Learn Cryptocurrency
1 Feb 2022

2021’s Most Influential People in Crypto

Akumbenla Jamir

Crypto as an asset class is not in the nascent stage anymore. Not after the outstanding year, it had in 2021. The entire cryptocurrency industry saw a surge in almost every aspect – from Bitcoin and Ethereum hitting an all-time high to the adoption of NFTs becoming mainstream. In fact, 2021 could be considered the year of NFTs, with many high profile celebrities joining the NFT bandwagon.

In addition, meme coins like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu took the crypto market by storm, redefining crypto traders’ take on them.

Also, in 2021, for the first time, seven crypto billionaires entered the Forbes’ 400 list, with a combined fortune of $55 billion.

Of course, the crypto market fluctuated several times too, but that is expected considering the volatile nature of the market. Besides, occasionally, the market fluctuated due to certain people. (If you ask who these personalities were, you ‘Musk’ take a guess.

It is these people that this article is about. Like every aspect of the 21st century, the crypto industry has influencers too – including celebrities, tech giants, industry leaders, and artists. They flaunt their support for digital currencies and endorse them through social media. These crypto influencers significantly impact the investor community – more than other tech influencers from other industries.

How Do Individuals Influence Cryptocurrency?

If cryptocurrencies are decentralized, one may wonder, how is it that individuals influence them? For starters, it has to do with the fact that cryptocurrencies as a class asset are new compared to other forms of investment. They have been around only for a decade, so people who have limited knowledge about the basic functioning of cryptocurrencies need guidance. That’s where industry experts come in. Industry influencers who have the right knowledge can and do use their platform to educate their followers.

With their experience and greater access to information, they direct crypto enthusiasts and newbies. Of course, there is no right and wrong direction in crypto investments, but with the overdose of information available on the internet, getting news verified from a credible source like crypto influencers counts for something.

Every industry has its influencers. And crypto influencers, such as Elon Musk, Jack Forsey, Vitalik Buterin, and Sam Bankman-Fried, among others, change how people see cryptocurrency.

Here’s a list of the top eight most influential people in crypto in 2021:

Samuel Bankman-Fried (SBF)

Founder and CEO of FTX exchange 

Samuel Bankman-Fried has made significant contributions in the cryptocurrency space. In 2019, Bankman-Fried founded FTX, a cryptocurrency and derivatives exchange that has quickly grown to become the sixth-largest exchange by volume, with a valuation of $3.5 billion. He is one of the pioneers of the crypto-sports collaboration. FTX signed a long-term deal with Miami Heat, after which the team’s stadium was renamed FTX Arena. It also became the official cryptocurrency exchange of Major League Baseball (MLB), giving crypto another major push towards the mainstream.

With a net worth of $22.5 billion, Sam Bankman-Fried has become the richest crypto billionaire. According to Forbes, he is the richest billionaire under 30 since Mark Zuckerberg.

Michael Saylor

CEO of MicroStrategy

Michael Saylor has been one of the key players in the crypto industry in 2021. MicroStrategy bought Bitcoins for the first time in August 2020, becoming one of the pioneers of institutional adoption of the crypto asset.

Saylor’s support for Bitcoin is visible through his Twitter account. He has also revealed that he owns 17,732 BTC.

Since its first purchase, MicroStrategy has never missed an opportunity to buy Bitcoin dips. The prominent business analytics platform currently holds 124,392 BTC, worth $5.8 billion, making it the public company with the biggest Bitcoin portfolio.

Elon Musk

CEO of Tesla Motors

Elon Musk is the Paris Hilton of the crypto space, and he is considered the original influencer of the crypto community. Anyone familiar with cryptocurrency has heard of Elon Musk. With 69.9 million followers on Twitter, his tweets influence the crypto market like decentralization of crypto is a joke.

His tweets have influenced certain coins so much that the “Musk effect” has become a term in the crypto space. In February 2021, Elon Musk announced that Tesla bought Bitcoins worth $1.5 billion, which made the value of cryptos rise by 20% on the day. And this is just one of the many examples. 

Claiming to be the Dogefather, Musk helped Dogecoin reach the position it is in today.

Crypto influencers

Nayib Bukele

President of El Salvador 

El Salvador became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender under the presidentship of Nayib Bukele. This bold move, along with Bukele’s pro-crypto initiatives, has put El Salvador on the crypto map. What’s more, the country has been on a Bitcoin (BTC) buying spree, adding to its BTC reserves whenever possible. El Salvator’s most recent purchase of 21 BTC on 21 December 2021 brings the total amount owed by the country to 1,391 BTC.

Aside from building 20 Bitcoin schools and a mining facility in El Salvador, Nayib Bukele has also announced plans to build an oceanside “Bitcoin City” at the base of a volcano.

Vitalik Buterin

Co-Founder of Ethereum

Just the fact that he is the co-founder of Ethereum, one of the top cryptocurrencies by market cap, puts Vitalik Buterin on the radar of the most influential people in crypto. He is also one of the world’s youngest crypto billionaires, well-known for his groundbreaking work in Ethereum. Not just that, he has also contributed to the Bitcoin community as a writer and developer. Buterin co-founded and served as the lead writer for Bitcoin Magazine, widely regarded as the first publication dedicated solely to cryptocurrency.

Changpeng Zhao (CZ)

Founder and CEO of Binance

Changpeng Zhao, aka CZ, launched Binance in July 2017. Binance has since grown into the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange for retail investors. CZ has come a long way – from flipping burgers while studying at McGill University in Montreal to being one of the most influential people in crypto. He has played a key role in the crypto market, providing funding for new startups and giving users a reliable platform to trade over 700 crypto pairs.

Jack Dorsey

Co-Founder of Twitter, and Square

Jack Dorsey needs no introduction. He is the co-founder and former CEO of Twitter and the guy that tweeted the first-ever tweet. He also founded Square, an emerging finance and payments service.

Some people call Jack Dorsey Silicon Valley’s leading Bitcoin evangelist. Dorsey has commented on the crypto industry on several occasions as a supporter of Bitcoin, its technology, and its ecosystem. Many follow his Bitcoin advocacy because he is a powerful voice in the technology industry.

Fun fact: Jack Dorsey’s first tweet, “just setting up my twttr”, was sold as a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) for over $2.9 million in ETH. Dorsey immediately converted the funds to BTC.

Buy crypto with just ₹100!

The Crypto Community 

Yes, we are talking about all of us – anyone who has contributed to the growth of the crypto industry in one way or the other. Each of us made it to the list too!

We keep saying that 2021 was the year for crypto because it really was. Venture capital funds poured a record $30 billion into crypto investments in 2021, higher than the previous high of $8 billion in 2018. There were many developments in the crypto space from financial services, art, NFTs, Web 3.0, and decentralized social media to play-to-earn. In addition, El Salvador became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender. And Barbados became the first country to launch its virtual embassy Decentraland (MANA). 2021 ended with a bang, with big brands and companies floating to the metaverse.

So, to all those who were part of this journey: pat yourself on the back, because the crypto market flourished with your contributions, and you belong on the top of this list – among all the other most influential people in crypto.

If you think we missed someone who deserves to be on our list, please let us know in the comments section, and we promise to return with part two.

Disclaimer : Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions. The information provided in this post is not to be considered as investment/financial advice from CoinSwitch. Any action taken upon the information shall be at user's own risk.

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Akumbenla Jamir

Content Writer

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