This year has been a year of restructuring and transformation for the crypto asset (virtual currency) industry. After the 2022 scandals involving FTX, Three Arrows Capital, Celsius Network, and others, crypto asset prices have fallen and the industry has gone into lock-down mode, with a lack of development, reform, and compliance issues. I put effort into improving.
Regulators have gone on the offensive, launching large-scale investigations into companies such as Coinbase, Binance, and Kraken. Long-term and potentially high-stakes lawsuits, such as Ripple’s battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the sale of XRP, have come to an end.
A year of transformation and expectations for next year
As the year draws to a close, the outlook for the industry appears to be clearer. When Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty of massive securities fraud in November, everyone, supporters and critics alike, was ready to move on. The industry is looking forward to future regulatory clarification, with several bills being introduced in the U.S. Congress and comprehensive regulations under MiCA, which will cover 450 million users, scheduled to go into effect in Europe.
As of this writing, Bitcoin (BTC) prices have more than doubled since the same time last year, and many other crypto assets are also rising.
Traditional finance (TradFi) is taking digital assets more seriously than ever before, engaging in staking and tokenization of real-world assets (RWA) more than ever before.
Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are likely to be approved as early as next year, bringing millions more people into the crypto market and finally bringing the industry into the mainstream. .
CoinDesk’s “Most Influential People in Crypto” series profiles 50 people who we believe have defined key stories and themes to inform what crypto will look like in 2023.
*Click here for the list of 50 people (in English).
As you might expect, we feature many people active in the fields of regulation, legislation, and policy advocacy. For example, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler is in the top 10, as is Ryan Selkis, CEO of Messari, who became a leading voice for crypto assets in Washington, D.C. this year. .
Also, Casey Rodarmor, who brought data subscriptions (and digital collectives) to Bitcoin and is the creator of the controversial Ordinals Theory, launches Layer 2 “Base” and is powerful in derivatives. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, who made the move, and Jose Fernández da Ponte, who led fintech giant PayPal’s Ethereum-based USD-pegged stablecoin initiative, Jose Fernandez da Ponte) also made it into the top 10.
Similarly, Tether’s new CEO Paolo Ardoino has led arguably the most successful crypto asset (after Bitcoin) despite criticism of its stablecoin business. He was selected for his resilience.
Integration with advancing TradFi
The list also includes names from a wide range of industry subsectors, from NFTs and DeFi (decentralized finance) to hardware and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). The list is a mix of familiar names, like Ledger CEO Pascal Gauthier, and newcomers from TradFi, reflecting the growing convergence between the two. .
BlackRock CEO and Chairman Larry Fink, who once opposed Bitcoin, is now joining other Wall Street financial giants in launching a Bitcoin ETF. It was selected because of this.
CoinDesk’s Ian Allison also scooped the balance sheet fraud at Alameda Research, which was run by Bankman-Fried, and the collapse of FTX and Bankman-Fried. He was selected for his role in creating the impetus for the trial. Although no one may have believed it before, journalists have become crypto influencers this year.
CoinDesk commissioned 10 original artworks from 10 top artists for this series.
This year marks the 10th year that CoinDesk has released a list of the most influential people who moved crypto assets that year. Looking back, many people from previous lists still maintain their reputations.
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin appears on the list three times, as does Balaji Srinivasan, a prominent crypto intellectual. Blythe Masters, Theymos and Adam Ludwin, who were elected in 2015 and 2016, have been keeping a low profile these days.
I realize that the list won’t satisfy everyone. There are many people who could have been selected this year, but were not. Please forgive me on that.
The Most Influential People series is, above all, about industry trends and themes (and the people associated with those themes). It can never be exhaustive of actual influence. This is meant to be a snapshot, not a ranking. Other than choosing the top 10, I don’t put any order on the names, and they are generally sorted randomly.
｜Translation and editing: Akiko Yamaguchi, Takayuki Masuda
｜Image: NFT image of Casey Rodermo, the creator of “Ordinals” (Rhett Mankind)
｜Original text: Introducing Most Influential 2023