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We live in the age of influencers. Here are crypto’s top 10

Influencers have dominated the world of cryptocurrency and other electronic markets for a few months now, in a phenomenon that has demonstrated the importance of the development of decentralized finance (DeFi) as it is clear that today’s investors and market participants want to be part of the market itself.

It is no longer interesting enough for traders and investors to be given a platform by an exchange or brokerage and work within the parameters of a traditional financial markets system. This year, the age of the influencer came into its own and has stirred the interest and appetite of a whole new group of people who want to be able to make their own trading environment.

Reddit boards, meme stocks and trending viewpoints are everything. Volatility, and the ability to assist in creating volatility in some interesting instruments is what makes things move these days.

There are now a large number of individuals who are doing their best to get in on the action, and take their part in the community-driven, social media based nature of decentralized finance.

Whilst many people are now participating in Reddit boards and are therefore forming parts of groups which are directly changing the landscape of the markets, there is now a pecking order of influencers, the top level examples being people who the raft of influencers want to at least emulate, and at best supplant.

As of the beginning of this month, the top ten were:

1. Vitalik Buterin – @VitalikButerin.

Who is he?

Vitalik Buterin is the founder of Ethereum. He is a technology-focused genius who sees the evolution of crypto as a holistic system for blockchain projects such as smart contracts as well as a store of value and a currency. Currently working on ETH2 and the integration of some mainstay protocols such as UniSwap v3 with Ethereum’s blockchain system, he is the current number one mover and shaker.

2. Roger Ver – @rogerkver

Who is he?

Califronian Roger Ver is 42 year old early investor in Bitcoin as well as some early startups which were based on Bitcoin. Going under the self-styled moniker of “Bitcoin Jesus”, he now promotes Bitcoin Cash. Despite having a conviction almost 20 years ago for selling explosives without a license, Roger Ver moved into crypto, investing in Charlie Shrem’s Bitinstant in 2011, giving the firm a sum that was enough for the company to hire a designer and another programmer. He invested over a million dollars into new bitcoin-related startups, including Ripple, Blockchain.com, Bitpay and Kraken. In 2011, Ver’s company Memorydealers was the first to accept bitcoin as payment.

3. Andreas M. Antonopoulos – @aantop

Who is he?

Andreas Antonopoulos is a British-Greek Bitcoin advocate, tech entrepreneur, and author. He is a host on the Let’s Talk Bitcoin podcast and a teaching fellow for the M.Sc. Digital Currencies at the University of Nicosia. In 2012, he stopped working as a freelance consultant and started speaking at conferences about Bitcoin, consulting for startups, and writing articles free of charge. Back then, Bitcoin conferences had become a huge phenomenon in Cyprus and nearby Israel, and Andreas Antonopoulos was often seen in Cyprus at such events.

In December 2017, unsolicited donations of over 100 bitcoins were sent to Antonopoulos by over a thousand followers of his work, after Roger Ver made a public post to Twitter on 5 December questioning Antonopoulos’s investment choices given his “eloquent” public speaking about bitcoin since 2012

4. Tim Draper – @TimDraper

Who is he? 63 year old Tim Draper is an American venture capital investor. He is also the founder of various entities, including Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Draper University, Draper Venture Network, Draper Associates and Draper Goren Holm. His most prominent investments include Chinese internet giant Baidu, Hotmail, Skype, Tesla, SpaceX, AngelList, SolarCity, Ring, Twitter, DocuSign, Coinbase, Robinhood, Ancestry.com, Twitch, Cruise Automation, and Focus Media.

5. Charlie Lee – @SatoshiLite

Who is he?

Charlie Lee came to the United States when he was 13 years old from Ivory Coast in West Africa. In his youth he showed a keen interest in and aptitude for computer technology. In the early 2000s, he spent years working for a number of top tech companies, including Google and Guidewire Software. It was during his stint at Google as a software engineer that he began to develop the idea of litecoin. Despite Litecoin being only the 12th largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, Charlie Lee remains a hallmark mover and shaker in the wider development of cryptocurrency’s technological topography.

6. Anthony Pompliano – @APompliano

Who is he?

33 year old Anthony Pompliano is an entrepreneur and investor. He has built and sold numerous companies. He previously ran Product & Growth teams at Facebook, and manages a portfolio valued at more than $500 million in early-stage tech companies. He is a keen investor in blockchain related projects and speaks on the US mainstream media very often with the likes of Mark Cuban, providing insights into the economy and provides a personal analysis of the daily news in the crypto industry.

7. Erik Voorhees – @ErikVoorhees

Who is he?

The Vorhees name will be familiar to anyone who showed an early interest in Bitcoin back in 2010. Erik Vorhees was a regular commentator for the first few years after Bitcoin’s inception, having been interviewed on several hard-hitting shows across the United States, notably in March 2013, when he was interviewed on Peter Schiff’s podcast about Bitcoin as an alternative currency. He appears regularly in the movie Banking on Bitcoin, including the opening shot. Among Blockchain names, Erik Voorhees is one of the most well-known. The American founder of Bitcoin startups and Coinapult company, he worked in Bitinstant and owned Satoshi Dice.

8. Tone Vays – @ToneVays

Who is he?

Tone Vays is a self-styled analyst, derivatives trader & event organizer. Tone has worked on Wall Street for 10 years prior discovering Bitcoin. Since then he has been operating his YouTube Channel about the importance cryptocurrency. Tone has been featured in several Documentaries like Magic Money & Bitcoin – Beyond the Bubble and several media appearances like CNBC, RT and other prominent national TV channels.

9. John McAfee – @officialmcafee

Who is he?

Eccentric and notorious software engineer John McAfee was a British anti-virus software company magnate who famously departed from this world this year. He was a controversial figure whose lifestyle and views polarized opinions. At one point, John McAfee claimed Bitcoin would reach $1 million per coin by the end of 2020. He then went back on this thought, stating that the whole thing is a ruse.

In 2016, John McAfee became the chief executive chairman and CEO of MGT Capital Investments and expanded the industries they were involved in to include Bitcoin mining.

By 2018, McAfee had left the company and wanted to devote more of his time to cryptocurrency and has since been very involved in the cryptocurrency community.

10. Ivan on Tech – @IvanOnTech

Who is he?

Ivan On Tech operates an ‘academy’ which he claims is the worlds most comprehensive online learning platform for blockchain and crypto. He runs a YouTube channel with a decent sized following and airs his views on the market, and news and analyses from within the crypto world in vlog style.

Summary

This very wide range of people whose status ranges from multi-millionaire investors through tech geniuses to YouTube channel hosts demonstrates that the community-driven nature of crypto is one of its most appealing attributes.