No list would be complete without the mysterious creator of Bitcoin. Last heard of in 2011, Satoshi Nakamoto was the one who published the Bitcoin whitepaper, mined the genesis block and created Bitcointalk forum. His identity has been speculated endlessly over the internet. Many individuals have claimed to be Satoshi, others speculate that it was actually a group of people that created Bitcoin and some conspiracy theorists even claim that Satoshi was actually the CIA. Amongst all the theories and speculations the one that seems most plausible is Hal Finney.
Known for being the founder of the McAfee antivirus software, John McAfee actually sold his share of the company in the mid 90’s to pursue other investments in real estate. He created a yoga retreat that could host 200 people, bought mansions and filled them with expensive art, and even bought a fleet of airplanes and antique cars. He later reported having lost most of his fortune due to the financial crisis of 2009. Nowadays McAfee is very active and a big influence on the crypto space. He was responsible for many “pump and dump” schemes, where he would publicize certain cryptocurrency in his twitter making the price rise. He has admitted charging $105,000 for each tweet that promotes “shitcoins”, a term he helped popularize.
Vitalik Buterin is the co-founder and inventor of Ethereum. He started his career in crypto as a writer and is one the co-founders of Bitcoin magazine, the first serious publication dedicated to cryptocurrencies. Vitalik released the Ethereum whitepaper late 2013 and in 2014 he received $100,000 from the Thiel Fellowship to start working on the project, making him drop out of college and suspend the writing for Bitcoin Magazine. Ethereum is now the second biggest cryptocurrency and Vitalik has such a major influence that a death hoax created by 4chan last year made Ethereum drop from $300 to $260 in a space of hours.
Charlie Lee has been involved in the crypto space since the early beginnings and is the creator of Litecoin (LTC), one of the first ever altcoins. In 2013 he took the position of technical director at Coinbase but retired in 2017 to focus solely on Litecoin’s promotion and development. Charlie Lee sent a wave of shock over the crypto world when he stated that he was selling all his LTC. He sold them when late last year when LTC was at its peak ($300+) and stated that he was trying to financially distance himself from the project so that no-one would suspect him to manipulate the market. We don’t know if its true or not but the fact is that Charlie has continued actively contributing to LTC, namely focusing on cross-chain atomic swaps between LTC and BTC.
Roger Ver, also known as “Bitcoin Jesus”, was one of the first investors in Bitcoin startups. He owns Bitcoin.com and financed many projects like Blockchain.info, BitPay, Kraken, and Zcash. Although he is known as “Bitcoin Jesus”, mainly for his early support and push for Bitcoin’s adoption, he is now known as Bitcoin Cash CEO and is one of the most hated people in crypto. Bitcoin Cash (BCH), the “real” Bitcoin, saw a huge pump in price last year when it was listed in Coinbase without any previous announcements and is actually less used than Dogecoin and Litecoin. On an interesting note Roger Ver learned Japanese in the 10 months he spent in jail for selling explosive firecrackers in 2002.