Crypto Experts: OGs, Top-Dogs, & Influencers

Discover the leaders taking cryptocurrency — and the world — by storm.

Here at ShapeShift, we’re particularly bullish on crypto. As the markets nudge upwards, it’s starting to feel of a new crypto bull market.

To celebrate and build on this seriously bullish momentum, we’ve rounded up a list of the crypto experts we admire and get our inspiration from. Here’s who’s who in crypto (in alphabetical order).

Gavin Andresen | @gavinandresen

Gavin Andresen is Chief Scientist at The Bitcoin Foundation, the oldest and largest Bitcoin advocacy organization. Since leaving Silicon Valley 3D graphics software. his positions included CTO of an early voice-over-the-Internet startup and co-founder of a company that makes multiplayer online games for blind people.

Andreas M. Antonopoulos | @aantonop

Andreas is an objective, independent and strong voice changing the crypto narrative. He’s published three books (most notably, “Mastering Bitcoin”) and is unbelievably passionate about this technology and the ways it can be used to give choice to the choiceless, voice to the voiceless, and power to the powerless.

Adam Back |@adam3us

Adam Back is a British cryptographer best known for inventing Hashcash. He’s now the CEO of Blockstream, a startup that’s focused on developing sidechains and other applications for the crypto ecosystem.

Naomi ₿rockwell | @naomibrockwell

Naomi Brockwell is a kickass creative force in crypto. Since 2013, she’s been creating loveable crypto video content (if you’re not subscribed to her youtube channel, we recommend it). NBTV offers weekly crypto recaps, interviews with industry experts, and more. An inspiration for all content creators in the space, Brockwell has also produced a documentary, TV series, and authored the children’s book “Billy’s Bitcoin.”

Vitalik Buterin | @VitalikButerin

Vitalik Buterin is known as the godfather of Ethereum, the world’s second-most valued and recognized cryptocurrency platform behind Bitcoin. He’s been involved in the Bitcoin community since 2011, co-founding and writing articles for Bitcoin Magazine and gaining a healthy reputation for repping the coolest unicorn shirts.

David Chaum | @chaumdotcom

As the mastermind of eCash, an anonymous electronic currency that predates Bitcoin by almost 30 years, Chaum is the forefather of the crypto movement. Today he is the CEO of Elixxer, a transaction platform running on a full-stack blockchain.

Meltem Demirors | @Melt_Dem

Meltem Demirors is what we call Fierce as F*ck. She’s a cryptocurrency investor, advisor, and influencer who is admired for her business-savvy and confidence. She’s Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares, a cryptoasset manager. Previously, she was VP of Digital Currency Group (DCG), one of the world’s top crypto investment companies.

Hal Finney | (1956–2014)

Hal Finney was a software engineer, cypherpunk, and advocate of cryptography and digital privacy. He worked for the PGP Corporation, where he developed some of the earliest PGP code. He also built the first anonymous remailer, the first proof-of-work based digital cash system, RPOW (Reusable Proofs-of-Work), and received the very first Bitcoin transaction sent by Satoshi Nakamoto.

Pamela Morgan | @pamelawjd

Pamela Morrison is an attorney, educator, and entrepreneur who has been working exclusively in blockchain tech since 2014. She’s the CEO of Third Key, where she designs and tests crypto protection plans (estate planning, internal corporate governance, and disaster recovery). She’s also Director of Education for the CryptoCurrency Certification Consortium, a non-profit industry standards organization.

Charlie Lee | @SatoshiLite

Charlie Lee has already made a significant and lasting impact on crypto. He’s best known as the inventor of Litecoin, one of the largest cryptocurrencies in the world. These days, Lee spends most of his time working alongside the Litecoin Foundation to drive mass adoption.

Jameson Lopp | @lopp

Jameson Lopp is the CTO of Casa, a distributed key and node startup. He’s also the creator of, where you can see real-time, detailed analytics on Bitcoin nodes. Peppered with some great technical insights, Lopp provides a more philosophical discourse on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

Joseph Lubin | @ethereumjoseph

Joseph Lubin is a co-founder of Ethereum and the founder of blockchain venture studio Consensus Systems (ConsenSys). One of the largest and fastest-growing companies in the ecosystem, ConsenSys builds developer tools, DApps, and other solutions powered by Ethereum.

Brock Pierce | @brockpierce

Ƀrock Pierce is an entrepreneur and venture capitalist with an extensive track record of founding, advising and investing in disruptive businesses. Pierce is the Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation and co-founder of EOS Alliance,, Blockchain Capital, Tether, and Mastercoin (first ICO).

Anthony Pompliano | @apompliano

Anthony Pompliano (aka “Pomp”) founded Morgan Creek Digital Assets, an investment firm that helps to provide access to blockchain technology for institutional investors. He writes Off the Chain, a daily newsletter (and Podcast) where he analyzes industry news and trends.

Laura Shin | @laurashin

As the former senior editor of Forbes, Laura was the first “mainstream reporter” to cover crypto full-time. She’s also the host of two of the most popular crypto podcasts, Unchained & Unconfirmed. Rising as one of the most trusted voices in the space, Laura has pretty much set the gold standard for crypto interviewing.

Charlie Shrem | @CharlieShrem

Charlie Shrem is an early Bitcoin adopter and has been a pioneer since before crypto was cool. He’s the founder of crypto advisory firm CryptoIQ, a co-founder of the Bitcoin Foundation, and the Head of Business Development at Jaxx. Catch Charlie on his podcast, Untold Stories, where he focuses on the personal narratives of crypto’s most influential leaders.

Riccardo Spagni | @fluffypony

Riccardo Spagni is a member of Monero Core Team, who stewards of the Monero Project. After achieving a great deal of success in software development, he started to tinker with Bitcoin in 2011. More recently (2017) he launched Globee, a multi-currency payment processor.

Elizabeth Stark | @starkness

‘Bitcoin Warrior Queen’ Elizabeth Stark’s prolific work is widely recognized. She’s co-founder and CEO of Lightning Labs. She’s also a CoinCenter Fellow, where she’s busy developing government policy around decentralized technologies. Given her entrepreneurial spirit, it’s no surprise that she landed on Forbes’ 40 under 40.

Nick Szabo | @NickSzabo4

A renowned cryptographer and computer scientist, Szabo pioneered smart contracts in the 1990s. Today, Szabo is an active researcher in the crypto space. Among other exciting predictions, Szabo believes 2019 will see the adoption of Layer 2 solutions such as the Lightning Network.

Don Tapscott | @dtapscott

Don Tapscott authored 15 widely read books about various aspects of the reshaping of our society and economy. His work Wikinomics counts among the most influential business books of the last decade. The Blockchain Revolution analyzes why blockchain technology will fundamentally change the internet — how it works, how to use it, as well as its promises and perils.

Erik Voorhees | @ErikVoorhees

Erik Voorhees is among the top-recognized serial Bitcoin advocates and entrepreneurs, understanding Bitcoin as one of the most important inventions ever created by humanity. He founded ShapeShift in 2014, the world’s best non-custodial digital asset management platform. Voorhees is known in the crypto community as one of the OGs. He’s been featured on Bloomberg, Fox Business, CNBC, and in numerous Bitcoin and industry conferences.

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Zooko Wilcox | @zooko

Zooko Wilcox is a cypherpunk, cryptographer, activist, coder, and entrepreneur who has spent his career getting people to care about privacy. He’s well known for his role as the CEO of Electric Coin Company (formerly Zcash). Zcash — a privacy-protecting, digital currency — first launched in 2016. Since then, it has grown to be one of the most valued and admired cryptocurrencies in the world.

Changpeng Zhao | @cz_binance

Changpeng Zhao (aka “CZ”), is the founder and CEO of Binance — the crypto exchange that became the largest on the planet in just under 180 days (making CZ a crypto sensation). He has worked in the financial trading technology space for most of his career but says “once I discovered Bitcoin, I just knew that was the future.”

Let it Grow 🌱

Now that crypto spring is in the air — who else would you like to see added to this (ever-growing) list? Just let us know in the comments section below — we’ll be updating it continuously.