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The 4 Most Influential People in the Crypto World in 2023


  • Despite market fluctuations, top crypto influencers such as Vitalik Buterin, Chanpeng Zhao, and Elon Musk maintain their influence in the industry.
  • Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao topped the 2022 list of richest people in the crypto industry with a net worth of $65 billion.
  • Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum (ETH-USD), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, continues to contribute both technically and financially to industry development.
  • Gary Gensler, the current chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has been a significant influencer in the regulation of cryptocurrencies.
  • Elon Musk’s tweets about cryptocurrencies have caused significant price fluctuations.
Top Crypto Influencers - The 4 Most Influential People in the Crypto World in 2023

Source: Vit-Mar / Shutterstock.com

The cryptocurrency industry is one of the most technically complex and fastest-growing sectors of the global economy. It is often compared to the Wild West for its unpredictable and volatile nature. The crypto market lives by its own laws, which often differ from those of the traditional financial world. Many companies take off as fast as they go bankrupt and the capitalization of a meme token growing by 700% just because an influencer tweeted its logo. Top crypto influencers often get to the list of the wealthiest people in the world.

With a capitalization of $1.27 trillion, the crypto market today occupies more than 1% of the entire global economy. Despite digital currencies’ ups and downs, this area is still full of money. Take, for example, the Forbes list of the world’s richest crypto billionaires, which is updated annually with new faces. Even though in 2022, its members lost more than 75% of their capital, there are still nine people on the list. Some of them reached such a level of influence by owning leading crypto or blockchain companies, as in the case of Vitalik Buterin or Chanpeng Zhao, or due to high media exposure, as in the case of Elon Musk.

Chanpeng Zhao

The first place in the ranking of top crypto influencers and the richest people in crypto is still occupied by the head of the largest crypto exchange BinanceChangpeng Zhao, aka CZ. In 2022, he ranked 19th on the list of the world’s richest people, with a fortune of $65 billion.

According to the latest estimates in 2023, it is now only $10.5 billion.

Last year, Binance handled about two-thirds of all transactions processed by centralized cryptocurrency exchanges, earning more than $16 billion. Today it has more than 128 million users trading with a combined daily transaction volume of $10.7 billion.

In 2022, the 44-year-old billionaire achieved record media exposure after he announced that Binance was selling almost $600 million worth of FTT tokens due to the financial situation at FTX and Alameda Research. Many are sure that this act marked the beginning of the bankruptcy for Sam Bankman-Fried’s brainchild.

This year, Zhao also experienced difficulties — more precisely, his crypto exchange. The American division of Binance is now under serious pressure from US regulators. However, the confrontation with the authorities only adds to his influence in the market.

CZ also owns a small amount of Bitcoin (BTC-USD) and Binance’s native tokens — BNB (BNB-USD)— for an unknown amount. Going forward, Binance plans to make a major investment in the parent company that will own Forbes USA.

Vitalik Buterin

Vitalik Buterin is the owner of the famous venture capitalist Peter Thiel Award. It gave him an opportunity to focus on studying the Bitcoin cryptocurrency network and create his own network — Ethereum (ETH-USD). Today it is the second largest cryptocurrency in terms of value, with a capitalization of $250 billion. Ethereum is also the largest blockchain that runs most DeFi, NFT, and gaming-related decentralized applications.

Buterin is actively involved in developing the blockchain and the crypto industry. He works with various blue-chip companies. In 2022, his team successfully carried out the long-awaited Merge Ethereum update. The event made it possible to complete the transition from the proof-of-work blockchain consensus mechanism to proof-of-stake. On April 12, the platform successfully completed another anticipated update — Shanghai — allowing validators to withdraw staked coins.

Buterin also remains one of the richest top crypto influencers. Having once reached a net worth of $1.5 billion, he lost the billionaire status due to the market decline. Today his wealth is estimated at $300-400 million. Nevertheless, Buterin continues to contribute both technically and financially to industry development. In particular, he donated $1.14 billion worth of SHIBA Inu (SHIB-USD) coins to India’s Crypto Covid relief fund.

Gary Gensler

As the current chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler has been a significant influencer in the regulation of cryptocurrencies. Since taking office in April 2021, Gensler has emphasized the need for greater regulatory oversight of the crypto market. His initiatives included increased investor protection, clearer guidelines for exchanges and trading platforms, and more robust anti-money laundering measures. Gensler has also advocated for bringing cryptocurrencies under the SEC’s regulatory purview. He argued that many digital assets are securities and should be subject to the same rules and regulations as traditional securities.

In 2022, Gensler topped the list of those who accused the former FTX CEO of violating U.S. anti-fraud laws. Almost no company or public figure left in the industry that Gensler’s attention hasn’t graced. The largest exchanges, such as Binance, KuCoinKraken, and celebrities like Kim Kardashian, also felt the weight of his heavy hand.

This year, the head of the SEC continues trying to establish tight control over the cryptocurrency market. In particular, he requires lawmakers to make amendments to existing laws. Gensler’s stance has been met with both support and criticism in the crypto community. His actions and statements are likely to continue shaping the direction of crypto regulation in the United States and beyond.

Elon Musk

As a tech entrepreneur and highly influential global figure, Elon Musk has garnered the interest of the crypto community through his impactful tweets that caused substantial fluctuations in cryptocurrency prices, such as Bitcoin and Dogecoin (DOGE-USD). Market sentiment can be significantly swayed by his tweets mentioning cryptocurrencies, leading to both increases and decreases in their prices.

One of the most famous examples of Musk influencing the price of cryptocurrencies was his tweets about Dogecoin in 2021. In December 2020, Musk tweeted “One Word: Doge,” which caused the price of Dogecoin to increase by over 20%. He continued to tweet about Dogecoin over the next few months, including tweeting “Doge barking at the moon” in February 2021, which caused the price of Dogecoin to increase by over 50% in just a few hours. Musk’s tweets about Dogecoin have continued to affect the cryptocurrency’s price, with some of his tweets causing significant spikes and dips in the price.

Musk was also behind the manipulation of the price of another meme crypto — Shiba Inu. On May 7, 2021, Musk tweeted, “My Shiba Inu will literally eat the other crypto coins,” causing the price of SHIB to increase by over 30%. He has also tweeted several memes featuring Shiba Inu dogs and has made jokes about creating a new cryptocurrency called “Marscoin” featuring the Shiba Inu dog.

Tesla’s investment in Bitcoin and its decision to accept it as payment was seen as a significant endorsement of the cryptocurrency by a major corporation. However, Musk has also been critical of Bitcoin’s high energy consumption and carbon footprint, which has led to increased scrutiny of the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies.

With the purchase of Twitter, Musk’s impact on the crypto industry continues to grow, while his influence on the future of technology and innovation cannot be underestimated.

On the date of publication, Julia Magas did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Julia Magas is a writer who covers the latest trends in finance and technology. Her work is published in a number of financial media outlets such as Nasdaq, Cointelegraph, Investing, SeekingAlpha, FXEmpire, and Beincrypto. She primarily covers cryptocurrency and blockchain technology with a focus on market performance, innovations and trends.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2023/04/the-4-most-influential-people-in-the-crypto-world-in-2023/.

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