Top Crypto Influencers: Founders, Personalities, Politicians, & More

  • January 18, 2023
  • 7 Min Read

The world of crypto is full of dynamic individuals. From founders and traders to financial experts, influencers, and even those who have fallen from grace, the personalities of crypto find themselves in the headlines every day. These are the market movers who are responsible for some of the largest gains (and losses) in the world of crypto.

Who Are The Top People in Crypto?

1. Founders

Satoshi Nakamoto: Founder of Bitcoin

Perhaps the most famous individual in all of crypto, Satoshi Nakamoto is the name (or moniker) of the mysterious founder (or founders) of Bitcoin. In 2008, Nakamoto released the Bitcoin whitepaper to the world and mined the first blocks of the Bitcoin blockchain, thus kicking off the blockchain revolution.

Vitalik Buterin: Co-Founder of Ethereum

Vitalik Buterin is the co-founder of Ethereum and, after Satoshi Nakamoto, the most widely-recognized single person in crypto. In 2014, at just 20 years old, Buterin co-developed and deployed the Ethereum blockchain — the first blockchain that supported the development of decentralized apps, or “dapps”. Since then, his writings and contributions to the cryptocurrency community have been met with high regard.

Changpeng “CZ” Zhao: CEO & Co-Founder of Binance

Changpeng Zhao, or “CZ” as he’s known, is the founder and CEO of Binance — the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world. The Binance exchange was launched in 2017 and became the largest exchange in the world in less than a year. CZ’s personal net worth is valued at over $30 billion dollars in large part due to his holdings of “BNB”, the Binance platform token.

Brian Armstrong: CEO & Co-Founder of Coinbase

Brian Armstrong is the co-founder and CEO of American cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, which is touted as “the most well-regulated crypto exchange”. As one of the few publicly traded crypto exchange companies out there, Coinbase lends credibility to Armstrong’s name. He founded Coinbase in 2012 with co-founder Fred Ehrsam.

Sandeep Nailwal: CEO & Co-Founder of Polygon

Sandeep Nailwal is the co-founder of Polygon, a “Layer 2” scaling solution built on top of Ethereum which allows for faster and cheaper transaction processing. The Polygon blockchain has been chosen as the go-to protocol by tech companies such as Meta, Reddit, and Stripe for building blockchain functionality into their products.

2. Financial Experts

Jim Cramer: Host of 'Mad Money' on CNBC

Jim Cramer is a famous financial commentator that tackles the US public markets as well as retail investments like crypto on his CNBC show “Mad Money”. On the show, which airs every weeknight, Cramer makes investing accessible to the everyday person and covers the daily state of the markets.

Raoul Pal: CEO & Co-Founder of Real Vision

Raoul Pal is an accomplished investor-turned-commentator that now focuses on market analysis through his Real Vision TV program. The show places a heavy emphasis on crypto markets and releases new videos daily. Real Vision maintains a free newsletter, but the video programming is available only through a paid subscription.

Tim Draper: Founder of Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Tim Draper is an accomplished venture capitalist with early investments in companies like Skype, Robinhood, Tesla, and Coinbase. Draper holds strong stances on cryptocurrencies and is looked to as a respected voice in the field. He often appears on podcasts and financial programs and updates his Twitter profile with his opinions on the current state of crypto markets.

Matt Levine: Bloomberg News Columnist

Matt Levine is one of the most respected financial writers on Wall Street. His newsletter covering the public financial markets, “Money Stuff”, boasts over 150,000 subscribers and also provides crypto commentary. Levine does not always laud crypto in his coverage so he is respected for his objectivity on the topic.

3. Investors and Traders

Michael Saylor: Co-Founder of MicroStrategy

Michael Saylor is the founder of American software company MicroStrategy. The company is in the business of enterprise software, however, under Saylor’s leadership, it began an aggressive purchase of Bitcoin and now holds over 130,000 Bitcoins. MicroStrategy is one of the biggest institutional holders of Bitcoin and Saylor is an unwavering Bitcoin maximalist.

Cathie Wood: CEO & Founder of ARK Invest

ARK Invest is a US-based investment management firm founded by Cathie Wood. The firm manages several exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that are primarily made up of high-risk, disruptive bets like AI, biotech, and blockchain investments. During the 2020 and 2021 crypto bull markets, these ETFs saw immense gains, but have since had their values cut by 70%+. Cathie Wood is an esteemed authority on crypto investing, and she stands by her crypto bets.

Chris Dixon: General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz

No venture capital firm has deployed more funding into crypto startups than Andreessen Horowitz. While Chris Dixon is not one of the founders of the company, he heads their blockchain and web3 team and oversees the firm’s investments in crypto companies. Dixon maintains an active Twitter profile where he comments on the state of the crypto markets from the point of view of a venture capitalist.

Anthony Pompliano: Crypto Media Personality

Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano is an entrepreneur and investor who has held notable roles at tech companies such as Facebook and Snapchat. Today, he runs one of the most popular crypto podcasts and YouTube channels. Pomp also writes a popular newsletter called “The Pomp Letter” and has over 1.6 million followers on Twitter.

4. Influencers

Elon Musk: Serial Entrepreneur

Elon Musk is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and Twitter. Elon Musk has previously held the title of “world’s richest man”, so his views carry a lot of weight. He’s famous for triggering Dogecoin rallies and his company Tesla even accepted Bitcoin as a form of payment for their cars during a brief period in 2021.

Gary Vee: Founder of VaynerMedia, and Internet Influencer

Gary Vaynerchuk is an internet influencer and entrepreneur who has been a vocal supporter of cryptocurrencies and — specifically — NFT projects. Gary Vee’s line of “VeeFriends” NFTs is one of the most popular NFT projects, offering perks such as lifetime attendance privileges to his annual “VeeCon” conference and more.

Erik Voorhees: Founder and CEO of ShapeShift

Erik Vorhees is the founder and CEO of crypto exchange ShapeShift — one of the first exchanges to utilize the popular “trading pair” mechanic for providing liquidity on a large scale. He has been operating in the crypto space for over a decade and his experience means that his opinions carry a lot of weight with crypto enthusiasts.

Snoop Dogg: Rapper and Investor

The famous rapper Snoop Dogg has publicly supported and invested in multiple crypto projects over the last few years. Snoop Dogg’s particular interest range is the world of NFTs and MetaVerse projects. He is reportedly a large collector of art NFTs and has plans to turn his recording label, Death Row Records, into an NFT label.

Nayib Bukele: President of El Salvador

Nayib Bukele is the current president of El Salvador. During his term, Bukele made Bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador and has been using the country’s treasury to buy up a large Bitcoin position. Bukele also has plans to build a coastal “Bitcoin City” in El Salvador.

5. Politicians

Elizabeth Warren: US Senator from Massachusetts

The Democratic senator from Massachusetts has a background in financial regulation and helped to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Elizabeth Warren has been a vocal skeptic of cryptocurrency and has called for significantly increased regulation of the blockchain sector.

Her concerns range from the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to the use of cryptocurrencies to cover up illegal dealings and the dangers that unregulated crypto investment vehicles pose to US traders.

Andrew Yang: 2020 Presidential Candidate

Andrew Yang, the iconoclastic 2020 presidential candidate, has been a prominent supporter of cryptocurrency. Yang was one of the first major politicians to endorse Bitcoin and he has even helped co-found a web3 DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) called Lobby3 whose goal is to lobby for crypto on Capitol Hill.

In 2021, the former presidential candidate started a new political party called the Forward Party and noted that “Some of the people who have been most excited about [the Forward Party] have been my friends in the crypto sector.”

Donald Trump: 45th President of the US

The former president of the United States, Donald Trump has had a complex relationship with crypto. During this presidency, Trump commented on crypto only once — taking to Twitter to say that he is “not a fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies” and that he’s concerned about the use of crypto in illegal activity.

In December of 2022, however, the former president released a line of Trump Trading Cards NFTs which quickly sold out, generating over $5 million in sales in just one day. The NFT holders are entered into a raffle to win a number of prizes which include one-on-one meetings with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

6. Enemies

Jamie Dimon: Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase

Jamie Dimon is the chairman and CEO of US bank JPMorgan Chase. Dimon has been one of the most high-profile critics of cryptocurrency, calling Bitcoin “worthless.” The banking CEO has noted that real currencies need to have an authority such as a government backing them in order to have value and that he sees crypto trading as speculation.

In 2019, his bank, JPMorgan Chase, began offering crypto products to clients due to overwhelming demand — a move which Dimon addressed by saying, “I don’t care about bitcoin. I have no interest in it … On the other hand, clients are interested, and I don’t tell clients what to do.”

Warren Buffett & Charlie Munger: Chairman and Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway

The legendary investing duo Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger are loudly opposed to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. The two have creatively taken shots at crypto, calling it “rat poison,” and a “venereal disease,” and designating the crypto industry as an “open sewer.”

Their criticisms of the technology rest on its lack of financial backing by traditional authorities and the use of cryptocurrencies in illegal activity. Charlie Munger has praised the banning of cryptocurrencies in countries like China.

Peter Schiff: US Stock Broker

Peter Schiff is a stock market investor and a prominent supporter of gold as an asset class. He has been a vocal skeptic of cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin, saying that “a permanent move down to zero is inevitable.”

His view of the 2022 bear market is that it is a “crypto extinction.” Schiff has been on record calling crypto a “Ponzi scheme,” a “giant pump-and-dump” and “tulip mania.” He is a supporter of gold as the best long-term store of value.

7. Most Hated

Sam Bankman-Fried: Founder of FTX

Sam Bankman-Fried has had perhaps the most spectacular fall from grace in the history of crypto so far. Once a wunderkind of the crypto industry touting a fortune of $16 billion dollars at just 30 years old, the founder of the popular FTX exchange was charged with fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission after his exchange (and its FTT token) collapsed overnight. An estimated $1 to $2 billion dollars of customer funds are left unaccounted for as a result of the collapse.

Do Kwon: Co-Founder of Terra/LUNA

Do Kwon is the disgraced co-founder and CEO of Terraform Labs, the company behind the collapsed TerraUSD stablecoin and Luna cryptocurrency. A stablecoin is a crypto asset that is pegged 1:1 with a fiat currency such as USD. TerraUSD “depegged” under pressure from falling crypto prices, leading to the collapse of the stablecoin and the loss of value for all holders. This collapse sent reverberations throughout the crypto world to the tune of over $50 billion in losses.

Su Zhu/Kyle Davies: Founders of 3 Arrows Capital

In the wake of the May 2022 crypto price crashes, the large crypto hedge fund 3 Arrows Capital (3AC) was forced to liquidate its holdings due to exposure in a number of collapsed projects, including the Terra/LUNA project. The hedge fund founders, Su Zhu and Kyle Davies, went on the run after reportedly owing creditors more than $3 billion.

Read About More Crypto Influencers

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who is the most famous person in crypto?

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    The single most famous crypto personality is most likely the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto, the founder of Bitcoin.

  • Who is the biggest crypto influencer?

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    Since Satoshi Nakamoto mysteriously disappeared after launching Bitcoin, the biggest public crypto personality is Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum.

  • Who are the top crypto people?

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    The most notable crypto personalities include founders like Satoshi Nakamoto, Vitalik Buterin, and Changpeng Zhao, and crypto influencers like Elon Musk.

  • Who is the most trusted crypto expert?

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    The co-founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, is a highly respected authority on cryptocurrency projects. He is more interested in the infrastructure of crypto projects, however, and does not frequently give trading advice.

    Financial experts like Raoul Pal are more active in trading the markets day-to-day.

  • Who is the best crypto analyst?

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    Financial markets are volatile and crypto markets are especially so. Therefore, there is no single “best” crypto analyst who has never made a wrong call. Some reputable market pundits such as Jim Cramer, Raoul Pal, Tim Draper, and Matt Levine can be looked to for market analysis.

  • Who are the top crypto traders in the world?

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    Crypto trading is a volatile endeavor and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Instead, looking to reputable market analysts is a good way to understand the markets and then make trades based on your personal risk tolerance.

Contributors

  • Avatar of George Hristov

    George is a tech writer interested in web3 startups and communities. In the dynamic world of crypto, he stays plugged in to the day-to-day headlines, deep dives, and industry commentary.

  • Avatar of Gary Anglebrandt

    Gary Anglebrandt is a US-based editor, copywriter, and communications consultant with a background in business and international news. Beyond the US, he has worked from Seoul and Beijing, and continues to work with professionals based around the globe.