmer who co-founded the Ethereum blockchain and the Bitcoin Magazine. Bitcoin Magazine is widely regarded as the first publication dedicated solely to cryptocurrency. Some of his early writings in it continue to impact the cryptocurrency industry even today.
Vitalik Buterin is on the radar of the most influential people in crypto simply because he is the co-founder of Ethereum, one of the top cryptocurrencies by market cap. He is also one of the world’s youngest crypto billionaires, having made a name for himself with his groundbreaking Ethereum work.
- Jack Dorsey
Jack Dorsey is the co-founder and former CEO of Twitter, who sent out the world’s first-ever tweet. The tweet simply reads: “just setting up my twttr”. But it was sold as a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) for over $2.9 million in ETH in March 2021! Later, he converted the funds to BTC.
Jack Dorsey has been dubbed “Silicon Valley’s leading Bitcoin evangelist” by some. As a supporter of Bitcoin, its technology, and its ecosystem, Dorsey has commented on the crypto industry on several occasions. Many people follow his Bitcoin advocacy because he is a powerful voice in the technology industry.
After resigning from Twitter, he shifted his focus to Square (now named Block), emerging finance and payments service, also founded by him.
- Changpeng Zhao
Changpeng Zhao, aka CZ, launched Binance in July 2017. Since then, Binance has grown to become the largest cryptocurrency exchange for retail investors in the world. Much like his company, CZ too has come a long way – from flipping burgers while attending McGill University in Montreal, to becoming one of crypto’s most powerful figures. He is now not only the largest shareholder in Binance but he’s also amassed a sizable number of binance coins (BNB) and BTC.
He has played a significant role in the crypto market, providing funding for new businesses and offering users a secure platform to trade over 700 different crypto pairs.
In comparison to other forms of investment, cryptocurrencies are a relatively new asset class. They have only been around for a decade, so many only have only a basic understanding of them and often require assistance. Industry influencers who have the right knowledge thus use their platform to educate their followers.
However, these influencers might be a tad difficult to reach for queries related to crypto investment. This is where CoinSwitch helps. Be sure to visit their website to brush up on your crypto basics even as you follow these seven big names to keep yourself updated.
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