Like it or not, social media has taken greater protagonism in our lives lately. Once just a place to manage our friends and acquaintances, it’s now giving everyday people a voice–and many of these voices end up making their way into the news or even shaping it.
Not so long ago, it would have been unthinkable to have the world’s most powerful man tweeting incessantly about political matters and world leaders.
Our record Economy would CRASH, just like in 1929, if any of those clowns became President!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2019
And, let’s be honest, many of us are still somewhat bemused by Mr Tump’s ability to whack out so many tweets and still run a country.
However, Instagram, Twitter, Telegram, Reddit… love them or hate them, they can be goldmines of information. This is especially true in the cryptocurrency space that moves at such a fast pace.
Rather than wait to open up a broadsheet over a coffee, we often find out the latest developments with key companies and players off the back of a tweet.
So with that in mind, here are six crypto personalities that you should be following on Twitter if you want to stay in the loop.
1. Erik Voorhees
CEO and Co-founder of ShapeShift exchange, Libertarian Erik Voorhees has been making moves in the cryptocurrency space since the early days.
Throughout his career, he’s had run-ins with US regulators, been forced to set his company up in crypto-friendly Switzerland, and had his fair share of battles to overcome.
Many criticised his move to implement KYC to his notoriously anonymous exchange in which you could trade crypto to crypto without passing verification checks. However, Voorhees recognises that if you want to stay in business, you have to make some compromises along the way.
A fountain of knowledge about Bitcoin and a staunch believer in the eventual collapse of the fiat system Voorhees is active and vocal on Twitter.
Obvious trend is obvious… crypto, by increments, is taking over the financial world. This process will take 1-3 decades and its final form is the collapse and abandonment of fiat currency. https://t.co/VVhH8qqwXB
— Erik Voorhees (@ErikVoorhees) October 16, 2019
You can learn a lot from him about the importance of financial sovereignty and removing the power from governments.
He’s not the kind to descend into petty battles, either. You’ll find high-quality thought-provoking tweets from him that aren’t afraid to ask the hard questions.
2. Nick Szabo
Many people new to cryptocurrency incorrectly believe that it was the Ethereum blockchain that invented smart contracts. In fact, Nick Szabo first proposed the idea back in 1994.
As an American computer scientist, he invented a virtual currency called ‘Bit Gold’ a full 10 years before Bitcoin came out.
This has lead to many a rumour in the industry that Szabo is the real Satoshi Nakamoto. He’s repeatedly denied this.
He is, however, a blockchain and cryptocurrency pioneer, a Bitcoin maximalist, and an extremely knowledgeable (and outspoken) person.
Multitudes and charlatans have entered the cryptocurrency and smart contract spaces who not only lack cypherpunk sensibilities, but hate cypherpunk values, including the values such as trust minimization that give cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin their market values.
— Nick Szabo 🔑 (@NickSzabo4) October 16, 2019
He’s also very active on Twitter. Hop on over to his page on any given day and Szabo is usually involved in an active debate on how blockchain technology should be developed – and giving out his heated opinions.
The consensus protocol which caused the Bitcoin revolution happens inside thousands of computers.
"Social consensus" is completely different and is as much of a mess as it ever was.
Bitcoin wins by maximizing the role of the former and ruthlessly minimizing the latter.
— Nick Szabo 🔑 (@NickSzabo4) October 16, 2019
3. Changpeng Zhao (CZ)
Changpeng Zhao (CZ) has come from humble beginnings to be one of the most influential (and likeable) people in the cryptocurrency space.
As the CEO of Binance and orchestrator of its many innovations, you can expect to find CZ shamelessly shilling his own BNB coin and promoting Binance endeavours.
However, it’s the best place to go if you want to keep tabs on the biggest and fastest-growing player in the space. Once the most popular spot trading exchange, Binance is now killing it in crypto derivatives as well.
Apart from self-promotion, CZ puts out plenty of gems. From central banks joining the cryptocurrency race to the fact that a US Democratic presidential candidate follows him on Twitter. There’s always something there either to entertain or provide food for thought.
Central banks joining the race. Most will probably issue a blockchain-based "mostly-centralized" digital currency first. But the more decentralized/freedom-driven ones will win over time, pushing the race towards the end goal. Freedom of money!https://t.co/CDILgKD0LM
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) October 7, 2019
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) October 3, 2019
4. Vitalik Buterin
Without doubt, Ethereum’s creator Vitalik Buterin needs to be in your Twitter feed. Whatever your views on the current state of Ethereum, kudos to this extremely young and slightly oddly-dressed Russian-Canadian computer genius.
Well-known for his strong opinions and penchant for unicorns and rainbows, Vitalik is one of the most important crypto personalities of all.
On his page, you can keep track of Ethereum goings-on from the move to proof of stake and Ethereum 2.0 to the firestorm surrounding ETH DevCon earlier this month.
There’s a lot of technical information here from scaling techniques to programming languages. But you’ll also see how idealistic he is and how he genuinely wants to change the world.
Rich lists should include all money you ever donated to charity (excluding political contributions) as part of net worth. It's stupid that we give rich people free extra status just for being rich and take their status away the moment they use their money to do good. https://t.co/43Kot61hM7
— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) September 25, 2019
Vitalik never shies away from an accusation or fight either and always responds with poise and grace.
5. Meltem Demirors
Bitcoin is a male-dominated industry. Less than 5% of the industry is comprised of women. However, there are still enough intelligent and vocal female crypto personalities to be heard.
One of these is Meltem Demirors, Chief Strategy Officer at Coinshares.co.uk. She’s also a cypherpunk and hardline Bitcoin bull.
bitcoin fixes this
— Meltem Demirors (@Melt_Dem) October 12, 2019
On her page, you’ll find Meltem educating people and pushing for adoption. You’ll also see her asking some weighty questions that may make some people uncomfortable.
what is the most dystopian thing about bitcoin? what keeps you up at night?
— Meltem Demirors (@Melt_Dem) October 16, 2019
6. Peter Todd
As a former Bitcoin Core developer, Peter Todd is one of the most knowledgeable cryptographers in the space. He’s also one of the most vocal crypto personalities, regularly purporting the values of financial privacy.
The simple reality is surveillance by those with power is a much greater danger to all of us – children and adults – than it can be used for good.
We need encryption. We need financial privacy. It _will_ be used for bad things. But absolute power is used for _much_ worse.
— Peter Todd (@peterktodd) October 16, 2019
He’s not an uncontroversial figure, though. You’ll frequently find Todd involved in some kind of argument on his Twitter account.
Most notably, calling Ethereum a “scam” recently for being dishonest about the capabilities of blockchain.
Ethereum is *worse* than Fenton's definition of a scam.
Pure scams that just take money and run are less dangerous to society than ETH style dishonesty. The former are obviously bad; the latter corrode the morals of those around it.
ETH makes neutral people turn bad. https://t.co/tFsmO4yKoy
— Peter Todd (@peterktodd) October 10, 2019
7. Anthony Pompliano
Co-founder & Partner at Morgan Creek Digital and an outspoken Bitcoin bull, Anthony Pompliano (Pomp) is one of the most influential crypto personalities today.
His Twitter account almost seems manned around the clock. Pomp provides knowledge and a constant source of hopeful tweets to inspire and encourage Bitcoin enthusiasts.
This Friday the 18 millionth Bitcoin will be mined.
There are only #3MillionLeft
Let’s make this hashtag trend so the world can learn about Bitcoin 🔥
— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) October 15, 2019
He also hosts his own podcast called Off the Chain in which he continues the dialogue with key people in the space.
Wrapping it up
Of course, this is just a handful of the many crypto personalities that you should follow on Twitter. Who you decide to follow will depend on what coins you’re interested in, what projects you like, and whether you want to engage in the drama of frenzied tweetstorms or prefer to learn from more serious mentors.