One of the best ways to get the inside scoop on what’s going on in the cryptosphere is to follow the world’s leading cryptocurrency experts on social media. Here’s a look at some of the biggest names worth following.
In addition to offering interesting behind-the-keyboard insights related to cryptocurrency, many of the coders working on emerging cryptocoins are surprisingly entertaining.
Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin now has nearly 800,000 followers. Part of his rise to Twitter superstardom may have to do with the fact that the price of ether skyrocketed last year. In addition, his reputation for dropping witty observations like this one has likely helped him gain notoriety:
“Traditional attitude: I only trust it’s real if I can physically touch it with my own bare hands. 21st century computer geek attitude: I only trust it’s real if I can verify the cryptographic proofs with my own bare hands.”
Daniel Larimer– the mind behind BitShares, Steemit and EOS– is another must-follow cryptocurrency developer. This year, Forbes estimated that Larimer owned more than 600 million dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency assets.
In 2015, Gizmodo theorized that Satoshi Nakamoto– the anonymous creator of bitcoin– may in fact be cypherpunk legend Nick Szabo. Szabo is credited for pioneering smart contract technology and he also proposed a precursor to bitcoin called bitgold.
“Giant companies are the security holes of capitalism. The more centralized industries get, the more they attract socialist political activists. The Bolshevik Revolution was a violent version of this vs. railroad stations, newspapers, etc. Now activism is focused on tech giants.”
Like Nick Szabo, Bitcoin Core lead developer and Bitcoin Foundation founder Gavin Andresen is sometimes fingered as possibly being the true identity of the Satoshi Nakamoto alias.
“Sometimes I’m dumb. Sometimes I pretend to be dumb. Sometimes I pretend I was pretending; plausible deniability!”
Lightning CEO Elizabeth Stark is a Fellow at Coin Center, the leading digital currency policy organization. She previously lectured at Stanford and Yale University about the future of the internet.
“That feeling when the Bank of International Settlements tells you to stop writing code because, well, only central banks can create money: 😂😂😂”
Riccardo Spagni is best known for creating Monero– one of the most popular privacy coins on the market today. He often uses his notoriety to spread awareness of non-legitimate cryptocurrency projects.
“Wowwwwww…how to be a total douchebag, the ICO Edition. Is this Twitter account being run by the same people that run the BitFi Twitter account?”
Jameson Lopp is an avid cypherpunk and a dedicated libertarian. He’s currently an Infrastructure Engineer at https://keys.casa and he also runs a number of popular cryptocurrency related blogs.
“The cost of maintaining one’s privacy continues to rise as the cost of surveillance technology continues to fall. Most folks have neither the time nor the money to properly protect their privacy these days. Cypherpunks are the intolerant minority, the Spartans defending the pass.”
Jesse Powell is the outspoken CEO of Kraken, but he’s also a well-respected blockchain coder and security expert. When Mt. Gox collapsed in the wake of a devastating hack, Powell was called in to help pick up the pieces.
“Client feedback for @krakenfx: “easier to purchase a gun than buy some sh*t off your site.” — Interesting observation and perhaps says something about which is perceived to be the greater threat.”
Peter Todd is another prominent bitcoin developer. Like Jameson Lopp, he often tweets about social issues and politics.
“Being for freedom of speech is a very egalitarian viewpoint: when the average person can detect and dismiss bullshit for the good of all, free speech works. Being against that sounds like you’re saying you think the average person isn’t smart enough to think for themselves.”
Stephen Pair is the CEO of Bitpay and is an expert in the areas of computer languages, compilers, operating systems and virtual machines.
“Will electricity eventually only be sold for #bitcoin? We’ll know this is happening when miners start buying electric companies.”
Jimmy Song is a bitcoin educator, developer and entrepreneur. In January 2018, Song joined Blockchain Capital as a Venture Partner. He also runs Programming Blockchain, a for-profit school that teaches blockchain-related skills.
“Growth of a particular technological innovation around Bitcoin is like growth of a particular neighborhood in a city. Hard to predict and subject to at least some randomness. This is a good thing.”
Jed McCaleb is the co-founder and the Chief Technical Officer of Stellar.org. Before helping start up Stellar, he founded Ripple and Mt. Gox. He’s also the 40th richest person in the world, according to Forbes.
“Who the institutions are that are backing these [cryptocurrency] assets is important. You would rather have a Chase Bank dollar than a Mt Gox dollar. It’s the same in the world today: when you use PayPal, you don’t have a dollar – you have a PayPal dollar. How do you know PayPal actually has a dollar? You use institutions that are actually licensed and regulated; that have real bank accounts.”
Charlie Lee is best known for creating litecoin– a faster, less memory intensive version of bitcoin. Before getting involved in cryptocurrency, Lee worked for Google.
“There will be at most 21 million bitcoins in existence. There isn’t even enough BTC to go around for EVERY millionaire to own one. So before you buy any other coin (LTC included), try to own at least 1 BTC first. 🥅 Once you have 1 BTC, buy all the shitcoins you want! 😂”
These entrepreneurs are starting up the new cryptocurrency platforms that everyone’s talking about. Though they are generally not as witty on social media as the cryptocurrency developers mentioned above, they are good sources of information and industry news.
In 2004, Tyler Winklevoss and his brother Cameron successfully sued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for stealing their idea to create a social networking site. They used part of the money they won to invest in bitcoin and create a cryptocurrency exchange called Gemini.
Though both twins mostly stick to retweeting cryptocurrency news stories, Tyler seems to be a bit more outspoken:
“Dear @BillGates there is an easy way to short bitcoin. You can short #XBT, the @CBOE Bitcoin (USD) Futures contract, and put your money where your mouth is! cc @CNBC @WarrenBuffett.”
Brian Armstrong is the CEO and co-founder of Coinbase– one of the largest and most important cryptocurrency exchanges in the United States. He usually tweets about upcoming Coinbase features.
“Adding withdrawal based limits to Coinbase has been a big effort. Enabling buy/sell AND send/receive turns out to be a big challenge from fraud pov. Now customers have even higher limits.”
Bobby Lee founded BTCC– China’s first bitcoin exchange. He also serves on the board of Bitcoin Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes the adoption of bitcoin around the world. His Twitter feed reveals that he’s extremely bullish on bitcoin.
“I am indeed still very #bullish on #Bitcoin. Give it 4-5 years, and it’ll certainly zoom past my current #PriceTarget of USD $76,000. Maybe get there in just 2-3 years! My number of @Twitter followers is my (medium term) price target for Bitcoin.”
Controversial crypto entrepreneur Erik Voorhees opted to remain anonymous after he founded ShapeShift. He often uses Twitter to comment on political issues.
“I look forward to the day when liberty is again returned to its rightful place as the foundational principle of the United States. It is upon liberty – not nationalism, paternalism, or socialism – that a just and civil society may be built.”
Roger Ver is one of the most well-known venture capital investors in the cryptocurrency industry. He’s invested in a number of big name cryptocurrency projects, including Kraken, BitPay, Zcash and many others.
Ned Scott is perhaps best known for co-founding Steemit with Dan Larimer. Though Larimer has left the blockchain-based social media site to pursue other cryptocurrency projects, Scott continues to promote and lead the project.
Changpeng Zhao is the founder and CEO of Binance– one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. In February, Zhao was featured on the cover of Forbes and his net worth is estimated to be $1.39 billion.
Authors and Journalists
These talented writers have a knack for explaining cryptocurrency to the masses.
Andreas M. Antonopoulos
Andreas Antonopoulos is just as eloquent in his writing as he is good at coding. He’s the author of two popular cryptocurrency books: a technical tome called Mastering Bitcoin and a cryptocurrency explainer called The Internet of Money.
“If you wanted to really drive a nascent disruptive industry bananas, what better way than to persuade them that the measure of success is the fuel of the status quo? #Bitcoin”
Ryan Selkis helped found not one but two well-respected cryptocurrency news blogs: CoinDesk and Messari. On Twitter, he has a South Park style avatar and uses a witty, down-to-earth style to tweet about cryptocurrency happenings.
Alexander Tapscott helped write Blockchain Revolution with his father, Don Tapscott. In addition, he’s the CEO and founder of investment house NextBlock Global.
William Mougayar penned The Business Blockchain and he serves on the advisory board of two cryptocurrency foundations: Ethereum Foundation and Coin Center.
When Forbes wants to publish a cryptocurrency article, they call on Laura Shin to handle editing duties. She also hosts Unchained, a popular cryptocurrency podcast.
Wong Joon Ian
Wong Joon Ian got his start writing for CoinDesk before becoming Quartz’s lead reporter for cryptocurrency related stories.
“Newest crypto//early internet analogy: immutable bitcoin transactions = an email you wish you could retract.”
Oscar Williams-Grut covers cryptocurrency and fintech stories for Business Insider UK. He’s also a finalist in the beat reporting category for this year’s Gerald Loeb Awards.
Oddballs and Eccentrics
The cryptocurrency space attracts all kinds of colorful personalities. Here are some of the most compelling cryptocurrency weirdos to follow on social media.
Self-described “eccentric millionaire” earned his fortune by selling computer security software, but in recent years he’s run for president and has been a prime suspect in a Belize murder case.
“I apologize for my three day absence but I was unconscious for two days at the Vidant Medical Center in North Carolina and just woke up. My enemies maged to spike something that i ingested. However, I am more difficult to kill than anyone can possibly imagine. I am back.”
Former child actor Brock Pierce of The Mighty Ducks fame has invested in several notable cryptocurrency projects including Tether, Mastercoin and EOS. But after comedian John Oliver called him a “sleepy, creepy cowboy” and urged his audience to Google “Brock Pierce scandal,” EOS dropped him just days after the segment aired.
James Altucher has been criticized by a number of prominent blogs, including Wired, Lifehacker and Motherboard— but that doesn’t seem to stop him from pretending to be a cryptocurrency genius. In 2013, Altucher called bitcoin “a fad, or a scam, or a ponzi scheme, or worse.” Today, Altucher maintains a seemingly endless array of cryptocurrency related newsletters and websites.
“Question: I was told recently that most people look each other in the eyes when they talk. But my whole life I’ve looked at the other person’s mouth and NEVER the eyes. What do you do? Eyes or Mouth? Is something wrong with me?”
Carlos Matos on YouTube
In mid 2016, Carlos Matos appeared in a rally to support a cryptocoin called BitConnect. His over-the-top speech spawned many memes when it became clear that BitConnect was a classic Ponzi scheme later that year. He continues to promote various fitness and cryptocurrency related schemes on YouTube.