Fifty-Four Players in the Blockchain Industry Transformed Into a Real Deck of CardsBy LongHash
A few months ago, LongHash thought it would be fun to take some key players in the blockchain and crypto industry and turn them into a deck of playing cards. Even though we specialize in data, this was a purely subjective endeavor. We included some of the loudest — though not necessarily the best — voices in the industry.
While the cards are not for sale, you can win one of the few decks we've had printed by signing up for our newsletter before December 31.
Winners will be chosen from our pool of new newsletter subscribers using Python code that selects email accounts at random. We will notify winners via email.
Here's a list of all the players who are included in our deck, with bios.
Fabian Vogelsteller (ERC20)
Fabian Vogelsteller is one of the industry’s leading decentralized app (DApp) developers. He is credited with the creation of the Ethereum Mist browser and the Ethereum Wallet.
Together with a modest young man named Vitalik Buterin, Vogelsteller proposed the ERC20 token standard that led to a rush of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). This protocol has cemented Ethereum as one of the most popular platforms for digital token creation.
Brendan Eich (Brave Software)
Brendan Eich will likely always be known as the man who managed to invent one of the world’s most popular scripting languages in just ten days. Since leaving the Mozilla project that he co-founded, he has turned his eye to the blockchain sector.
Brave Software is Eich’s new company. It wants to change the way advertising works in the digital era. Considering how much Google and Facebook’s advertising networks have to lose, Eich is certainly “brave.”
Arthur Hayes (BitMEX)
Arthur Hayes’ involvement with the cryptocurrency industry began when he took a road less traveled: after leaving his job at Citibank, he decided to become a full-time Bitcoin trader back in 2013.
In 2014, he started building BitMEX, a cryptocurrency exchange and derivatives trading platform. In addition to being its co-founder, he is also the company’s current CEO.
Riccardo Spagni (Monero)
Riccardo Spagni began experimenting with Bitcoin back in 2011. He launched a global cryptocurrency payment processor known as GloBee around six years later. But “Fluffypony,” as he’s often referred to in the community, is perhaps best known as a member of the Monero core team, where he helps develop the cryptocurrency/privacy coin.
Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum)
The Russian-Canadian programmer got his start at Bitcoin Magazine before moving on to create the white paper for what would soon become one of the industry’s most prevalent cryptocurrencies. Today, Buterin is not one to shy away from a debate and is adamant in outlining the challenges that face the crypto industry.
Jackson Palmer (Dogecoin)
Jackson Palmer created a joke that ended up turning into a legitimate digital asset. This Australian entrepreneur invented Dogecoin based on a popular internet phenomenon involving a Shiba Inu who happened to have bad grammar.
The parody-turned-cryptocurrency that he created even managed to hit $2 billion USD in market cap at one point in 2018.
Joyce Kim (Stellar/SparkChain)
Joyce Kim is one of the co-founders behind the open-source payment network Stellar, and previously served as its executive director.
Her new company, SparkChain Capital, will support companies that are developing products and services related to blockchain and the cryptocurrency industry.
Jihan Wu (Bitmain)
Jihan Wu is a co-founder behind one of the industry’s largest Bitcoin miners and mining chip providers, Bitmain. A large portion of Bitmain’s revenue comes from the operation of mining pools such as BTC.com and Antpool.
Forbes.com estimated his net worth at around $2.3 billion USD back in late 2018.
Michael Casey/Paul Vigna (authors)
Michael Casey is a blockchain technology and cryptocurrency author, consultant, and journalist. Paul Vigna is a reporter for the Wall Street Journal with experience covering the cryptocurrency sector.
The pair joined forces to author “The Age of Cryptocurrency,” in 2015. More recently, they co-authored the book “The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything.”
Nick Szabo (smart contract innovator)
Nick Szabo is one of the industry’s most well-known computer scientists and cryptographers. Perhaps the most famous of his achievements is his work with smart contracts.
He is credited with having coined the term “smart contract” way back in 1997. His goal was to introduce a way of bringing contract law to the digital age, allowing contracts to be carried out through automated processes.
Jeff Garzik (Bloq)
Jeff Garzik is the co-founder and CEO of Bloq, a company which aims to revolutionize enterprises through offering blockchain-based solutions. His involvement with the cryptocurrency industry dates back to 2010. At that time, he became the third-biggest contributor to Bitcoin’s code, behind only Satoshi Nakamoto and Gavin Andresen.
Between 2010 and 2011, Garzik gave away 15,678 BTC to other developers in the form of bounties. At today’s prices, the total amount he gave away would be equivalent to over USD$150 million.
Aya Miyaguchi (Ethereum Foundation)
Aya Miyaguchi is the executive director of the Ethereum Foundation. She previously served as the vice president of operations in Japan on behalf of the cryptocurrency exchange Kraken. She later became the exchange’s managing director in Japan, and is now one of its advisors.
The Ethereum Foundation’s mission is to support and promote the Ethereum platform. It also aims to further the overall blockchain movement and empower the world with decentralized protocols and tools.
Elizabeth Stark (Lightning Labs)
Lightning Labs' CEO and co-founder, Elizabeth Stark, is a self-professed fan of open source, decentralized protocols.
She was an educator at both Yale and Stanford, teaching students about the ins and outs of peer-to-peer technology. Her work with Lightning Labs aims to create a solution to Bitcoin’s issues with scalability. The team’s success could help Bitcoin’s ambitions to serve as a practical, everyday payment method.
Anthony Di Iorio (Ethereum/Decentral)
Anthony Di Iorio supported Ethereum both financially and through helping assemble a team during the project’s early days.
In addition to being one of Ethereum’s co-founders, he also founded the Canada-based blockchain company Decentral. As its CEO, he also played an important role in the creation of its flagship project, a popular cryptocurrency wallet.
Charlie Lee (Litecoin)
Charlie Lee calls himself Satoshi Lite on social media, reflecting his status as the creator of a cryptocurrency that aims to be a lighter version of Bitcoin.
Litecoin began as a fork and is credited as being one of the first major altcoins to enter the market. Litecoin launched all the way back in 2011.
Tyler & Cameron Winklevoss (Gemini)
The Winklevoss twins have come a long way since their days of being best known for suing Mark Zuckerberg over the idea for Facebook.
In fact, Tyler & Cameron Winklevoss went on to become Bitcoin billionaires. Now, they’re advocating for a regulated approach to crypto trading and operate the regulatory-compliant exchange, Gemini. Also, they’re both 6’5” and world-renowned rowers.
Jed McCaleb (Stellar)
Jed McCaleb is the creator of Mt. Gox, but he left his creation long before the scandal involving the exchange's massive breach.
Currently, he serves as the co-founder of Stellar Development Foundation, which is responsible for developing the Stellar payment network. In addition, he was previously the CTO of Ripple.
Brian Armstrong (Coinbase)
Founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong, Fred Ehrsam, and Ben Reeves, Coinbase has managed to hold its title as one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.
Armstrong also serves as the company’s CEO. For the time being, it doesn’t seem like Coinbase’s dominance will be going anywhere anytime soon.
Kevin Worth (CoinDesk)
After working at The New York Times, The Deal, and Bloomberg, Worth turned his attention to crypto. Nowadays, he is the CEO at CoinDesk.
On top of being one of the most highly-trafficked cryptocurrency websites in the world, CoinDesk operates Consensus, an annual blockchain technology conference that attracts thousands of attendees each year.
Changpeng Zhao (Binance)
Binance isn’t just one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world — it is also the birthplace of one of the industry’s most persistent jokes.
The company’s CEO and founder, Changpeng Zhao, famously announced to spectators that all funds were safe on Binance during a period of uncertainty. His misspelling of the word “safe,” however, gave rise to a long-running joke which Zhao himself has since upheld. As a result, his spot on this list was completely “safu.”
Tim Draper (Draper Associates)
Tim Draper is known for his success as a venture capital investor, having founded Draper Associates. In the context of cryptocurrencies, Draper is also known as a larger holder — and believer — in Bitcoin.
Draper has stated that Bitcoin could reach as high as $250,000 USD somewhere around the year 2022. While that may seem like a bold claim, it may not be nearly as bold as his purple Bitcoin tie and socks.
Kathleen & Arthur Breitman (Tezos)
Tezos is one of several entries to the arena of decentralized application (DApp) and smart contract platforms. It also has its own token, XTZ.
Its founders, Arthur Breitman and Kathleen Breitman, are a husband and wife team. They’re responsible for the creation of Tezos. They've seen some crypto controversies too, but their token remains one of the largest digital assets in the world by market cap.
Brad Garlinghouse (Ripple)
Brad Garlinghouse is best known in the crypto community for his role as the CEO of Ripple, a financial technology company.
Alongside the spree of charitable giving that Ripple carried out last year, Garlinghouse’s hobbies include investing, hanging out with Ashton Kutcher, and adamantly explaining the difference between Ripple and XRP.
Gavin Andresen (Bitcoin)
Andresen is a household name in the Bitcoin community, and for good reason. He served as one of the project’s main developers in the asset’s early stages.
He was even handed the role of lead developer of the Bitcoin client’s reference implementation by Satoshi Nakamoto (her/him/them)self. He founded the Bitcoin Foundation in 2012 to support the development of the nascent cryptocurrency.
Gavin Wood (Ethereum/Polkadot)
Gavin Wood is one of Ethereum’s co-founders, he proposed the object-oriented smart contract programming language known as Solidity that's now used in developing Ethereum DApps. After serving as the Ethereum CTO, he co-founded Parity Technologies.
He has also written a white paper for a “heterogeneous multi‑chain framework” called Polkadot. It proposes a way of connecting several chains in a way that can allow more transactions to be processed at once.
Jun Hasegawa (Omise)
The CEO and founder of Omise, Jun Hasegawa, has been big player in the crypto landscape for some time.
The company — which he founded in 2013 — aims to provide users with tools to accept payments online. OmiseGO (OMG) remains one of the market’s largest tokens by market cap.
Carlos Matos (Bitconnect promoter)
Hey hey hey! Few figures in the cryptocurrency world have towed the line between villain and lovable goofball better than Carlos Matos. Matos proved that the loudest voice in the crypto industry isn’t necessarily the one you should listen to.
While he has since called himself a victim of the infamous Bitconnect ponzi scheme, Matos is famous for being the voice who yelled its name from the rooftops. He is also emblematic of the absurdity of the crypto world. Don’t believe us? Watch this.
Joseph Lubin (Ethereum/ConsenSys)
Lubin is an outspoken proponent of blockchain technology. He currently runs a blockchain software technology company company known as ConsenSys, which is one of the industry’s largest players.
He founded the company in 2014, after previously serving as both one of Ethereum’s co-founders and the CEO of Ethereum Switzerland GmbH.
Emily Parker (LongHash)
Emily Parker, along with James Gong and Yan Chen, co-founded LongHash. LongHash is a blockchain data journalism platform and the leading blockchain incubator in Asia.
Parker is a former technology policy advisor for the U.S. State Department, and a former staff journalist at The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.
(LongHash created this list, and Emily’s co-founders thought she should be on it!)
Bo Shen (Fenbushi Capital)
Bo Shen is the founder and managing partner of Fenbushi Capital, a venture capital firm with a strong belief in blockchain technology.
The firm calls itself the first China-based venture capital firm that exclusively invests in Blockchain-enabled companies. Shen’s other credentials include years of senior management roles at investment firms, brokerages, and hedge funds.
Hongfei Da (NEO/Onchain)
Hongfei Da’s contributions to the crypto landscape are plentiful. He’s the founder of NEO, a smart economy platform that has been likened to the Ethereum of China.
He is also the founder and CEO of a blockchain development company known as Onchain. Its aim is to build an open-source and trustworthy platform for enterprises to embrace blockchain technology.
Zooko Wilcox-O'Hearn (Zcash)
Zcash is one entry in a subcategory of cryptocurrencies that are hyper focused on protecting the privacy of their users. Its CEO, Zooko Wilcox-O'Hearn, is an American computer security specialist.
Laura Shin (journalist)
Laura Shin is a cryptocurrency journalist who hosts not one but two crypto podcasts. They go by the names of Unconfirmed and Unchained respectively, each bringing in a wide audience.
Previously, she was a senior editor at Forbes and calls herself the first mainstream reporter to cover crypto assets in a full-time capacity.
Amber Baldet (Clovyr)
Clovyr’s CEO has her fair share of experience in the blockchain industry. In order to co-found the company, she left her role as the blockchain program lead at the U.S. bank JPMorgan Chase.
Baldet is now leading Clovyr in its mission is to help both consumers and businesses navigate the world of blockchain technology. In the process, she hopes to help interested participants sidestep obstacles that occur when leveraging technologies that may not yet be considered fully mature.
Charlie Shrem (Bitcoin Foundation)
Charlie Shrem is a notable Bitcoin proponent who previously served as the Bitcoin Foundation’s vice chairman. He was arrested in 2014 bust related to Silk Road, a darknet market.
After being sentenced to prison for two years, Shrem became the director of business for a popular cryptocurrency wallet known as Jaxx.
Craig Steven Wright (nChain)
This Australian computer scientist has claimed, rather controversially, to be the person behind the “Satoshi Nakamoto” pseudonym.
Wright is currently the chief scientist of nChain, a blockchain-centric research and development company.
Daniel Larimer (Block.one)
Daniel Larimer created a cryptocurrency platform known as BitShares back in 2013, and is the co-founder of a social media platform called Steemit, which has its own token and operates on its own blockchain.
He is also credited as being the creator of the Delegated Proof-of-Stake algorithm (DPOS) and serves as the CTO of Block.one, the company that originally developed EOS.
Barry Silbert (Digital Currency Group)
Digital Currency Group (DCG) is a New York-based venture capital company that focuses primarily on the market that surrounds cryptocurrencies. Barry Silbert is its CEO and founded the company in 2015.
If that alone isn’t enough, DCG owns a massive asset manager known as Grayscale Investments, an OTC trader known as Genesis Trading, and CoinDesk.
Juan Benet (Protocol Labs)
Juan Benet is the founder and CEO of Protocol Labs. Largely, his work in the cryptocurrency space involves the invention of a new hypermedia protocol called the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS).
He’s also responsible for the invention of an open-source blockchain digital storage platform and token known as Filecoin. It raised over $250 million in its ICO back in 2017, which broke just about every record at the time.
Marc Andreessen & Ben Horowitz
Marc Andreessen & Ben Horowitz are behind the American venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, which they co-founded.
In August 2018, the firm made its largest play in the crypto world to date when it invested heavily in a blockchain-based project called Dfinity Foundation. This decentralized platform is designed to host the “next generation” of software and services.
Daesik Kim (Bithumb)
The founder and former CEO of the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, Bithumb, isn’t content on staying still. Since founding one of the largest digital asset exchanges in the world, he has moved on to working at Bezant, a blockchain-based payment protocol and application firm.
He currently serves as the company’s Chief Cryptocurrency Officer (CCO).
Feng Xiao (Wanxiang Blockchain)
Feng Xiao, the CEO of Wanxiang Blockchain, has years of experience when it comes to the Chinese securities and asset management industry.
One of Wanxiang’s subsidiaries, Wanxiang Blockchain Labs, operates as a non-profit research institution that focuses on developing technologies like blockchain. It provides industry support and aims to explore how blockchain technology will shape both modern society and the economy.
Jutta Steiner (Parity Technologies)
Jutta Steiner serves as the CEO of Parity Technologies, a company that builds blockchain infrastructure. She co-founded the company back in 2015. Steiner holds a PhD in Mathematics and led Ethereum’s security audit before it launched.
Don & Alex Tapscott (Blockchain Research Institute)
This father-son duo is a major proponent of the blockchain industry. The Canadian pair published one of the industry’s most famous books in 2016, titled Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World.
Since then, they’ve launched the Blockchain Research Institute, one of the world’s leading research facilities dedicated to blockchain technology. Oh, and Don Tapscott featured on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver in a segment where he explained blockchain technology by using chicken nuggets as an analogy.
Susanne Chishti (FINTECH Circle)
FINTECH Circle advertises itself as a team with decades of experience in running startups and passionately leading projects in the FinTech industry.
Its CEO and founder, Susanne Chishti, is a great example of this. From 1998 until 2005, she was a vice president at Morgan Stanley, an American multinational investment bank. Now, her new company FINTECH Circle serves as an angel network that is attempting to help financial technology firms carry out their visions.
Roger Ver (Bitcoin.com)
Depending on which Bitcoin tribe you ask, you’ll get an entirely different answer about Roger Ver. The facts are as follows: he’s a strong proponent of Bitcoin Cash, which is a cryptocurrency that began as a hard fork of Bitcoin.
In addition, Ver is the CEO of Bitcoin.com, a company which provides news and various crypto services.
Andreas M. Antonopoulos (author)
Andreas M. Antonopoulos is not one to shy from a cryptocurrency hypothesis. He’s one of the more vocal members of the crypto world. His books, “Mastering Bitcoin,” “Mastering Ethereum,” and “The Internet of Money” have all been very successful.
Adam Back (Blockstream)
Adam Back is regarded as the inventor of a protocol called Hashcash that many platforms leverage in order to fight spam. This system is similar to the one employed by Bitcoin. In fact, Satoshi Nakamoto namechecked Back as an influence in the original Bitcoin white paper.
Currently, Back’s focus is on the blockchain technology company, Blockstream. In addition to being one of the company’s founders, he also serves as its CEO.
Marie Wieck (IBM Blockchain)
Marie Wieck is an engineer and advocate of women in the tech world. She’s best known for her work as the general manager of IBM Blockchain.
Her track record in the field involves over 20 years of experience working with IBM. Nowadays, she leads IBM Blockchain and is helping the company empower businesses through emerging technology.
Whitfield Diffie (Stanford University)
This American cryptographer is credited with pioneering dual-key cryptography in the early 1970s. He is the author of over 30 technical papers. Further, he has testified to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on public policy regarding cryptography several times in the past.
In 2015, he became a recipient of arguably the most prestigious computer science award: the Turing Award, which he received for “fundamental contributions to modern cryptography.”
Eric Larchevêque (Ledger)
This French entrepreneur is responsible for one of the best-known cryptocurrency storage options out there. He’s the CEO of Ledger, a company that created offline cryptocurrency wallets that can be used to store private keys.
J. L. van der Velde (Bitfinex)
You’d think that finding a high quality image of J. L. van der Velde would be easy, given that he’s the CEO of one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.
The Jokers: Satoshi Nakamoto
"Satoshi Nakamoto" is the pseudonym used by the mysterious figure(s) that kickstarted the cryptocurrency industry as it exists today. It all began with a white paper published in 2008, titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.
While many have speculated about the true identity of Bitcoin’s creator, the mystery lives on. Nakamoto could be just about anyone, or even multiple people. He, she, or they could be behind you right now. As a result, we depicted Nakamoto as the jokers in our deck, with both male and female versions.