Top entrepreneurs are individuals who dedicate their time, talent, and money to a specific ideology. They are ready to put their reputation on the line for what they believe in, and their actions and commitment towards accomplishing what they set out to do often yield financial rewards and recognition – not just for them, but for the brand and industry they represent. Apart from money, other factors that motivate entrepreneurs is the desire to go down in history as one of the major contributors to paradigm shifts, innovative disruptions, and economic turnarounds.
For what is worth, you will always find great entrepreneurs at the forefront of industrial revolutions. Great crypto entrepreneurs generally possess a strategic mindset, topnotch management skill, and a never-say-die attitude. Luckily, the crypto space is an ecosystem that understands the essence of an entrepreneurial-based industry and has the right system in place for young and rising talents. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the crypto narrative has never looked back since it launched in 2009.
Having described the importance of entrepreneurial mindset in the crypto industry, below is a comprehensive list of entrepreneurs who have made impacts in the short but successful history of crypto technology. Note that the rankings do not suggest favoritism on the part of the author, neither does it imply that the impact of one supersedes the other.
1. Changpeng Zhao
Changpeng Zhao, nicknamed CZ, is undoubtedly one of the most respected personalities in the crypto space. He launched Binance in 2017, and, in just 3 years, has built it to become the largest crypto exchange platform for retail investors. What CZ and his team accomplished within this timeframe is truly amazing. He identified some pain points in the crypto exchange market and set out to fill a void that has since pushed crypto adoption to new highs.
“I feel I’m really lucky to have the chance to be doing what we’re doing, which is to increase access to crypto, increase the freedom of money for people around the world. That is something I’m really energetic about doing. And I just feel lucky to be in a position to be able to do that.“ ~ Changpeng Zhao
Regardless of his many successes, CZ is not showing signs of relenting, even as Binance continues to develop new businesses in a bid to expand the scope of its operations. Some of the new additions to the Binance ecosystem are the fiat-to-crypto trading platform, futures and margin trading infrastructures, and debit card services. More impressive is how CZ has built a formidable personality online through constant engagement with the crypto community.
2. Alex Alexandrov
Alex Alexandrov is a prominent member of the crypto community, one of the early adopters of bitcoin and Litecoin, and has built an impeccable profile as a great entrepreneur and successful investor. He is well-known in the scene as the founder of CoinPayments – world’s #1 payment gateway for cryptocurrencies. In 2019 he founded VELAS, a Swiss-based startup that develops a blockchain ecosystem for smart contracts and decentralized applications (dApps) with a unique AI-powered consensus mechanism.
Velas implements Artificial Intuition, a distributed self-learning neural network that optimizes blockchain performance on the go. This technology should help solve the infamous ‘blockchain trilemma’ by increasing network scalability without sacrificing neither its security nor decentralization.
“Humans and machines differ in how they act in so many ways. Intuition has a lot more to do with gut feeling, rather than calculated decision-making processes. Being intuitive is not the same as being intellectual.” ~ Alex Alexandrov
Apart from being a serial crypto entrepreneur, Alexandrov has dedicated his time to educating firms, organizations, and the general public on the intricacies of blockchain and crypto technology. And so, he currently holds the position of advisor and investor in MindAI, a known Korean AI startup. Additionally he is consulting the FBI, Europol and several national governments on technology, cybersecurity, blockchain and AI implementation.
3. Matthias Mende
Over the years, Matthias Sheikh Mende’s work in the crypto space has projected his reputation as an effective strategist and successful cryptopreneur. Formerly the chief strategist at Block Gemini, a leading enabler of enterprise-ready sophisticated systems in the Middle East, Matthias has channeled his passion for blockchain to several innovative projects by providing a wealth of business strategies suitable for the competitive blockchain economy. Mende is also one of the few Blockchain Promoters who got verified on Instagram.
At the moment, Matthias is serving in the advisory team of many firms, including the semi-governmental Dubai Blockchain Center and HYGH, which is critically acclaimed as the air BNB of outdoor advertising and recently organized arguably one of the most successful security token offerings till date. Mende is dedicating his skill sets to creating a viable and disruptive solution to end the global water crisis for millions of people, and of course blockchain will be involved.
4. Jerlis Mikhael
Today EMCD is one of the largest self-owned crypto projects in Eurasia designed to provide digital asset management services and crypto mining infrastructures. When asked about his style of leadership, Mikhael explained that EMCD became a success story because he brought together a great team and adopted a hands-on approach to managing the company’s affairs.
5. Fredrik Johansson
Fredrik Johansson has a wealth of experience in managing big and small companies. Luckily, he has decided to relay his expertise into the nascent crypto industry and drive new ideas tailored to a majorly virtual business landscape. One of Fredrik’s strongest skill sets is identifying talented individuals and helping them find the right place to put their talent to good use. Also, he has a knack for exploring new technologies and researching how they could improve the output of enterprises.
Therefore, it is not surprising that Fredrik has become a full-fledged entrepreneur in the blockchain industry, considering how the technology provides the tools to optimize conventional processes and systems. Presently, Fredrik is an active member of the Libonomy team, working on building a versatile blockchain infrastructure fused with the innovative power of AI to create impressive smart contract systems.
6. Sahil Arora
Sahil Arora built his wealth by identifying how to market crypto to a specific class of consumers. Aged 21, Sahil is a serial entrepreneur with the bulk of his business linked to Zelaa conglomerate. One of the subsidiaries of his company is ZelaaPay, a crypto staking platform with over 30,000 users worldwide.
He reportedly has a cumulative net worth of $640 million, thanks to his steep stash of 186 million ZPAE tokens valued at $2.3 each. In his quest to ensure that crypto becomes a mainstream asset class, Sahil has partnered with royals across the United Arab Emirates and designed a business framework that could see him become the youngest billionaire in the crypto landscape and indeed the world.
7. Vitalik Buterin
As a major contributor to the crypto narrative, Vitalik Buterin is one of the most revered personalities in the crypto’s brief history, second only to Satoshi Nakamoto. This is because of his role in the introduction of Ethereum, which is currently the second most valuable blockchain. Buterin’s innovative mind created new technological capacity for blockchain, including smart contracts and decentralized applications.
It is safe to say that his work paved the way for the explosion of a new generation of blockchains applications that led to the bull run of 2017. And because of this, the crypto community holds him in high esteem and has come to respect his opinion. At the moment, Vitalik Buterin has continued to research and propose new functionalities for the Ethereum blockchain, especially on scalability and privacy.
8. Alexander Mamasidikov
As a marketing expert, Alexander Mamasidikov entered the blockchain and crypto space with a clear understanding of the innovating capacity of both technologies. Since then, Mamasidikov has helped various startups and crypto firms achieve their business goals by successfully implementing marketing plans to drive adoption and expose their products or businesses to investors. Hence, Mamasidikov has become an expert in digital marketing and ICO/STO/IEO funding mechanisms.
In 2019, Mamasidikov co-founded and became the CEO of UK-based IEO Agency, which offers services to startups interested in funding the next phase of their projects through a sound IEO campaign.
9. Enea Benedetto
Enea Benedetto is the CEO and co-founder of Vectorium, a green energy firm looking to use blockchain and artificial intelligence to manage a zero-emission process of turning biomass to energy. As a long-standing proponent of utilizing the internet to create strategic management and implement business ideas, Enea sees blockchain technology as an important tool for the realization of sustainable and safe energy systems. And so, Enea has put his 20 years of experience as an internet strategist to work and created a blockchain ecosystem to validate and enable transparent transactions as well as promote and finance a sustainable way of producing renewable energy.
From inception, there have been two key drivers: firstly, the need for humanity to have a tool to exchange value in a transparent way with the possibility to check its unchangeable authenticity (Vectorium Flash), and secondly, the need for mankind to grow sustainably and to promote renewable energy (Vectorium plus and its Vectorium Islands). Vectorium is a dual coin based on the latest blockchain technologies which allows you to store the value and track commodities, enhanced with a built-in powerful PoS system (20% p.a). After 4 years, Vectorium Plus will be converted into Vectorium Islands equities.
10. Jonathan Loi
Having started his career as a computer scientist and innovator, Jonathan Loi has brought with him an avalanche of technical know-how and experience to the crypto and blockchain scene. He is currently the CEO of Level 01 technologies, which he founded in 2018. Level 01 is a decentralized finance platform where traders can engage with a p2p network without employing the services of middlemen. Through Level 01, Loi has introduced FairSense, a patented algorithm for reconciling the prices of options and ensuring that they represent fair and real-time values.
“The main challenge is adoption of our technology solution, but we believe that as long as we are bringing benefits to users, they will naturally gravitate towards the new technology provided.” ~ Jonathan Loi
Before launching Level 01, Loi founded Australia-based AdvanceTC in 2013 and served in the position of CTO till he stepped down in 2017. During this time, he invented the company’s patented core technology. It is safe to say that Jonathan Loi’s expertise in hardware and software technologies and his reign at AdvanceTC, leading to its successful public listing, have rubbed off on his current crypto endeavors.
11. Justin Sun
Known as one of the most controversial figures in the crypto space, Justin Sun built the Tron ecosystem single-handedly through never-seen-before marketing strategies. While many in the crypto community criticize his antics and way of doing business, it is, however, impossible to overlook his impact in the crypto industry. Sun’s Tron ecosystem is one of the new generations of smart contract-enabled blockchain giving Ethereum a run for its money. As expected, the stiff competition of this crypto sector has resulted in impressive developments as regards scalability, interoperability, and decentralized applications.
Without any doubt, Justin Sun is working on consolidating his position in the crypto industry. To do this, he has acquired prominent crypto entities, including BitTorent, Steemit, and Poloniex. This trend will certainly continue in the nearest future.
12. Sergey Baloyan
Serge Baloyan is defiling the odds in the crypto scene by redefining STO/IEO/ICO fundraising campaigns and ensuring that they meet even the most stringent regulatory standards. As a marketing specialist, Serge has worked with various startups in the blockchain and crypto scene and used his talents to help create effective launchpads for them to attract a global network of investors. In 2017, he founded X10 Agency, and over the last three years, he has built it to become one of the most prominent PR agencies in the crypto industry.
“It’s important that those of us who work in the industry contribute to the resolution of regulatory issues by conducting honest business, and supporting the innovative and ethos-driven projects in the industry. ” ~ Sergey Baloyan
When Serge is not busy formulating and executing topnotch promotion plans, he dedicates his time to educating and informing the crypto community on happenings in the crypto world. Hence, he is one of Medium’s top writers in the Bitcoin niche and has often featured as a keynote speaker at various online and offline conferences.
13. Barry Silbert
Barry Silbert has a reputation of being a serial investor and entrepreneur interested in capitalizing on the investment opportunities of the budding crypto industry and, at the same time, promoting the virtues of cryptocurrency. In 2015, the Emory University alumni founded Digital Currency Group and later launched another major crypto firm, Grayscale Investments. His active presence in the investment sector of the crypto industry means that startups with working products have a better chance of receiving funds.
Already, Barry Silbert, as highlighted on his twitter page, has invested in 145 companies. Therefore, there are reasons to believe that Silbert, through DCG and grayscale, will continue to provide lifelines to crypto startups.
14. Jihan Wu
Jihan Wu, in 2011, raised money to buy 900 BTC and joined the league of early bitcoin adopters. Ever since he entered the market, Wu has taken advantage of the nascent state of the crypto market. In 2013, he co-founded Bitmain, which became one of the first movers in the crypto mining market. Until 2019, Wu remained the CEO of Bitmain and stepped down to launch a firm designed to provide crypto financial services, Matrixport.
“I have to come back to save this ship.“ ~ Jihan Wu
Following a series of setbacks in the management of Bitmain, Wu returned as the CEO, in what seemed to be a hostile takeover. As per reports, Wu has returned to steady the ship and help Bitmain sidestep challenges, especially the effects of the introduction of stringent regulations. Also, he is looking to introduce new product lines and maintain Bitmain’s edge over the increasingly competitive crypto mining market.
15. Elizabeth Stark
Elizabeth Stark is at the forefront of plans to optimize the bitcoin network and eradicate issues relating to scalability. Currently the CEO of Lightning Labs, Stark is a proven blockchain entrepreneur, a Harvard law graduate, a proponent for open-internet, and an educator in some of the most prestigious institutions in the USA. One of the most remarkable feats of Elizabeth Stark includes the active role she played in the internet freedom campaign that brought SOPA/PIPA to its knees.
“Most Bitcoin users in the future may not even know they're using Bitcoin.“ ~ Elizabeth Stark
Stark has continued her work on enabling internet freedom by spear-heading the team looking to create a blockchain-enabled internet financial layer. The Lightning Lab project has garnered a strong following and is heralded as an important mechanism in not only the bitcoin ecosystem but the crypto industry at large.
16. Andrea Zanon
When it comes to investment banking and risk management, Andrea Zanon is a guru. Through the years, he has partnered or led world-class organizations in several countries. In the long list of establishments that Andrea has worked or headed, the most impressive is The World Bank. Between 2006 and 2017, he worked as the head risk manager for The World Bank in the Middle East and North Africa. During this period, Andrea helped create sound investments worth $2.5 billion in 11 countries.
Without any doubt, Andrea's 25 years of experience in the global business landscape has taught him a lot and opened his eyes to the shortcomings of the business world as well as effective ways to eliminate them. As such, this is why Andrea’s latest project, Nimbus Platform, is designed to provide an inclusive ecosystem where people of different backgrounds and regions can access and participate in the global financial market. Some of the core features of the platform are security, transparency, and speed.
17. Jason King
Jason King, previously a fund manager at Alphabit Fund and Managing Director at Binary Financial, holds senior positions in a wide array of crypto and blockchain firms across the globe. The venture entrepreneur and crypto capitalist is currently a managing partner at Dubai-based Connect Global Strategies, which is a prominent management Consulting firm in the business of advising governments, corporations, and UHNWIs on effective strategies on implementing crypto and blockchain infrastructures.
Likewise, Jason is an ambassador of Liberland to the UAE and also the founder of PegNet, a stablecoin network designed to provide decentralized money and an asset layer to DeFi-based apps. Furthermore, he joined the AELF.io team over two years ago, and he now serves as the Head of MENA for the scalable cloud-based blockchain system.
18. Sunny Ahonsi
Sunny Ahonsi is one of the few entrepreneurs who understand the void and faults in the health industry and is aware of the disruptive tendencies of industry 4.0 technologies, particularly blockchain technology. Hence, he founded UK-based Medi-Science International in 2018 and launched the innovative MediLives system – a health-focused AI-enabled blockchain – at the beginning of 2019. Sunny has since dedicated all of his time and resources to perfecting and expanding the system and ensuring that users, regardless of their locations, have access to medical professionals without the need to walk into a health facility or book an appointment.
“The story of the blockchain resonates with many of us in recent times. Many do not know what it is, others confused it with some obscured marketing gimmicks and schemes around. Others still understand it to be a global phenomenal…” ~ Sunny Ahonsi
Apart from leading the MediLives team, Sunny is also a member of The British Blockchain. Likewise, he has decided to put his love for education into good use by launching My Blockchain Education, an organization designed to facilitate blockchain awareness campaigns and educational programs.
19 Ilias Bafas
Illias Bafas’ profile cuts across several industries. The reason being that he has a flair for identifying new and improved ways of doing things. He also understands the fundamentals of the responsibilities of a leader. Although Illias leads a number of private companies, it is, however, his work at the helm of affairs of BULLIONBLOCK that has helped him build a strong reputation in the crypto scene. As the director and co-founder of, Illias is expanding the scope of blockchain technology in the global remittance sector by introducing Bullion Block, a decentralized network accessible to people living in 35 countries for cheap, secure, and fast cross-border payments.
In addition to contributing to the growth of the blockchain industry, he engages in various philanthropic programs across the world and is an advocate for human rights and environmental sustainability.
20. Joseph Lubin
John Lubin was formerly a music management executive and a Wall Street technologist before joining the crypto industry. He co-founded Ethereum and had a successful stint as the Chief Operating Officer of the Ethereum Foundation before opting to create ConsenSys, a startup incubator. Lubin and his team in ConsenSys are working on several projects aimed at building robust and sustainable infrastructures and applications for the Ethereum blockchain. Like the majority of entrepreneurs on this list, Lubin doesn’t shy away from lending his voice to critical discussions involving crypto.
Likewise, he has shown through his work that he is looking at optimizing the interoperability of the Ethereum blockchain. One of such projects entail building bridges between permissioned blockchains and a public blockchain like Ethereum.