The cryptosphere is filled with daring and amazing people. The transformation that has occurred in the past decade has been nothing short of revolutionary, and it has been powered by some of the most creative and innovative minds on the planet. Here at Freewallet we wanted to share with you a list of some of the people whom we look to for inspiration and insight.
We considered a number of criteria when putting this list together. The cryptosphere and blockchain space are always evolving, and so it was important for us to not only consider past achievements but also future significance. If you are just getting involved in crypto, or have been here for some time but want to delve a little deeper, these are the names you should know going forward.
Nick Szabo is a legendary figure in the cryptoverse. A computer scientist and legal scholar, Szabo played a crucial role in the early development and expansion of blockchain technology. In 1996 Szabo came up with the idea of “smart contracts,” which now many consider to be the cornerstone of the Ethereum network, and followed that with a paper on “Bit Gold,” a prospective online currency that would remove the need for “third-trusted parties,” considered by many to be an early Bitcoin prototype.
What Szabo saw in those early years has largely come to fruition. He quite correctly identified centralization, in the form of “third-trusted parties”, as both costly and a security risk, and, in the past decade, the crypto movement has both established and expanded the decentralized space he put forth in his papers. Likewise, his idea of “smart contracts” brought the philosophically evergreen “social contract” question into the internet era, and in doing so helped to define and protect the rights of individuals around the world.
Now Nick Szabo stays out of the fray for the most part but weighs in on issues when he feels it necessary. He runs a seldom updated, but always interesting,blog, which is a must-read for people who want to explore the intellectual scaffolding of the blockchain.
In our eyes, people should read and keep track of Szabo not just because he can be used as a crypto weathervane, but because his thought lies at the heart of the whole movement, and has elucidated what this is all really about. Crypto is not a get rich quick scheme; the blockchain and the cryptosphere are means of reasserting and protecting the sovereignty of the individual, regardless of who you are or where you live, at a time when that protection and assertion are sorely needed.
These days Twitter is flooded with people claiming to be crypto experts. Most are out for publicity and a quick buck, but, if you can separate the wheat from the chaff, there are a number of insightful voices that you can learn from. One of those voices is Crypto Yoda.
Crypto Yoda is a master of crypto analytics. In the first post on his blog, explaining why he is going to start offering his trading advice, Yoda wrote, “the one who is able to neutrally observe himself will grow, the one who fails to do so will suffer.” This is something of a mantra of his, and he channels it in his investing strategy.
Yoda’s trading philosophy can be summed up as “reals over feels,” as he tries to observe the market from the most neutral point of view possible and then make decisions from that perspective. His twitter feed is flooded with charts and he is well known for having used his research to accurately predict market changes.
It is Yoda’s rejection of emotionalism in market projection that has allowed him to stand out from the more hype-driven analysts that are ubiquitous in the cryptosphere and become a trusted name. Followers of Crypto Yoda may not always get a pretty picture of where things stand or where they are going, but they know they can trust that the information they get is backed up by solid research and rational thought.
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss
The inclusion of the Winklevoss twins on this list may come as something of a surprise. The Winklevosses are famous for the role they played in the development of Facebook during the dawn of the dot-com era. However, their story didn’t end with Facebook and now they are major investors in crypto and have a project that could transform the entire market.
The Winklevosses got started by developing Gemini, which became the world’s first licensed crypto exchange. Following their success with Gemini, the twins started working on a bitcoin-backed Exchange-Traded Fund for Wall Street. The idea behind the project is to get some of the weight of Wall Street behind crypto to speed up crypto’s development and give it more space to grow into via existing financial institutions.
As of now, the SEC has postponed approval for the EFT a few times. The Winklevosses’ proposal has garnered significant attention in the media and has even driven some to speculate that, should the proposal be approved, it will shake the bearish market out of its slump. In any case, what plays out here will have pronounced reverberations throughout the industry.
Brad Garlinghouse has a long and storied business history prior to his becoming CEO of Ripple. Author of the famous “Peanut Butter Manifesto” at Yahoo!, Garlinghouse has had major roles at some of the biggest companies in the world. As evinced by his manifesto, Garlinghouse’s business philosophy is centered upon innovation and the maximization of potential.
More recently, Garlinghouse has brought his drive to innovate to Ripple and the crypto community as a whole. For Garlinghouse, the technology behind crypto should not be roped off in its own special area with restricted use. He sees the blockchain space as the inevitable realm of future business. The technology behind blockchain and cryptocurrency is capable of opening up banking and consumer breakthroughs that the market is waiting for.
Following Garlinghouse’s twitter is a good way of learning how blockchain is expanding out into avenues previously held by traditional financial institutions. Rather than approaching traditional institutions with hostility, he tries to work with them to improve what they can offer.
Garlinghouse has spoken about his mission of realizing the “internet of value,” where value is exchanged at the same rate as information is on the internet today. Crypto is the key to this realization, and, as things progress, Garlinghouse is a must follow.
Andreas Antonopoulos is a best-selling author and crypto expert best known for his enlightening lectures on cryptocurrency and the blockchain. Antonopoulos established himself as a serious name in the industry when he released his book,Mastering Bitcoin, in 2014.
In addition to the new book he is writing about Ethereum, Antonopoulos is a Teaching Fellow at the University of Nicosia and serves on the Oversight Committee for the Bitcoin Reference Rate at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Reading Antonopoulos’ work and listening to his lectures is a good way of both expanding your knowledge of blockchain technologies and how they work, and getting a sense of where the industry is heading.