The most famous people in crypto industry

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are an incredibly young industry, but despite this it already has many heroes. Here are 10 the most famous experts in this field.

The list of wealthiest people of the crypto industry whose contribution made a significant impact on blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

In the early 2010s, “fame in the crypto industry” could only be found in a very closed circle — among cryptographers, developers, programmers and mathematicians. Today, 9 years after the birth of Bitcoin, some crypto entrepreneurs have become real stars even outside of the investment world. Here are 10 crypto celebrities for you to follow.

Nick Szabo

Nick Sabo is a well-known cryptographer and researcher in the field of computer and system theory. It was he who in 1994 described the concept of “smart contracts”, which allowed to exchange assets without resorting to intermediaries. And in 1998, he developed the algorithm of decentralized digital currency Bit Gold, which was never implemented, but it is called the “direct predecessor of Bitcoin architecture”.

Sabo opposed SegWit2x hardfork, which was to take place in the Bitcoin network in 2017 (but was canceled in November and was no longer implemented within Bitcoin Core) and increased the size of Bitcoin blocks from 1 MB to 2 MB. And Bitcoin Cash, which separated from Bitcoin as a result of hardfork in 2017 and currently ranks 6th in terms of market capitalization, Szabo called “a centralized virtual fake”.

In November 2017, Szabo and researcher Elaine Ow presented a project that would make it possible to conduct Bitcoin transactions through radio waves. The method was presented during the Scaling Bitcoin conference in San Francisco as a way to protect the network from potential attacks by firewalls, network gateways or other means of controlling decentralized networks that can be used by governments or telecommunications companies.

Charlie Lee

In 2011, Lee developed one of the first altcoins, Litecoin, which emerged from the Bitcoin fork. Litecoin is called “digital silver”, similar to the fact that Bitcoin is “digital gold”. In 2013, Lee took over as technical director of Coinbase, a major crypto exchange in the US. However, in 2017, he decided to leave the company to fully focus on promoting Litecoin.

While creating Litecoin, Charlie Lee took the Bitcoin source code as a basis, changing several parameters (including block generation time and mining algorithm). Over time, the close relationship with Bitcoin Core code has become a strength of the younger cryptocurrency: the platform can test innovations that will later be introduced into the Bitcoin network. The source code and built-in Bitcoin features are more similar to Litecoin than Bitcoin Cash. For example, Bitcoin Cash does not support SegWit, and an updated protocol was built into Litecoin even earlier than into the Bitcoin network. In early 2017, Lee wrote a post on Medium describing how the Lightning Network protocol being developed at Bitcoin would link the Litecoin and Bitcoin networks, allowing tokens of these blockchains to be exchanged directly, without the participation of crypto exchanges. Such a transaction in test mode was successfully carried out two years ago.

Lee also opposed SegWit2x, and when choosing between Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin, Lee gave the title of “real Bitcoin” to the latter. “Bitcoin will always be real Bitcoin … Bitcoin Cash is just another alternative blockchain — just like Litecoin”.

Roger Ver

Roger Ver is a crypto investor, Bitcoin Cash adherent and owner of Bitcoin.com, which combines wallet service, news site and forum. However, the term “Bitcoin” Ver interprets as Bitcoin Cash being “real Bitcoin” and believes that it most fully reflects the ideas inherent in this cryptocurrency by its anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto. In December 2017, when more than 200 000 BTC transactions were clogging Bitcoin network, Ver emphasized that “Bitcoin Core is not suitable as money” — while Bitcoin Cash was designed exactly as a fast and convenient “cryptocurrency for settlements”. Charlie Lee urged Ver to give up the confusing naming of Bitcoin Cash as “Bitcoin” and Bitcoin as “Bitcoin Core”: “Nobody says that except you. Both Bitcoin.com and mobile wallet are misleading new users with this nonsense”.

Before the Bitcoin Cash controversy, Roger Ver was better known as one of the first Bitcoin millionaires and “Bitcoin Jesus”: Ver started investing in Bitcoin back in 2011. In 2012, he was involved in the creation of the Bitcoin Foundation.

Vitalik Buterin

Vitalik Buterin is a co-founder of Ethereum, one of the largest cryptocurrency projects, ranked 2nd by market capitalization. In 2013, Buterin published a white paper of cryptocurrency, based on a blockchain with the functionality of smart contracts, which allowed to prescribe the terms of the deal for both parties without intermediaries.

Buterin was included in the rating of “30 Most Promising Entrepreneurs under 30” of the American magazine Forbes, and Bloomberg included Buterin in the list of 50 most influential people in 2017.

Joseph Lubin

Lubin is one of the first investors of Ethereum, who at the very first stage of the project’s development provided considerable capital (unfortunately, the amount was not disclosed). He is also considered to be a good friend of Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. The Ethereum project itself impressed Joseph very much and after his investment in Ethereum he started to provide financial support to other projects based on the Ethereum blockchain. These include Metamask, Civil, Truffle and Gnosis.

Joseph has a strong influence on the development of the crypto industry, as his presence in the media already makes the project a little known. Moreover, at the moment ConsenSys investment company is one of the largest on the market, despite having incurred significant losses against the backdrop of correction of the crypto market in 2018.

Lubin can sell tokens of his projects at any time, thus having a significant impact on the price dynamics of top digital assets on the market. Some analysts argue that Joseph Lubin is the single largest holder of Ethereum, his stake in ETH reportedly goes up to $10 billion. In turn, Lubin states that he never had large reserves of ETH, and the assets at his disposal are used to support and develop ConsenSys.

Gavin Wood

Dr. Gavin Wood is the co-founder and former chief technology officer of Ethereum, which has transformed the original white paper Ethereum written by Buterin into a truly working program. Wood now heads Parity Technologies, a company that develops software for blockchain networks, and is also a co-founder of Polkadot, a startup company that develops a protocol that improves the compatibility of private and public blockchains and helps improve network scaling.

The year 2017 proved to be difficult for Dr. Wood: at the beginning of the year, his company successfully released Parity 1.5, an updated Ethereum network client. And in April, Parity Technologies announced the release of Parity Bitcoin, the software for the Bitcoin network. But after a good start in the middle of the year Parity Technologies faced serious difficulties. In July, their wallets were attacked by hackers who used the detected bug in a smart contract and stole 150 000 ETH, which was about $30 million at that time. To solve this problem, Parity has released an updated version of the smart contract. However, in November, one of the Parity developers allegedly accidentally activated another vulnerability in the code, thus freezing 513 774 ETH, which has not yet been released. It should be noted that $98 million of Polkadot startup funds collected during the ICO were also frozen.

Jeff Garzik

Former developer of Bitcoin Core and the leading developer of the controversial scalability solution SegWit2x. Because of serious debates around the introduction of SegWit2x (that is implementation of hardfork for the purpose of changing one of the basic characteristics of Bitcoin — the block size), Garzik was banned from editing Bitcoin code. He said he had nothing to do with the “new SegWit2X,” also known as the B2X, which was implemented by a team led by Yap Terlow.

Garzik is a co-founder of Bloq, a company that specializes in the corporate application of blockchain technology, and a co-founder and CEO of Metronome crypto project, which idea is to increase decentralization and ability to work on different blockchains (so if one of them, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, stops working, crypto can exist on the other blockchain). Also Metronome tokens can be translated between different blockchains.

United Bitcoin hardfork, which was held at Bitcoin on December 12th, is also Garzik’s project (together with its Bloq partner Matthew Rozhack and founder of BitBank’s crypto investment platform Songju Hua). Within the project, Garzik plans to create a “credit currency system tied to fiat currencies”. Among the technical features of United Bitcoin different from Bitcoin is an increased block size (up to 8 Mb) and support for smart contracts. United Bitcoin also supports common scalability solutions with Bitcoin, such as SegWit and Lightning Network. According to Garzik, United Bitcoin’s main idea is to unite the entire crypto ecosystem.

Elizabeth Stark

Elizabeth Stark is a co-founder and CEO of Lightning Labs, a project that implements a payment protocol for Lightning Network within the Bitcoin ecosystem. Stark is also a staff member of Coin Center, a non-profit research center that advocates for blockchain projects and reasonable regulation of the area.

Stark believes Lightning Network will solve Bitcoin problems such as lack of scalability (due to the need to store the history of all transactions ever made), delays in confirming transactions and high fees.

Lightning Network is designed to make Bitcoin convenient for small daily settlements, allowing to open payment channels directly between those members of the network who want to transfer funds. The amount of information that is stored on the blockchain is also significantly reduced: Bitcoin blockchain will not record any interim payments — only the final balance that was received at the closing of the channel. The technology was successfully tested and is already used by early users to make real purchases.

Gregory Maxwell

Maxwell is another former Bitcoin Core developer. Along with Adam Beck and Peter Vuile, cryptography specialists and first users of Bitcoin, Maxwell is a co-founder of Blockstream project, which brings together Bitcoin developers. He left the Blockstream team to “work more independently on the protocol, especially the new cryptographic privacy and security technology for Bitcoin”.

Maxwell says he founded Blockstream because he saw a “significant funding gap” in Bitcoin technology. After making sure the “Bitcoin industry has grown up and Bitcoin Core receives regular support from many organizations,” including Blockstream, Coinbase, Bitmain and Blockchain, Maxwell decided to “go back to what he thinks is most exciting” — without having to manage employees and engage in Blockstream’s non-Bitcoin-related blockchain development.

Jameson Lopp

Jameson Lopp is still a Bitcoin Core software developer. Previously he left the position of the leading Bitgo crypto wallet developer and joined the Casa wallet team, which is positioning itself as “the best private key system on the planet”. He is the creator of the satoshi.info portal, where you can track generation of blocks, the state of Bitcoin mempool (the number of unconfirmed transactions) and fees. Lopp also launched the Bitcoin SIG educational resource and Bitcoin forum of the same name.

As an opponent of SegWit2x, Lopp had a longstanding disagreement with Bitgo CEO Mike Belsch, who actively supported hardfork. Lopp claimed Hardfork was premature, saying that “such a big event cannot be rushed” and wasted time “on something as trivial as changing one constant” (i.e. the size of a block).

As a developer of crypto wallets, Lopp gives advice on how to safely store crypto wallets: he thinks it’s necessary to use cold multi-signed wallets that allow access to funds after confirmation from several trusted parties (which also includes Bitgo).

Lopp was repeatedly targeted by hackers, his house was secured by police after an anonymous call about alleged hostages there. He then revised his understanding of his own physical security: “Over the past few years, I have been trained in hand-to-hand combat as well as the use of cold and guns. Now I’ve strengthened my home’s security systems to prevent any attempted burglary,” said Lopp.

All these celebrities made their fortune thanks to the rapid growth of market capitalization and Bitcoin price. You can also earn BTC very easily by investing in our Bitcoin cloud mining platform Hashmart.io!

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Andrey Costello

Andrey Costello

Bitcoin-maximalist. Optimistic family man and miner with six years of age. I write about complicated things from the future for people of our days.