Most Influential 2021: Camila Russo

The Defiant founder says: “Crypto is spurring a paradigm shift, where we’ll emerge from the current user-centric society.”

AccessTimeIconDec 7, 2021 at 2:08 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:31 p.m. UTC
Layer 2
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Former Bloomberg journalist Camila Russo identified a niche market, decentralized finance (DeFi), that wasn’t receiving nearly enough attention for the weight it was pulling, and executed. Her media empire, The Defiant, which began as a daily newsletter giving a rundown of major DeFi news, has grown to encompass a team of writers and reporters, a voicey opinion section and some of the best produced video content about crypto. It has also expanded from a team of one to 17 people globally, from Tasmania to San Francisco. Taking a cue from her former employer, The Defiant has unveiled its “Defiant Terminal,” a data aggregator built for degens and institutions alike.

This post is part of CoinDesk’s “Most Influential 2021″ series.

How do you make sense of the year’s biggest trends in crypto?

Communities were crypto’s main asset in 2021. The stars of the year, NFTs, are about digital ownership, but they’re also (and sometimes primarily) an access pass to a specific community. DAOs are becoming powerful ways to organize capital and people. The metaverse is about finding a better way to interact online with others. Crypto Twitter organized to become a political force. We are just learning how powerful cryptocurrencies and smart contracts can rally people globally, and empower them to reach bigger and bigger goals.

How is crypto going to change the world by 2030?

Crypto is spurring a paradigm shift, where we’ll emerge from the current user-centric society, into an owner-centric society. Individuals all over the world will become users and owners of not only the applications they use, but also of the base layers on which they are built. Ownership means we’ll have greater control over our information and assets, the ability to benefit from the growth of the products we use online, and the right to participate in how those applications are run.

(Kevin Ross/CoinDesk)
(Kevin Ross/CoinDesk)

CORRECTION (22:00 UTC – 12/7/2021): Corrects headline to Camila Russo from Camilla.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.

Read more about