The Crypto 50: The Top Influencers in Bitcoin and Blockchain 2018

The Crypto 50

Bitcoin Market Journal, the leading website for blockchain investors, put together its first ever “Crypto 50,” a roundup of the thought leaders having the biggest impact on the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency.

The Crypto 50 rates each blockchain influencer on criteria such as:

  • Blockchain achievements and accomplishments
  • Number of years in the blockchain space
  • Audience size
  • Frequency of publication
  • Credibility and expertise in content

Congratulations to Vitalik Buterin (#1), Nick Szabo (#2), and Laura Shin (#3), our top three influencers. We also include blockchain investors (including Tyler Winklevoss and Marc Andreesen) and blockchain news sites (like Forbes and Coindesk). The Crypto 50!

Influencers

NameClaim to FameYear EstablishedReachUpdate FrequencyCredibilityQuality of CoverageScore
Vitalik ButerinFounder of Ethereum and commenter on cryptocurrency
2011802k Twitter followersHighBuilt the second most popular cryptocurrencyGood, not great. A mix of insight and links, along with personal opinion and commentary.4.7
Erik VoorheesCEO and founder of multiple cryptocurrency firms2009304k Twitter followersModerateBuilt several cryptocurrency firms and has been recognized by numerous publications as a thought leaderModerate at best. Some links and insight with a heavy helping of data-light snark and blockchain evangelism.3.3
Jim MarousJournalist and commenter on cryptocurrency200866.4k Twitter followersHighContributor to Forbes and founder of technology and financial reporting firmsModerate. A new contributor to Forbes, whose social media is largely retweets. Interesting, but lacking personal contributions.3.3
Charlie LeeFounder of LiteCoin2008790k Twitter followersFrequentBuilt one of the most successful cryptocurrency projectsGood. A mix of industry commentary and updates on LiteCoin. Interesting and informative, but mostly to people interested in LiteCoin.4.10
Jamie DimonCEO of JP Morgan, Dimon is a special case. A fierce critic of Bitcoin and blockchain, Dimon's position in the financial world makes his perspective worth following (even if outside the norm for a list like this).N/A424k Twitter followersLowCEO of one of the world's largest investment banksHigh. Although a relentless skeptic of cryptocurrency, Dimon's perspective comes from one of the most well-informed and high profile voices in finance.3.75
Andreas AntonopoulosComputer scientist, commenter, and author of numerous books on blockchain.201317.4k Medium followersModerateAn author of numerous books, Antonopoulos also writes a Medium blog and runs a Youtube channel.High. Despite his relatively infrequent posting, Antonopoulos' work is informative and detail-rich.3.30
Laura ShinJournalist with a focus on cryptocurrency and blockchain200997.9k Twitter followersFrequentAn editor with Forbes who writes extensively on this subject from a neutral perspectiveHigh. Shin's articles, while for general consumption, are extremely well informed and obejctive.4.15
Nick AytonCommenter on blockchain who has participated in numerous startups and related projects200912.1k Twitter followersHighHas written for CoinTelegraph and has participated in several blockchain startupsLow. Despite numerous references to Ayton as a major blockchain influencer, Ayton's work is openly biased and his accomplishments are marginal.2.45
Brian ArmstrongCEO of Coinbase2008245k Twitter followersFrequentHelped to found one of the biggest blockchain sites online and has a Medium blogModerate. Armstrong's work is generally insightful, although often intermixed with advertising for Coinbase.3.50
Nick SzaboA computer scientist, economist, and author2014222k Twitter followersHighGenerally credited with inventing the concept of smart contracts as well as the gold standard model used by BitcoinHigh. Although not geared toward general consumption, Szabo's work is informative and dives deep into the economics and monetary concepts essential to cryptocurrency.4.20
Don TapscottAuthor of numerous books on technology and blockchain2008110k Twitter followersHighHas written several well received books and is the founder of the Blockchain Research InstituteGood. Tapscott's chief body of work comes through his books,which are generally very strong, rather than his online media.3.55
Thomas PowerAn advisor and board member of several technology companies2007349k Twitter followersHighWidely consulted speaker and often-cited authority on blockchain,who has contributed relatively little in terms of original scholarship or business foundationModerate. While this may change with the release of Powers' upcoming book Tokenomics, at the moment his publicly available work is unfocused and rarely informative.3.00
Tuur DemeesterEconomist and editor at Adamant Research2009174k Twitter followersHighA researcher and writer who specializes in technical analysisGood. Demeester's publicly available work is focused on economic issues and market analysis.3.80
Samantha RadocchiaConsultant and founder of numerous technology companies200910k Twitter followersModerateCo-founder of firms including Chronicled and Better Kinds, and a consultant through her firm Machine Elf Consulting.Moderate. Radocchia's publicly available work is interesting and thought-provoking, but also spans a wide range of topics. Readers interested in blockchain will find her work less focused than they may prefer.3.35
Brian EvansJournalist and entrepreneur in technology space2009443k Twitter followersModerateA contributor to outlets such as Inc and Fortune, as well as the founder of InfluenciveModerate. Evans' work is interesting and he has numerous articles on blockchain; however, they are often topical and with less detail than many other writers on the subject.3.60

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Individual Investors

NameClaim to FameYear EstablishedReachUpdate FrequencyCredibilityQuality of CoverageScore
Vinny LinghamEntrepreneur in the blockchain space who now invests in companies2007162k Twitter followersHighFounder of firms including Gyft and Identity Civic, and commenter on both Twitter and MediumHigh. Lingham provides good information with a focus on finance and investment.4.05
Naval RavikantCo-Founder of Angellist2007468k Twitter followersHighEntrepreneur and investor who has invested in companies including Twitter and Uber.Good. While Ravikant's major work on blockchain is infrequent, it is typically well-regarded and highly insightful.3.85
Tyler WinklevossBlockchain investor and founder of Winklevoss Capital2009152k Twitter followersLowFounder of Winklevoss Capital and an early investor in blockchain, focusing much of his energy on bitcoin and blockchain.Moderate. Although Winklevoss has made several insightful comments on the state of the blockchain market, it is only one focus out of many.2.95
Barry SilbertFounder and CEO of the Digital Currency Group2011168k Twitter followersFrequentAn investor who focuses on crypto- and other digital forms of currency.Good. Silbert uses his Twitter account to make interesting observations on the state of the market, while his firm's blog makes for good reading.3.55
WhalePandaA snarky, sometimes funny, commenter on blockchain2014203k Twitter followersHighAn anonymous blogger and social media writer, who has become a popular outlet on the subject of blockchainModerate. WhalePanda's work is entertaining, but is of little informative value compared to other thought leaders.2.85
Marc AndreessenAn investor in blockchain who often comments on the state of the industry2007700k Twitter followersVery LowA billionaire investor and co-founder of Andreessen HorowitzMixed. Andreessen's business insights are extremely well-regarded; however, his social media publications often focus more on politics than blockchain insights.3.40
Roger VerAn investor who has focused on bitcoin and blockchain since early production2010547k Twitter followersFrequentAn entrepreneur and investor, who first started investing in Bitcion in 2011 before the cryptocurrency's value soaredModerate. Ver is an open evangelist for blockchain and Bitcoin. While this enthusiasm allowed him to enter the market at a profitable time, it makes his analysis less reliable than an objective source.2.90
Charlie ShremCo-Founder of BitInstant and the Bitcoin Foundation2009154k Twitter followersFrequentAn investor who has participated in blockchain markets since early on, and who has helped found numerous respected organizationsHigh. Shrem writes about market news and blockchain, as well as insights from his time in prison.3.65
Tim DraperA founding partner of technology investment firms DFJ and Draper Associates2009103k Twitter followersModerateHas helped to found two highly succesful firms that focus on the technology spaceGood. Draper is highly influential as an investor. While his publicly available channels most often link to the work of others, they are generally interesting and highly informative.3.55
Fred WilsonA venture capitalist with Union Square Ventures2007646k Twitter followersFrequentAn investor and a popular blogger who has focused on the blockchain space for several yearsModerate. Wilson's blog and social media channels are a mix of market insight and personal comment.3.65
Chris BurniskeAn investor who specializes in cryptocurrency assets2016107k Twitter followersFrequentAn investor and author who works exclusively in cryptocurrency assetsGood. Burniske's Twitter account has market-focused insights, and his book is one of the initial texts on cryptocurrency-based investment from a Wall Street perspective.3.35
Fred EhrsamA former Goldman Sachs trader who helped found Coinbase201186.3k Twitter followersModerateHelped found one of the world's largest blockchain websites and is a blockchain-focused investorHigh. Ehrsam's work focuses on technical and market analysis, with in-depth articles that are typically complex and informative.3.95
Luke MartinCryptocurrency trader and founder of VentureCoinist2017192k Twitter followersHighComments on blockchain through his popular YouTube channel VentureCoinist and his website of the same nameGood. With engaging videos and sharp Twitter links, Martin provides excellent comment for the interested layperson.3.25
Ari PaulCo-Founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital2017126k Twitter followersFrequentAn investor and writer, who comments on Twitter, TheCryptocurrencyInvestor.com and ForbesGood. Paul approaches his analysis from a market-oriented perspective while at the same time showing a clear grasp of the technology in which he invests.3.25
Joseph ZhouAn engineer who helped to develop Ethereum and now acts as an angel investor200937.3k Twitter followersModerate to LowA developer who helped write some of the initial code for Ethereum, and an angel investor for upcoming projectsModerate. Zhou's commentary and shared articles, while infrequent, are technical and demonstrate a good state-of-the-industry.3.20

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General News Sites

NameClaim to FameYear EstablishedReachUpdate FrequencyCredibilityQuality of CoverageScore
ForbesA business and technology focused news site19177.4 Million Readership Per IssueDailyA website and magazine with long-form coverage and highly respected reportingHigh. Forbes employs some of the most respected voices in blockchain-related journalism.5.00
CNBCA website focused on market coverage198948.5 Million Views Per MonthDailyA website and cable channel focusing on short-form, web-oriented coverageGood. While CNBC delivers daily, market-oriented coverage, it is often lighter and more daily reporting than some of its peers.4.25
Business InsiderA market reporting site that includes substantial reporting on technology2007100 Million Views Per MonthDailyA website with original reporting but often of shorter formGood. Business Insider delivers original reporting with some pieces emphasizing technology, although much of its work is short and light.3.75
QuartzA global reporting site which often touches on technology and blockchain201222 Million Views Per MonthDailyA website with unusual and off-beat reporting, and a source for sometimes unusual or underserved coverageGood. While Quartz does not focus on blockchain, it does often report on global technology and its work is generally excellent.3.95
WiredA technology-focused magazine199381 Million Readers Per IssueDailyA website and magazine focused on technology reportingHigh. Wired is one of the best sources available for technology reporting.5.00
Fast CompanyA corporate news-oriented website and magazine which often discusses technology and entrepreneurship199536 Million Views Per MonthDailyA corporate news focused site which often overlaps with blockchain developmentGood. With a mix of web-oriented content and reported articles, Fast Company's value can alternate.3.80
TechCrunchA technology-focused news site200526 Million Views Per MonthDailyWith a blogger style, TechCrunch focuses on technology news.Good. When it reports on blockchain, TechCrunch's work is reliable and well-informed.4.00
CNETA website that focuses on technology and markets, with a consumer focus1994203 Million Views Per MonthDailyCNET covers technology, although its consumer-oriented focus makes it less ideal for blockchain.Good. Although CNET is less likely to provide relevant coverage, what it does write is highly reliable.4.25
MashableA news website covering technology and culture.200555 Million Views Per MonthDailyA culture-oriented coverage makes Mashable less relevant to blockchain, but its technology coverage is generally quite good.Moderate. Mashable relies on more brief articles that generally provide less technical depth than peer publications.3.45
GizmodoA technology blog which approaches coverage from a quick-hit perspective2002100 Million Views Per MonthDailyA commentary and culture blog with a technology focusLow. Although Gizmodo covers blockchain, it generally does so by providing inexpert commentary to news already published.3.10

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Industry Specific Sites

NameClaim to FameYear EstablishedReachUpdate FrequencyCredibilityQuality of CoverageScore
CoindeskOne of the oldest news sites dedicated to cryptocurrency201322 Million Views Per MonthDailyA cryptocurrency news and market siteHigh. Conidesk is one of the most highly respected dedicated cryptocurrency news sites.5.00
BTC WiresA market information site for cryptocurrency with some news and information2017No Reliable DataDailyAn Indian cryptocurrency news site focused on reportingModerate With a reduced focus on market news, BTC Wires mostly provides piggyback reporting from other websites.2.45
Bitcoin.comOne of the most well-respected cryptocurrency news sites.201510 Million Views Per MonthDailyA cryptocurrency news and reporting site that extends to technology reportingHigh. Bitcoin.com is a highly respected cryptocurrency news site that does original reporting.4.65
CCNA market-focused cryptocurrency news site20134 Million Views Per MonthDailyA cryptocurrency news site which mixes original reporting with light analysisModerate. Much of CCN's work is brief and based on work reported elsewhere.3.50
Brave New CoinThe news section of market-oriented website Brave New Coin2014170,000 Views Per MonthDailyA market information site with a wide range of data and coverageGood. Although news coverage is not the focus of Brave New Coin, it is a very good source for a broad range of subjects.3.75
BitcoinistA news and editorial site on cryptocurrency20134 Million Views Per MonthDailyA wide-ranging news and editorial site focused on a mix of reporting and commentaryGood. Bitcoinist has interesting perspectives and good reporting.4.00
CointelegraphA highly respected cryptocurrency news and market information website201357 Million Views Per MonthDailyA cryptocurrency news site that relies on original reporting and researchHigh. Cointelegraph is one of the most highly respected dedicated cryptocurrency news sites.5.00
CoinsutraA cryptocurrency exchange with attached blog20161 Million Views Per MonthDailyA regularly updated blogLow. This is a blog, not a reported news site.1.95
Bitcoin MagazineAn extensive news, reporting, and analysis website on cryptocurrency20124.3 Million Views Per MonthDailyAn originally reported cryptocurrency websiteHigh. Bitcoin Magazine relies on its own journalism and expert analysis, often with long-form pieces.4.50
CryptovestA wide-ranging publication which addresses news, educational topics, and product reviews20171.5 Million Views Per MonthDailyA website focusing on market and educational subjects with reporting as wellModerate. Cryptovest focuses on brief, web-oriented content rather than original reporting.3.15

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The Bottom Line

With a market valued at well over $200 billion, cryptocurrency has quickly become one of the most covered assets on the market. It has attracted attention of both niche bloggers and mainstream publications, but the quality of this coverage varies widely. Finding reliable information is key for investors.

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