Cryptocurrency is an extremely fast-growing market. Arguably the biggest industry surrounding cryptocurrency is trading, as people love to speculate on the ever-changing price of coins such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. There are dozens of online crypto exchanges where people can buy and sell cryptocurrency. There has also been a push by several key crypto figures to integrate cryptocurrency into our day-to-day lives. There are many influential figures in the world of cryptocurrency, and they have all made their mark on the space. In this article, we’ll look at some of the biggest names in the industry, outlining what they’ve achieved and why they’re considered so influential.
Brian Armstrong, Coinbase
In the introduction, we mentioned that crypto exchanges are one of the most popular forms of crypto business, as they allow people to buy and sell cryptocurrency. Arguably, the most popular exchange is the platform Coinbase, created by Brian Armstrong. Armstrong was born in San Jose, California, and earned a dual bachelor’s degree in computer science and economics from Rice University in Texas. He was a developer for IBM and Airbnb until he founded Coinbase with Fred Ehrsam in 2012.
Coinbase is one of the most user-friendly apps. It allows people to easily buy crypto with fiat currency and sell it back to fiat when they’re ready to bank a profit. Such is the influence of Coinbase that any rumours that a particular coin was about to be listed on the exchange would cause a massive surge in price.
Thanks to its user-friendliness, it’s allowed millions of people to make a start in cryptocurrency that otherwise would not have been able to navigate one of the more complicated exchanges. As the CEO of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong is key to ensuring that Coinbase stays relevant in such a fast-moving market.
Juthica Chou, LedgerX
After getting their feet wet by buying and selling cryptocurrency on Coinbase, many crypto enthusiasts graduate to more complex exchanges offering more crypto markets. One of those exchanges was LedgerX, founded by Juthica Chou and Paul Chou. Juthica had experience in trading before transitioning into crypto. She previously had a career at Goldman Sachs as an options market maker whilst working on the quantitative volatility trading desk.
However, she eventually quit that job to found LedgerX in 2014. Juthica used her experience working at Goldman Sachs to give LedgerX its USP. LedgerX was more than a regular exchange; it was a regulated Bitcoin swaps, futures exchange, and derivatives clearing organisation. It was also the first federally regulated swap execution facility and clearing house which listed and cleared fully-collateralised digital currency swaps and options. In simple terms, everything was regulated by an outside authority and would provide any holders of futures contracts with actual bitcoin when those contracts expired.
This was the first time anything like this had ever been done in crypto, setting Juthica and LedgerX apart from the competition.
Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum
The second most popular cryptocurrency, behind Bitcoin, is Ethereum. It was created in 2014 by Russian-Canadian computer programmer Vitalik Buterin and launched with the help of Dimity Buterin, Charles Hoskinson, Joseph Lubin, Gavin Wood, and Anthony Di Iorio.
Vitalik was born in Kolomna, Russia, in 1994 and moved to Canada at six with his parents. He was quickly placed in a class for gifted children and was naturally drawn to analytical subjects such as economics, mathematics, and programming. He attended the University of Waterloo and became heavily involved in cryptography. After visiting developers in other countries in 2013, he returned to Canada and wrote the Ethereum white paper. A year later, he dropped out of University to focus on Ethereum full-time after receiving a $100,000 grant from the Thiel Fellowship.
Since its creation, Ethereum has firmly cemented itself as the second most popular cryptocurrency and the cryptocurrency with the second-highest market cap. Its highest-ever price was around $4600, currently sitting at $1572 at the time of writing.
Jack Dorsey, Square
While people may know him best for being the founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey is a big proponent of cryptocurrency. His latest company, Block (formerly Square), is an online payment platform, and Spiral (formerly Square Crypto) is a Bitcoin project that pays people in Bitcoin for helping to grow the currency through development and real-world integration.
Dorsey was born on November 19th, 1976 in St Louis, Missouri. He attended the University of Missouri-Rolla for two years before transferring to New York University. While at New York University, he had the idea that would eventually become Twitter. Despite spending four years at University, Jack did not graduate as he dropped out one semester before completing his studies.
Dorsey then moved to California, creating a company to dispatch taxis, couriers and emergency services via the web. It wouldn’t be until 2006 that he would found Twitter, along with Noah Glass, Evan Williams, and Biz Stone. Dorsey became interested in online payments, becoming a big proponent of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This led to his founding of Square, which would later become Block. He had said that if he had not worked on Twitter and Square, he would be working on Bitcoin, and Spiral manifests that desire.
Charlie Lee, Litecoin
Another extremely popular cryptocurrency is Litecoin, one of the earliest “alt-coins,” starting in October 2011. The cryptocurrency was authored by Charlie Lee, a computer scientist who moved to the USA from the Ivory Coast. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2000 with a master’s degree in computer science. Charlie had worked for Google for a decade in the early 2000s, mainly writing code for ChromeOS. However, in 2011 he found an interest in Bitcoin and released Litecoin later that year.
Litecoin is heavily inspired by Bitcoin, and the main Litecoin blockchain shares a similar codebase to that of Bitcoin. The main differences between the two codebases are that Litecoin has lower transaction fees, faster mining difficulty retargeting, and faster transaction confirmations. This made it quicker and cheaper to use than Bitcoin, making it very popular with regular crypto users. Litecoin is currently the 13th-ranked coin in terms of market cap and costs around $90 per coin at the time of writing.
As cryptocurrency becomes increasingly popular, we’ll be able to expand this list with dozens more names of people who have helped push the concept forward. We already see crypto being integrated into our lives, such as during online shopping, travel bookings, and online gambling. Many casinos are starting to incorporate cryptocurrency into their platform. People who enjoy playing Jackpot Casino Canada games currently have to make a deposit using fiat currency. However, in the future, more online casinos will be open to accepting crypto. One thing we know for certain about crypto is that it’s a fast-paced market, so we will soon have another name to add to this list!