Influential Figures in the Cryptocurrency Market

Influential Figures in the Cryptocurrency Market

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While some dismiss digital assets as scams, others worship the market as a dominant investment vehicle. However, one thing is for sure: the cryptocurrency market is here to stay.

Since launching into the mainstream in 2009, several influential and prominent individuals have shaped the crypto market’s path, influencing investor sentiment and, by extension, its price action.

So, the team at FP Markets thought it was about time to dig into some of these figures and take a look at these very important individuals. If these people are shaping the future trajectory of crypto, then it is only right that you know who they are and their influence on the market.

Satoshi Nakamoto

Though the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto remains unknown, the mysterious character claims to be the creator behind Bitcoin, which, as most know, is the largest digital asset by market capitalisation. Some claim Elon Musk is Satoshi Nakamoto, though Musk has flatly denied this.

In late 2008, Nakamoto released a white paper titled: ‘Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’. This eight-page document demonstrated the fundamental structure of the Bitcoin network, marking the beginning of the digital currency age.

Despite remaining anonymous, Nakamoto’s name carries an unquestionable influence. The mere existence of a functional digital currency, free from central control, sparked a global conversation about decentralised finance and the potential of blockchain technology. Even today, significant developments related to Bitcoin's core protocol validate Nakamoto's vision, potentially impacting the entire market.

Elon Musk

Tesla and X (formerly Twitter) CEO Elon Musk is a prominent figure with a huge global voice.

Cryptocurrency is a topic Musk often speaks about, particularly Bitcoin (BTC) and Dogecoin (DOGE).

Musk purchased approximately US$1.5 billion in Bitcoin in February 2021 and said that Tesla would begin accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment. This saw the price of Bitcoin surge to new highs. However, in May 2021, Tesla stopped Bitcoin payments for its products, citing fossil fuel concerns, causing Bitcoin to fall an eye-popping 40%. His relationship with Bitcoin has been somewhat of a rollercoaster, yet when Musk comments on the crypto, the price of Bitcoin can see sizeable price movements.

For Dogecoin, Musk first commented on X that Doge was his ‘favourite’ cryptocurrency in 2019 and even went as far as to say that it ‘felt like the people’s crypto’ in 2021. Among other drivers, this helped support a huge surge in the price of Dogecoin in 2021. However, this ended abruptly in 2021 as Elon Musk jokingly said that Dogecoin was ‘just a hustle’. As you can imagine, this caused the price of Doge to tumble from its all-time high of $0.7376, a level which remains unchallenged as of writing and has remained mainly in a downtrend since then.

The Winklevoss Twins

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, or the Winklevoss Twins, are undoubtedly what many refer to as one of the current ‘crypto whales’. These individuals or organisations have sizeable holdings in major cryptocurrencies and, therefore, can affect liquidity and price action. With the Winklevoss twins estimated to own 70,000 BTC, the buying and selling activity of the pair can influence the price of Bitcoin dramatically.

Widely recognised for their involvement in Facebook, the Winklevoss twins were early adopters of Bitcoin and successfully co-founded the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange. Their net worth was estimated at over US$1.3 billion each in early 2024.

Changpeng Zhao

Changpeng Zhao (or ‘CZ’) is a widely known figure in the cryptocurrency market, recognised for launching Binance in July 2017. According to the number of users, market share, and volume, Binance is the world's largest and one of the most influential cryptocurrency exchange platforms.

While Zhao’s influence in the crypto space has been undeniable, 2024 witnessed him plead guilty to violating anti-money laundering laws at Binance and was sentenced to four months in prison in April this year. Therefore, he has since stepped down as the CEO of Binance, although he still retains majority ownership.

This is the second high-profile sentencing following Sam Bankman-Fried being sentenced to 25 years in prison in early April after being found to have stolen billions from his customers at FTX before the cryptocurrency exchange failed.

Vitalik Buterin

Co-founder of Ethereum (ticker: ETH) in 2013, which, behind BTC, is the second largest crypto by market capitalisation and the world’s youngest cryptocurrency billionaire at 27, Vitalik Buterin is one of the market’s leading personalities.

Buterin's vision for Ethereum as a platform for building decentralised applications (dApps) has led to innovation in the space. Buterin’s technical expertise is highly respected within the crypto community. Any updates or announcements from Buterin regarding Ethereum's development roadmap can significantly impact the market value of Ethereum and other blockchain projects built on its platform.

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Source - database | Page ID - 40309

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