The year 2021 has been one of the most exciting in the history of cryptocurrency.
Crypto has fluctuated and thrived in such a way that investors have cashed out and the community has grown in size, with more people embracing digital assets than ever before.
Influencers, celebrities and industry investors have grown to love cryptocurrency, but NFTs and DAOs. Likewise, some countries warmed up to cryptocurrency with El Salvador making Bitcoin a legal tender. On the other hand, other countries swung their sword at cryptocurrency.
Today, cryptocurrency has more value than it did a year ago, let alone in the last decade. In 2021, the fallen crypto market saw the growth it deserved and Bitcoin’s price hit its all-time high of US$60,000 with the total cryptocurrency market cap crossing the preUS$1.5 trillion mark.
While the cryptocurrency ecosystem is still developing and evolving, many notable personalities have played and continue to play a key role in its mainstream adoption. Let’s find out the top five most influential cryptocurrency people including business leaders, and why crypto is greatly influenced by a network of individuals and a culture of people.
How and why is cryptocurrency influenced by individuals?
Generally, cryptocurrency can gain value on exchange platforms. It increases in value based on supply and demand. The supply of a cryptocurrency depends on how many new coins are being mined and how many current owners want to sell their coins. But prominent individuals can influence reactions to cryptocurrency.
Crypto influencers exert greater influence on the community than many from other domains. This is, in a way, due to the fact that not many people are openly willing to evangelise crypto, fearing regulatory action. But the ones that do control the sentiments of a majority of the community.
Elon Musk is probably the alpha influencer in the crypto world. Musk is key to the volatility story in May 2021 and the overall story of ups and downs of cryptocurrency value.
Now, why is cryptocurrency influenced by individuals? There are many industry influencers who have the right knowledge and educate their followers using their platforms. This set of people spreads the idea of cryptocurrency and converts people to crypto users/evangelists.
Influencers such as the late John McAfee, Anthony Pompliano, Vitalik Buterin, Roger Ver, among others change how people see cryptocurrency. Every industry has its influencers. People make people and things move. We cannot take out the factor of people from cryptocurrency.
Top 5 most influential cryptocurrency people of 2021
- Vitalik Buterin: Valik Buterin is Ethereum’s co-founder and one of the world’s youngest crypto billionaires. Known for his work in Ethereum, Buterin has also been involved in the Bitcoin community as a writer and developer. Buterin has been named the most influential person in crypto for 2021, according to Time magazine.
- Michael Saylor: Michael Saylor is the founder, chairman, and CEO at MicroStrategy, enterprise analytics and mobility software company (the largest business intelligence company that is publicly traded), which invested $425 million in Bitcoin as a safer alternative to gold and bonds. He also created Saylor Academy – a free online education platform – and wrote “The Mobile Wave: How Mobile Intelligence Will Change Everything”.
- Sam Bankman-Fried; with a net worth of US$8.7 billion, the 29-year-old MIT graduate is the founder of Alameda Research and FTX exchange. He is the wealthiest crypto billionaire to date. In 2020, he donated US$5 million to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and made headlines.
- Changpeng Zhao: Changpeng Zhao is CEO of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, launched in 2015. He was number three on the Forbes 2018 list of The Richest People in Cryptocurrency. Prior to this, he was Head of Development at Blockchain and Chief Technology Officer of OK Coin. He also developed trading software at Bloomberg and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
- Barry Silbert: Barry Silbert is the Founder and CEO of the pivotal blockchain company Digital Currency Group, parent company of CoinDesk, Grayscale, Genesis, Foundry, and Luno. Prior to this, he was the founder and CEO of SecondMarket (acquired by NASDAQ). He was Crain’s and Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year and appeared on Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list. In 2021, Silbert continues to drive crypto adoption as institutions increasingly join the now $1 trillion cryptocurrency market.
In conclusion, the role of influencers in continually fertilising the ground for the growth of cryptocurrency is a component that cannot be removed. Cryptocurrency is based on a community and in every community, there are knowledgeable leaders who guide and sway the opinions of people toward certain concepts.
Influencers have been the go-to channel for any product or service working on cryptocurrencies. The major industry influencers are shaping up people’s convictions in the cryptocurrency industry and that’s how it should be. Surely, it has its risks as some influencers could be misleading enough to cause negative volatility.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.