Jeremy Allaire, a technologist who has long seen the disruptive potential of the internet, founded Circle in 2013 with the aim of bringing bitcoin to the masses. The company has evolved over the years, counting its fair share of losses, but has indisputably played a defining role in the cryptocurrency industry. U.S. Dollar Coin (USDC), launched in collaboration with crypto exchange Coinbase and others, is now one of the largest and most trusted stablecoins. This year payments rivals Mastercard and Visa both selected USDC to run their early stablecoin projects on. In July, Allaire announced that Circle would go public in a $4.5 billion initial public offering.
Fun fact: Allaire built an online archive of Noam Chomsky’s political works in the 1990s.
The Complete List: CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2021
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.