By | January 1, 2022

2021 was certainly an eventful yr for the cryptocurrency trade. Many milestones had been achieved throughout the final 12 months. We noticed an inflow of institutional traders adopting crypto belongings, particularly Bitcoin, as a hedge towards inflation.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) turned a factor for celebrities and retail traders, with billions of {dollars} traded in change for various digital collectibles.

Whereas the landmark development of the trade was championed by completely different gamers, together with retail and institutional traders, in addition to blockchain builders, sure people had been extra instrumental in fostering the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies in 2021.

High 10 Influential Crypto Folks in 2021

To wrap up the yr, CryptoPotato has curated a listing of the highest 10 most influential folks within the crypto area for his or her great contributions to the expansion of the trade.

It’s necessary to notice that this record doesn’t intend to rank anybody via contribution or anything.

Samuel Bankman-Fried (SBF)

Founder and CEO,  FTX change 

Sam Bankman-Fried. Supply: CryptoPotato archives

Sam Bankman-Fried has made fierce contributions to the crypto-verse. He is likely one of the pioneers of the loving marriage between crypto and sports activities in the USA.

His change, FTX, inked a long-term partnership with American skilled basketball group Miami Warmth, which noticed the membership rename its stadium to FTX Area, and completely different crypto-related commercials displayed on the pitch screens throughout video games.

FTX additionally turned the official cryptocurrency change of Main League Baseball (MLB), giving crypto one other main push in the direction of mainstream consciousness.

In keeping with a Forbes rating, Bankman-Fried turned the world’s richest 29-year-old billionaire, with a web price of $22.5 billion. His achievement because the richest younger billionaire on the planet got here after FTX raised $450 million, placing the corporate’s valuation at an estimated $25 billion.

Michael Saylor

CEO of MicroStrategy 

Michael Saylor, Supply: CryptoPotato archives

Michael Saylor was one of many key gamers within the crypto trade in 2021. After he led his firm, MicroStrategy, into shopping for bitcoin for the primary time in August 2020, the billionaire turned one of many pioneers of institutional adoption of the crypto asset.

Saylor promoted Bitcoin all year long on his private Twitter account and even displayed his destiny within the asset by revealing that he personally owns 17,732 BTC price over $832 million on the time of writing.

Except for Saylor’s private stash, MicroStrategy has by no means missed a chance to purchase Bitcoin dips since its first buy. At the moment, the distinguished enterprise analytics platform holds 124,392 BTC price $5.8 billion, making it the primary public firm with the largest Bitcoin portfolio.

Bored Ape Yacht Membership (BAYC) Pseudonymous Builders

bayc_cover (2)

Bored Ape Yacht Membership NFTs. Supply: Twitter

Except for the huge curiosity in fungible belongings corresponding to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and Shiba Inu, the trade additionally skilled a large surge in non-fungible tokens’ recognition in 2021.

Whereas critics had been nonetheless considering NFTs had been a joke, BAYC’s pseudonymous builders confirmed the world that the asset class is price greater than a fortune. There are 10,000 BAYC NFT collections, and the most cost effective quantity {that a} dealer can get hold of for one of many collectibles is 52 ETH ($194,000).

Up to now, Bored Ape #2087 stays the costliest BAYC that has ever been offered, which went for a whopping 769 ETH ($2.9 million), and based on NFTs Avenue, the merchandise has been offered twice within the final 5 months.

Trung Nguyen

CEO of Sky Mavis and Developer of Axie Infinity   

Trung Nguyen. Supply: Vietnamnet

2021 was certainly an excellent yr for play-to-earn (P2E) gaming, due to the huge success recorded by the favored blockchain gaming mission Axie Infinity.

Regardless of not being a fan of blockchain in 2017, Trung Nguyen went on to develop probably the most disruptive P2E video games that gained traction in 2021. The recognition round it noticed the worth of its native token AXS transfer from $0.4 to $95.7 throughout the final twelve months.

Nguyen’s Sky Mavis has additionally attracted investments from notable traders this yr, together with the $150 million Sequence B funding spherical led by American enterprise capital agency Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).

Anatoly Yakovenko

Founding father of Solana 

Yakovenko. Supply: Twitter

Solana is little doubt probably the most profitable blockchain tasks in 2021, and all of it occurred due to the dedication of the group led by Anatoly Yakovenko.

Solana turned the house for decentralized software (dApp) builders following the huge community congestion that troubled Ethereum. The widespread adoption of Solana contributed to a rise in its native token SOL, and an funding of $1000 within the token in January 2021 was price $138,000 in September 2021.

In keeping with DeFi Llama, the whole worth locked (TVL) on Solana is presently at $11.41 billion. However Yakovenko believes that is solely the start. In a current unique interview with CryptoPotato, the Solana founder famous that the community will expertise great development in all ramifications, together with scalability, over the following 5 years.

Senator Cynthia Lummis

Member of the U.S. Senate 

Even politicians had been bullish on crypto in 2021. All through 2021, Senator Cynthia Lummis, who’s presently representing Wyoming in the USA Home of Senate, didn’t stop to advocate for Bitcoin’s mainstream adoption at each slightest alternative she will get.

The Republican Senator for Wyoming was a long-term Bitcoin proponent even earlier than her election into the Senate in November 2021. Per a report in October, Lummis elevated her bitcoin portfolio by between $50,000 and $100,000. The Senator has at all times aired her assist for the crypto asset whereas getting ready to counter damaging remarks made by politicians throughout the nation.

Final month, Lummis responded to feedback made by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, calling on U.S. monetary authorities to embrace the expertise as an alternative of preventing towards it.

Bobby Ong

Co-Founder and COO of Coingecko 

Bobby Ong was probably the most influential folks within the crypto area in 2021. Ong co-founded the favored cryptocurrency knowledge aggregator platform, Coingecko in 2014, and the positioning has skilled main success since then.

Bobby Ong. Supply: CoinGecko

From beginning as a two-man operation consisting of Ong and co-founder TM Lee, Coingecko grew to a group of 16 full-time staff in 2020, and the quantity elevated by 54% in 2021.

Coingecko is presently probably the most dependable cryptocurrency aggregator platforms for merchants, monitoring greater than 12,000 belongings and over 530 exchanges.

Talking to CryptoPotato in an unique interview, Ong famous that the corporate’s purpose is to drive mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies.

“10 years from now, we foresee cryptocurrencies gaining mainstream adoption and blockchain being utilized by many functions within the background with out customers even realizing it,” he mentioned.

Changpeng Zhao (CZ)

Founder and CEO of Binance

CZ, CEO of Binance

Changpeng Zhao (CZ) wants no introduction, and his function within the cryptocurrency trade can’t be overemphasized. He has been instrumental in several features of the market, from offering funding for brand new startups to providing customers a dependable platform for buying and selling greater than 700 crypto pairs.

Chase Guo, Binance Funding Director, famous in an interview this December that the change’s VC unit Binance Labs has incubated over 100 cryptocurrency tasks in additional than 25 nations since 2018.

Regardless of regulators from numerous elements of the world coming laborious on the change over working an unregistered crypto asset buying and selling platform, CZ has tried to maintain Binance away from getting sanctioned.

Binance scored main factors earlier this month when it acquired an 18% stake in personal securities change HGX whereas additionally receiving regulatory approval from authorities in Canada and Bahrain.

Francis Suarez

Mayor of Miami 

Francis Suarez at Bitcoin 2021. Supply: CryptoPotato

Francis Suarez, the Mayor of Miami, has been one of many main gamers selling the widespread adoption of Bitcoin. Suarez turned Miami right into a crypto-friendly metropolis and established a number of initiatives in a bid to get extra folks to undertake the world’s largest cryptocurrency.

After changing a proportion of Miami’s treasury reserves to Bitcoin in February, Suarez turned the primary U.S. politician to get paid in BTC. The Bitcoin-loving mayor additionally disclosed in an interview final month that some Miami residents will probably be given free bitcoins, additional granting US residents extra publicity to the asset class.

Nayib Bukele

President of El Salvador 

President Nayib Bukele

Nayib Bukele inked his identify indelibly into the pages of world historical past when he made El Salvador the primary nation to undertake Bitcoin as a authorized tender.

However President Bukele’s bullish transfer didn’t finish there. The nation has been on a bitcoin shopping for spree, growing its BTC reserve on the slightest alternative.

Except for constructing 20 Bitcoin colleges and a mining facility in El Salvador, the President has promised that the nation can even construct a metropolis that will probably be powered by the world’s largest cryptocurrency.


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