Consensus 2023 Logo
Join the most important conversation in crypto and Web3 taking place in Austin, Texas, April 26-28.

Jeanhee Kim is senior editor for lists, rankings and special projects.

Consensus 2023 Logo
Join the most important conversation in crypto and Web3 taking place in Austin, Texas, April 26-28.

The year 2022 has been like no other in crypto history.

Each December since 2014, CoinDesk has taken stock of the year to date to find the themes, stories and people that made the biggest impact on crypto, blockchain and Web3. This gives us a chance to recognize the good as well as the bad.

Though it may seem like the cryptoverse suffered an entire year of calamity and failures, it has been only a tumultuous six months. Most of the first half of 2022 was pretty stable – for crypto – still buoyed by a strong 2021, growing mainstream interest and optimism.

As the collapse of the FTX empire is still fresh and unraveling, the failures and likely crimes exposed this year are what we will likely remember most. The crypto industry has lost $2 trillion in value – including countless people’s savings – since the price of bitcoin peaked just over one year ago.

Nonetheless, long-term positive trends continued: the tide of mainstream interests is still moving into the cryptosphere; regulatory efforts have gained momentum and urgency; and creators are still seeking and finding their way on-chain and virtually, experimenting with non-fungible tokens, the metaverse and Web3.

For the past several weeks, the CoinDesk staff has been taking in the fullness of the year’s events and debating the emerging themes and impacts. In October, we asked for the public’s input on our preliminary thoughts and sought nominations. These ideas and names informed our final selection.

To be clear, the Most Influential 2022 is a list, not a ranking. While we acknowledge some of our influencers had an outsize impact this year – and give them more prominence on the list – at some point ranking achievements is unrealistic. And inevitably, not everyone will agree with our choices. Many of our influencers – as befits the crypto bear market we’re in – are bad actors (but influential nonetheless). We make no claim that this is a list of the most admirable or admired.

If you have other ideas, please have your say on Twitter and tag @CoinDesk.

Whatever you feel about our Most Influential 2022 choices, please do admire the outstanding portraits we commissioned of them. For the fourth consecutive year, CoinDesk worked with artists to make portraits and interpret the impact of our 50 influencers. Taking this one step further, this year we collaborated with Coinbase NFT to mint and auction 14 of the Most Influential 2022 portraits as NFTs, which allowed us to add a utility layer to include valuable perks to winning bidders including tickets to Consensus 2023. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to One Earth, a nonprofit combating climate change.

And now....

CoinDesk - Unknown

(Kevin Ross/CoinDesk)

More: NFTs of the works depicted above sold at auction on Coinbase NFT. A percentage of the sale went to oneearth.org.

CoinDesk's Most Influential 2022

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DISCLOSURE

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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.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Jeanhee Kim is senior editor for lists, rankings and special projects.


Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.


CoinDesk - Unknown

Jeanhee Kim is senior editor for lists, rankings and special projects.