The Top 11 Interesting Crypto Personalities You (Never) Heard Of

Vinny Lingham
@vinnylingham

Vinny Lingham

Known for highly accurate Bitcoin price predictions, Vinny Lingham is a well-known South African entrepreneur. He is the founder of both Gyft, a popular mobile gift card app, and Civic, a blockchain startup that encrypts identity information. He is presently trying to make a high-tech startup hub and appearing as a judge on Shark Tank South Africa.

Lingham’s latest Bitcoin prognostication: “If the Bitcoin ETF is approved this week, the bear market will probably end. I think there is < 20% chance of the approval happening, but it certainly would be a very bullish signal.” Finally, he believes technology bear markets are healthy, noting that they separate “the tourists from the locals. It’s like when a hurricane hits – the locals stay behind and rebuild stronger and better infrastructure, and when the tourists come back, things just seem a lot more expensive and they don’t know why!” His most recent publication is “Bitcoin: Commodity, Store of Value or Digital Currency?

Charlie Shrem
@charlieshrem

Charlie Shrem

Charlie Shrem is a well-known bitcoin advocate and co-founder of the Bitcoin Foundation. In late 2014, he was sentenced for nearly two years for his work with the Silk Road marketplace (operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business). As he was wearing a GPS monitoring device, he was only imprisoned half that time.

You might recognize him from The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin, a documentary about bitcoin and its origins. At present, he is seeking to create a Dash debit card for US cryptocurrency users. In the meantime, he regularly speaks at bitcoin industry events and is now director of business and community development at Jaxx. He recently discussed the future of cryptocurrency in a sit-down interview (video).

Peter Todd
@peterktodd

Peter is a well-known open-source developer for Bitcoin who advocates for more effective cryptocurrency governance. Earlier this year he gained attention for his very pointed criticisms about the Lightning Network, calling it highly vulnerable (since written in the C programming language) and prone to crashing. However, as this article notes, he has been somewhat less critical about the technology lately.

Reviewing his tweets, I came across this insight “If you can’t post technical blueprints to guns, banning technical blueprints to crypto too doesn’t seem far-fetched.” At present, he serves as an applied cryptography consultant. You can view his many posts at https://petertodd.org/

Adam Back
@adam3us

Adam Back

As the inventor of Hashcash, Adam Back has been instrumental in promoting anti-spam software. Hashcash uses a proof of work protocol – thus ensuring that spammers incur a small cost whenever they send spam (spammers presently bear no costs for sending out mass emails). The company is currently making plans to aid blockchain adoption in small countries.

Back and his Hashcash protocol were cited in Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper as being an influence on his proof of work protocol, as explained in this Coincentral article). Back currently serves as the CEO of Blockstream, a company developing protocols or blockchain developers. Not incidentally, Blockstream was profiled in How Blockstream is scaling up Bitcoin-related technologies.

Joseph Lubin
@ethereumJoseph

Joseph Lubin is a co-founder of both Ethereum and the non-profit Ethereum Foundation. He also founded a blockchain app development firm called ConsenSys. If that name sounds familiar, its because the firm hosted a well-attended and highly publicized crypto conference in New York earlier this year. Consensys is launching an Ethereum developer training program to support a One Million Arab Coders initiative by the Dubai Futures Foundation.

In his most recent video interview, Lubin discusses the scalability challenges facing Ethereum. He also makes frequent appearances on Bloomberg TV, explaining this month why Bitcoin bubbles are good for business. He notes that “People are rushing in because they see the promise of the technology. But then, we build more fundamental infrastructure, we see a correction, and the potential gets even more impressive… I absolutely expect that there is a strong correlation between the rise in price and the growth of fundamental infrastructure in the ecosystem.”

Gav Wood
@gavofyork

Gavin Wood

Gav Wood was the Ethereum CTO for nearly the first two years of its existence, being responsible for its design, development and final release. Today he is the founder of Parity Technologies, a company working with the developer community to create an open-source tech stack for the emerging decentralized Web 3. He is also co-founder of Grid Singularity, a new attempt at creating a decentralized energy management platform.

He appears to be keeping a low profile in 2018, except for recent comments regarding Berlin’s cryptocurrency scene, stating that “The Berlin mentality is ready to try anything, distrustful of authority and success and yet warm to the unfamiliar and gritty. Google stay away: Berlin will not dance to any tune, but its own.”

Da Hongfei
@dahongfei
Da Hongfei is a co-founder of NEO, a smart contracts platform that is seeking to compete with Ethereum. He recently answered several questions via a Reddit AMA (As Me Anything). Not incidentally, Hongfei is also CEO of OnChain, a blockchain technology firm working with the Chinese government to create national blockchain technology standards. As such, he has tremendous influence in the Chinese blockchain industry.

Hongfei recently spoke out in favor of additional cryptocurrency regulation, noting that “Blockchain is meant to be transparent, but the trading on the exchanges is not very transparent. I do believe there are manipulations of the price of different tokens these days and there are no regulations right now,” he said. “So I believe if it’s regulated there will be less fraud and ponzi schemes and it will bring the mainstream financial institutions on board so we can do real business on the blockchain. [And] if there is a public blockchain that is compliance ready, it will eliminate regulatory uncertainty.”

This article provides more information on Da Hongfei. Or you can watch him introduce himself to audiences in this video.

Marek Palatinus
@slushcz

The Trezor

Marek Palatinus (nickname Slush) is CEO at Satoshi Labs, a company that has developed TREZOR and several other well-known Bitcoin products. Although bullish on bitcoin, he remains hesitant about embracing Ethereum, noting on Twitter that “Writing smart contract is like launching a rocket to Mars rather than building a web app for your new startup. This article sums up why I’m so half-hearted to existing smart contract platform.”

Rong Cheng

Rong Chen is founder and CEO of Elastos, an attempt to create a smart web where “decentralized applications are detached from the internet.” An operating system run by distributed nodes if you will. His alternative internet project has been 18 years in the making, since before the blockchain even existed. Earlier this year he wrote about the history of the internet and its problematic evolution. Chinese-based Elastos is now collaborating with NEO to make this internet a reality. He recently gave a video interview explaining Elastos.

Elizabeth Stark
@starkness

Elizabeth Stark

Elizabeth is the founder of Lightning Labs, the company responsible for developing Lightning. Lightning is a second layer blockchain protocol that enables fast payment transactions between nodes, a technology frequently perceived as the bitcoin’s scalability solution. She recently discussed the Lightning Network in a sit-down interview with Bitcoin Magazine. Stark is also heavily involved in advocacy, being a key organizer in the anti-SOPA movement and co-founder of the Open Video Alliance

Alexander Tapscott
@alextapscott

Along with his well-known father Don Tapscott, Alexander Tapscott is co-author of “Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World. He is also CEO of blockchain investment firm NextBlock. The Cryptonomist recently interviewed him for an article entitled “Permissioned Systems Will Become More Isolated.”  Besides being a prolific speaker and writer, he currently advises Canadian government agencies about blockchain technology.

These 11 crypto-personalities are intended to provide a glimpse of the creative innovation currently underway within the blockchain industry. Although the bear market continues, the industry is far from grinding to a halt. Quite the contrary, the professionals above are betting their very futures that blockchain technology will meet its promises.

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About John Potter

Copy Manager for XTRABYTES' Marketing Department since October 2017 (and XBY hodler since June 2017). John's earned degrees include an MBA, MA , and MLIS. Connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn via [email protected]

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