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Most Influential 2022

The Definitive List of the Biggest Changemakers in Crypto, Blockchain and Web3. Presented by Bitstamp

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Most Influential 2022

Nos. 1 to 15

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And Then There Was One

In an astonishing six months as crypto winter hobbled even well-funded crypto companies, Binance defended its position at the top of all crypto exchanges and took down its $40 billion rival, FTX. That’s why Changpeng Zhao is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

Still the Face of Crypto

The 30-year-old CEO of FTX shocked the world when his $40 billion crypto empire collapsed last month, with billions in customer assets still unaccounted. That's why Sam Bankman-Fried is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

Ethereum Pulled Off The Year’s Biggest Blockchain Event

It was no small task for the hundreds of developers and client teams to build, coordinate, and successfully swap out Ethereum’s core from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. That’s why Vitalik Buterin and Ethereum developers are among CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

‘We Are All F****d’: The Developers of Tornado Cash and the Future of Crypto

The arrest of a web developer for the now-sanctioned currency mixer Tornado Cash has raised questions about whom states can hold responsible when bad actors use software to commit crimes. That's why Alexey Pertsev is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

The Four Horsemen of the Cryptocalypse

Move over, war, famine, pestilence and death. Meet the CEOs of Terraform Labs, Three Arrows Capital, Celsius Network and Voyager Digital. For blowing up crypto, Do Kwon, Su Zhu, Alex Mashinsky and Stephen Ehrlich are four of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

Guns, Ammo and Crypto: How A Ukraine Minister May Have Forever Altered Wars

The government of Ukraine has raised an unprecedented $178 million in crypto for its defense. That’s why Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

The Artist/CEO Generating $1.4B – and Growing – in Generative Art Sales

Blockchain-based algorithmic art is bucking the downward market trend of NFTs and one of the most popular platforms supporting this work is five-year-old Art Blocks. That’s why artist and CEO Erick Calderon is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

All Aboard! Chartering the Mainstream Party Boat to the Island of Web3

Born in the depths of the pandemic, the Vayner3 consultancy has guided many of the biggest mainstream companies into Web3. That’s why Avery Akkineni and Gary Vaynerchuk are two of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

Molly White and the Crypto Skeptics

In the year of crypto winter, the critics have been proven right more often than wrong. That’s why Molly White is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

Coordinating the Federal Government's Approach to Crypto

President Joe Biden raised the hopes of the U.S. crypto industry by signing an executive order that directed federal entities to comprehensively regulate the industry. That’s why Carole House, a former White House adviser and one of the order’s chief authors, is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

Empire of the Bored Apes

Yuga Labs has grown beyond the wild success of its Bored Ape Yacht Club collection to become an NFT powerhouse with a $4 billion valuation and big plans in the metaverse. That’s why co-founders Wylie Aronow and Greg Solano and CEO Nicole Muniz share a spot on CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

The 'Crocodile of Wall Street' and Her Husband Face Trial

Words fail when describing the infamous crypto couple who allegedly laundered $4.5 billion. He’s behind bars and she’s put her raunchy rap videos on hold, but Hollywood is calling. That’s why Heather “Razzlekhan” Morgan and Ilya “Dutch” Lichtenstein share a spot on CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

The Force Behind a 1% Tax That Crushed Indian Crypto Trading

All signs indicate India’s powerful finance minister disdains cryptocurrencies, and now she is setting the G-20 agenda for how the world's economic powers will regulate it. That’s why Nirmala Sitharaman is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

Investing Millions to Orchestrate an Open Metaverse

The co-founder of $5.9 billion gaming giant Animoca Brands has made the development of a single, connected virtual world where users can interact across platforms the cornerstone of his investment strategy. That’s why Yat Siu is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

The Teen Dropping $20M in NFTs

Following his breakout year as an NFT artist, this 19-year old sold a generative art collection of "paint drop" NFTs for $20 million. That’s why FEWOCiOUS is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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Most Influential 2022

Nos. 16 to 50

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Setting a Standard for Global Regulation of Crypto

The European Commission finally passed the EU’s landmark Markets in Crypto Assets framework with buy-in from 27 member states. For pushing MiCA deftly through a complex legislative process, Commissioner Mairead McGuinness is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

Zcash Doesn’t Need Your Trust

For years, the Electric Coin Company has been breaking new ground with zero-knowledge proofs. This year it radically improved privacy on its Zcash protocol, even as the right to use it is under attack. That’s why CEO Zooko Wilcox is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

Keeping the Crypto Industry Bankrolled

A16z partner Chris Dixon spent the first half of the year boldly amassing a $4.5 billion fund. But when the crypto industry went upside down, he pivoted to quietly support promising ventures. That’s why he is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

Misfortune Favors the Crypto Mouthpiece

The Bourne trilogy actor’s Crypto.com ad is a proxy for all the cringe-inducing celebrity crypto shills you wish you could unsee. That’s why Matt Damon is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

Don’t Let the Neckwear Fool You

This anonymous account has been converting TradFi toffs into crypto bros. That’s why BowTied Bull is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

Putting Time in Web3

The president of old media’s flagship magazine leaned into Web3 and created new divisions that are rejuvenating the 99-year-old brand. That’s why Keith Grossman is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

Fired, but Not Canceled

After an abhorrent old tweet resurfaced, Brantly Millegan lost leadership roles but kept a key one at the Ethereum Name Service Foundation, demonstrating the limits of cancel culture in self-governing communities. That’s why he is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

The Bitcoiner Who Stood Up to Toxicity

Nic Carter, a commentator and venture capitalist, has taken a stand against Bitcoin Maximalism. That’s why he is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

Leading the Best Business-Development Team in Web3

This year alone, Nike, Starbucks, Reddit and many other consumer-focused brands have chosen to partner with Polygon Studios to create their Web3 experiences. That’s why Polygon Studios CEO Ryan Wyatt is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

A Rookie Knocks Reddit’s NFT Marketplace Out of the Park

In the first three months of Reddit's r/NFTsMarketplace, more users opened wallets than all the users on top NFT marketplace OpenSea. That’s why Pali Bhat is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

BlackRock CEO’s Crypto About-Face

The actions by the head of the $10 trillion asset management firm say that crypto is ready for mainstream investment. That’s why Larry Fink is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

Crypto’s Virgil Through the Market Hellscape

Arthur Hayes has been many things to crypto over the years: a builder, a showman and a criminal. This year, as the industry collapsed, he’s been a wise commentator for the inexperienced and perplexed. That’s why he is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

The Senate’s Biggest Crypto Regulations Cheerleaders

The U.S. Congress’ upper chamber has introduced a bipartisan, comprehensive crypto-responsibility bill, with another stablecoin regulations bill on its way. That’s why senators Cynthia Lummis and Kirsten Gillibrand share a spot on CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

He Who Should Not Have an Impact on Crypto

Crypto aspires to function without monetary oversight, but this year the U.S. Federal Reserve’s chair proved how far from reality this goal is at a time of high interest rates. That’s why, once again, Jerome Powell is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

The ‘Good Cop and Bad Cop’ of US Crypto Regulations

The ongoing tug-of-war between the top two federal regulatory agencies keeps the crypto industry on its toes. That’s why Gary Gensler and Rostin Behnam share a spot on CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

The Everyman of Crypto Twitter

The host of the “Up Only” podcast has tracked the scams and issues with crypto in real time, even taking down an inside trader at Coinbase. That’s why Jordan Fish aka Cobie is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

The Members of Congress Who Have Stablecoin Issuers Watching Their Next Moves

Anticipation for a crypto bill out of the House Financial Services Committee ran so high this year that stablecoin issuers have been trying to meet the bill’s expected standards before the rules are even set. That’s why Rep. Maxine Waters and Rep. Patrick McHenry are two of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

He Keeps Art NFTs Hot in Crypto Winter

The generative artist raised $17 million in September before his QQL collection was even minted, a highlight amid the NFT market downturn. That’s why Tyler Hobbs is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

The Bullied Takes the Bully to Court

David beat Goliath in an Oslo courtroom in September, establishing a legal precedent for the freedom to say a self-proclaimed inventor of Bitcoin is not actually the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto. That’s why Magnus Granath (aka Hodlonaut) and Craig Wright share a spot on CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022 list.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

Betting on a Decentralized, Cross-Chain Crypto Future

The 26-year-old president of Jump Crypto heads a DeFi juggernaut that’s building key infrastructure and cross-chain bridges, and investing in layer1 blockchains. For running on all cylinders in a year of crypto reckoning, Kanav Kariya is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

Look Who's Taking a Crash Course in Crypto Bankruptcy

The chief bankruptcy judge of the Southern District of New York is learning on the job how crypto complicates bankruptcy law. He has his hands full with Celsius Network, but his caseload could get even bigger in 2023. That’s why Martin Glenn is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

Blending the World’s Most Successful Loyalty Program With Web3

The brains behind Starbucks Rewards, which has 60 million members, is back to design Starbucks Odyssey, a Web3 loyalty program. That's why Adam Brotman is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

Crypto Developers Reveal the Perils of Anonymity

The total value locked on the Solana network reached billions of dollars, based in part on sham protocols by two brothers working under multiple aliases. For showing how divorced TVL can be from the truth, Ian and Dylan Macalinao share a spot on CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

Guiding the Chinese Central Bank Digital Currency the World Admires and Fears

Many nations, especially the economic superpowers, began the year in fear of being left behind by China’s relentless progress with its digital yuan. For leading the development of the most advanced major CBDC, Mu Changchun is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

Pinning the Idea of ‘Network States’ on the Map

Balaji Srinivasan's thesis of forming countries online underpins a thought-provoking bestseller and maybe a new asset class – earning him a spot on CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022 list.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

Leaving Crypto Scammers No Place to Hide

This pseudonymous Twitter sleuth’s viral exposés of on-chain fraud and wrongdoing helped lead French authorities to arrest a crime ring that stole $2.5 million in Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs. That’s why ZachXBT is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

The Punk Fighting for an Open Metaverse

A pseudonymous NFT collector thinks if the metaverse is inevitable we must do what we can to avoid making it a cyberpunkian hellscape owned by Meta. That’s why Punk6529 is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

The Doxxed Face of a Pseudonymous Investment Project

Eva Beylin is an investor in, and supporter of, core Ethereum technology through eGirl Capital and is helping to build the Google of Web3 at The Graph Foundation. That’s why she is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

He Put a Magnifying Glass on Terra and It Went Up in Flames

Having whistleblowers’ trust made a cranky pseudonymous Twitter account key to the flameout of Terraform Labs and its LUNA token. That’s why FatManTerra is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

Left Behind by the Merge, but Still Fighting

The spectacular success of the Merge obscured the stories of those who were left behind, the Ethereum proof-of-work miners who lost their livelihoods. One miner is not letting the crypto community ignore them. That’s why Chandler Guo is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

The OG Streetwear Designer Fighting for NFT Creator Royalties

When 20 year old streetwear brand The Hundreds jumped into Web 3 last year its loyal fans spent upwards of 100 million on its NF Ts This year it canceled its Open Sea drop in a principled stand for creators financial interests That’s why Bobby The Hundreds Kim is one of Coin Desk’s Most Influential [...]

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CoinDesk - Unknown

Miladys NFT Community Is the Counterculture to Cancel Culture

The uncanny, anime-inspired, profile pictures invite conversations about whether the sins of the creator are laid upon the creation. That’s why the Miladys NFT community is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

Now That He Has the Power to Make His Crypto Dreams Come True, Will He?

As finance minister earlier this year he backed measures for regulating stablecoins and boldly declared he would turn the U.K. into an international hub for crypto. Now he’s prime minister and an FTX-scarred industry is watching. That’s why Rishi Sunak is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

The Organizer of the Freedom Convoy Who Got Its Crypto Assets Seized

Canada’s trucker protest leaders unwittingly taught us that a private citizen in that country can successfully petition a judge to seize someone else’s crypto. That's why Tamara Lich is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

Reality Sticks a Pin in His Hot-Air Dreams

Taking lessons from Napster, Helium Systems CEO envisions a peer-to-peer network powered by the blockchain. The company's market cap rose to $2.5 billion on hopes and promise, but has now fallen. That’s why Amir Haleem is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

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Meet the NFT Artists

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Most Influential Artist: Adam Levine

The artist made a portrait of crypto critic Molly White, and went down the Web3 rabbit hole she opened up.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

Most Influential Artist: Federico Solmi

The Italian artist, a resident of New York City, created a 3D image of Vitalik Buterin and the Ethereum developers for their role orchestrating The Merge, the most consequential upgrade in blockchain history.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

Most Influential Artist: Osinachi

The Nigerian artist creates one-of-a-kind images using Microsoft Word. For this season, he depicted Mikhaylo Federov, the Ukrainian official who raised about $200 million in crypto for that country's war effort.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

Most Influential Artist: Sarah Script

The calligrapher minted an NFT of White House crypto adviser Carole House.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

Most Influential Artist: Bryan Brinkman

The New York animator tries to display the mystery of Razzlekhan and Lichtenstein, who kicked off this year’s descent into fraud and deception.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

Most Influential Artist: Fesq

The previous programmer creates an image called “The Maestro,” which ties Yat Siu’s music background to his position as a leader in the Asian Web3 gaming industry.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

Most Influential Artist: Yosnier

A 23-year-old artist doesn’t want to come across as sympathizing with Sam Bankman-Fried, who lost numerous people’s life savings in FTX's collapse.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

Most Influential Artist: Ravi Vora

The Los Angeles-based photographer captured Gary Vaynerchuk and Vayner3 President Avery Akkineni.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

Most Influential Artist: Ovie Faruq

The NFT artist sought to depict the "carelessness and neglect" of the "Four Horsemen of the Cryptocalypse" in his NFT art for CoinDesk's Most Influential 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

Most Influential Artist: Alex Headlam (Aleqth)

The artist sought inspiration from Andy Warhol and Tim Burton to create his portrait of Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao.

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CoinDesk - Unknown

Most Influential Artist: Dave Krugman

The photographer captured his portrait of Erick Calderon at a Bright Moments NFT art event in Mexico City.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

Most Influential Artist: Norman Harman

The Edinburgh-based artist uses a combination of technologies and brick-and-mortar traditional values to depict Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

Most Influential Artist: Oveck

The New York-based artist depicted one of the year's NFT success stories – Yuga Labs, the company behind the Bored Ape phenom – for CoinDesk's Most Influential series.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

Most Influential Artist: Trevor and Violet Jones

The artist couple collaborated for the first time ever on their painting of Alexey Pertsev, the developer arrested for his role in creating Tornado Cash.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown

The Artist and Technology Behind 36 AI Portraits

How to generate three dozen portraits for the Most Influential 2022 in about a week? Meet Pixelmind.ai, the app that saved this CoinDesk feature from visual ennui.

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