Feature

Presenting CoinDesk's Most Influential 2023

Fifty people who defined the year in crypto.

Updated Dec 4, 2023 at 9:43 p.m. UTC
Presenting CoinDesk's Most Influential 2023
Updated Dec 4, 2023 at 9:43 p.m. UTC

Presenting CoinDesk's Most Influential 2023

Fifty people who defined the year in crypto.

What to Know
  • CoinDesk's Most Influential recognizes the people, who, for the better, and sometimes the worse, defined the year in digital assets and Web3. There are 10 top honorees who made an outsized impact, and 40 more people who were only a little less influential. For 10 of the entrees, we asked select digital artists to create NFTs of the honorees.
  • The auction will begin on Monday, Dec. 4, at 12 p.m. ET (17:00 UTC) and ends 24 hours after the first bid is placed. Holders of a Most Influential NFT will receive a Pro Pass ticket to Consensus 2024 in Austin, Texas.


CoinDesk's Most Influential 2023: Top 10

The following ten names are recognized for their exceptional impact on the world of crypto in 2023.

Casey Rodarmor

Casey Rodarmor

His "Ordinals Theory," allowing data inscription on Bitcoin, generated a backlash from Bit...

Casey Rodarmor
NFT by Rhett Mankind
View SaleAuction begins Dec. 4, 12:00pm EST
Title of Artwork Being Sold

Ryan Selkis

The Messari CEO built a political fundraising machine for crypto that's ready to sway elec...

Title of Artwork Being Sold

Jenny Johnson

The $1.33 trillion asset manager was viewed as old-fashioned, but its CEO is at the forefr...

Title of Artwork Being Sold

Lido DAO

Lido has become a victim of its own success, attracting criticism as its share of staked e...

Title of Artwork Being Sold

Paolo Ardoino

The newly promoted CEO of Tether is looking to diversify the firm's investments after a ba...

'NFT Title' Title of Artwork Being Sold

Jose Fernandez da Ponte

PayPal debuted its own Ethereum-based USD stablecoin this year, offering serious competiti...

Title of Artwork Being Sold

Gary Gensler

No regulator or law enforcement official had as much influence on crypto this year. But is...

Title of Artwork Being Sold

Brian Armstrong

With CZ gone at Binance, and SBF set for prison, Brian Armstrong is the biggest big gun st...

Panopticon

Sam Altman

From ChatGPT to Worldcoin, Sam Altman changed everything in 2023.

Panopticon
NFT by Shavonne Wong
View SaleAuction begins Dec. 4, 12:00pm ET (17:00 UTC)
Portrait of Brad Garlinghouse in the 2023 Crypto Winter

Brad Garlinghouse

Ripple's CEO emerged triumphant this year in legal cases with big implications for crypto'...

Portrait of Brad Garlinghouse in the 2023 Crypto Winter
NFT by La Vaun
View SaleAuction begins Dec. 4, 12:00pm ET (17:00 UTC)

CoinDesk's Most Influential 2023: Honorable 40

The “honorable 40″ (listed below the top 10) are recognized for their ongoing work. We’ll roll out more profiles and interviews over the course of this week.

Refik AnadolDigital artist Refik Anadol’s creatively sculpted imaginations generated wonder and discus...
Study; Unsupervised
NFT by P1A
View SaleAuction begins Dec. 4, 12:00pm ET (17:00 UTC)
Study; Unsupervised
Rune ChristensenThe co-founder of MakerDAO says his biggest achievement this year was bringing real-world...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Larry FinkBlackRock reignited interest in bitcoin ETFs this year, in part driven by CEO Fink’s stron...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Jordi BaylinaOne of Ethereum’s biggest scalability layers, Polygon, is at the forefront of a new tech t...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Avery ChingWith hundreds of millions at stake, Avery Ching, co-founder of one of the year's most-talk...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Stefan BergerStefan Berger steered through the European Union’s world-leading Markets in Crypto Assets...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Cuy SheffieldPerhaps more than at any other TradFi firm, Visa’s crypto unit under Sheffield has been ru...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Jesse PollakCoinbase’s Layer 2 blockchain, which launched this year, helps the exchange to scale and r...
No finer place for sure, everything’s waiting for you.
NFT by Rebecca Rose
View SaleAuction begins Dec. 4, 12:00pm ET (17:00 UTC)
No finer place for sure, everything’s waiting for you.
Karl FloerschThe CEO of OP Labs helped create a set of tools that let developers build their own layer-...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Lisa NeigutThe Blockstream developer has been working on what she calls “Lightning v2” since 2019, an...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Sergey NazarovChainlink is where digital assets meet the real world, and Nazarov is predicting TradFi an...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Jeremy AllaireCircle continued to build out the USDC stablecoin network, spreading access and inclusion...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Mike BelsheBitGo was one of the few crypto companies to raise capital in a depressed market, and even...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Ria BhutoriaA partner at Castle Island Ventures, Bhutoria has produced some of the smartest analysis i...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Balaji SrinivasanSrinivasan bet $1 million the U.S. dollar would collapse (and lost), and evangelized his i...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Yat SiuWeb3 gaming powerhouse Animoca Brands isn’t playing around; it takes its work with governm...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Paul SztorcThe developer’s proposal (BIP 300) for “Drive Chains” (sidechains) on Bitcoin – meant to a...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
RacerFarcaster, Friend.tech and Lens showed how much can change in a year — but is Web3 network...
Racer
NFT by Efdot
View SaleAuction begins Dec. 4, 12:00pm ET (17:00 UTC)
Racer
Miguel MorelArkham’s Intel Exchange, which pays people to help identify wallets, caused an uproar over...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
OgleHacks happen a lot in crypto. So, Ogle has professionalized asset recovery for the victims...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Caroline EllisonThe former Alameda Research CEO gave damning testimony in the fraud trial of her former bo...
Me Casa Es Tu Casa
NFT by Michael Kutsche
View SaleAuction begins Dec. 4, 12:00pm ET (17:00 UTC)
Me Casa Es Tu Casa
Pascal GauthierCrypto wallet company Ledger created a controversial seed recovery service, something newb...
Decentral Eyes
NFT by Coldie
View SaleAuction begins Dec. 4, 12:00pm ET (17:00 UTC)
Decentral Eyes
Anatoly YakovenkoWith a rocketing token and tech improvements on the horizon, the Solana community – rallie...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Judge Analisa TorresThe U.S. District judge's partial ruling in favor of Ripple regarding XRP could create a p...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Patrick McHenryThe bowtied chairman of the House Financial Services Committee has shown persistence in th...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Richard TengWith big shoes to fill, Teng, the new CEO of Binance is tasked with cleaning up the reputa...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Hayden AdamsUniswap, the first decentralized crypto exchange of its kind, was Adams’ first and greates...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
PacmanBlur upended OpenSea's NFT marketplace dominance by focusing on big traders. Its cofounder...
Pwning N00bs
NFT by Logik
View SaleAuction begins Dec. 4, 12:00pm ET (17:00 UTC)
Pwning N00bs
Ravi Menon"DigiFT is the first exchange with an automatic market making mechanism to have been admit...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Luca SchnetzlerWhile much of the NFT market was taking beatings, the Pudgy Penguins CEO drove his brand f...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Shytoshi Kusama and the SHIB Community'Description' For tackling climate change by giving every homeowner the opportunity to ele...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Antonio JulianoJuliano’s dYdX switched from Ethereum to Cosmos in one of the year’s biggest blockchain de...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Stani KulechovWith upgrades to the Aave lending/borrowing protocol and Lens, an open-source social media...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Caroline PhamThe CFTC commissioner, in a year marked by an aggressive, sometimes arbitrary regulatory e...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Ron FarisAs many corporations shied away from blockchain-powered initiatives this year, Nike has be...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Barry SilbertThe former owner of CoinDesk faced a slew of lawsuits and complications in 2023, but by ye...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Elizabeth WarrenThe U.S. Senator from Massachusetts is skeptical of crypto. It's a position she leaned int...
dollar general
NFT by die with the most likes
View SaleAuction begins Dec. 4, 12:00pm ET (17:00 UTC)
dollar general
Martin KöppelmanIn addition to building some of the biggest blockchain tools on Ethereum, Köppelmann is al...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Julie LeungA former journalist, Leung is the world’s most powerful female financial regulator in an i...
Title of Artwork Being Sold
Ian AllisonThe CoinDesk reporter belongs in the journalism hall of fame since there's little, if any,...
Title of Artwork Being Sold

Meet the NFT Artists

Rhett is the artist behind the NFT.

Rhett Mankind: Casey Rodarmor 'Wasn't Just Another Elusive Figure'

The artist made an NFT of the Ordinals protocol creator for our Most Influential package.

Rhett is the artist behind the NFT.
Shavonne Wong, the artist behind the NFT.

Shavonne Wong: Not Even Sam Altman 'Is Exempt From Surveillance'

The artist made an NFT of the Worldcoin co-founder and OpenAI CEO for our Most Influential package.

Shavonne Wong, the artist behind the NFT.
La Vaun, the artist behind the NFT.

La Vaun: Envisioning Brad Garlinghouse as 'This Strategic Commander'

The artist made an NFT of the Ripple Labs CEO for our Most Influential package.

La Vaun, the artist behind the NFT.
P1A, the artist behind the NFT.

P1A: Refik Anadol Explores 'Boundaries of Creativity'

The artist made an NFT of Refik Anadol, another artist, for our Most Influential package.

P1A, the artist behind the NFT.
Rebecca Rose, the artist behind the NFT.

Rebecca Rose: 'What Goes on Inside That Brain' of Jesse Pollak's?

The artist made an NFT of the Base leader for our Most Influential package.

Rebecca Rose, the artist behind the NFT.
EFDOT, the artist behind the NFT.

Efdot: Racer 'Likes to Move Fast and Innovate'

The artist made an NFT of the Friend.tech co-founder for our Most Influential package.

EFDOT, the artist behind the NFT.
Michael Kutsche, the artist behind the NFT.

Michael Kutsche: Caroline Ellison Had Her Mind 'Hijacked'

The artist made an NFT of the former Alameda Research executive for our Most Influential package.

Michael Kutsche, the artist behind the NFT.
Logik, artist for the NFT.

LOGIK: Tieshun 'Pacman' Roquerre 'Knows His S--t'

The artist made an NFT of the Blur and Blast founder for our Most Influential package.

Logik, artist for the NFT.
Die with the most likes, the artist behind the NFT.

Die With the Most Likes: Elizabeth Warren in the Style of 'Relentless. Ground. Beef'

The artist made an NFT of the U.S. senator, lead of an "anti-crypto army," for our Most Influential package.

Die with the most likes, the artist behind the NFT.
Coldie, the artist behind the NFT.

Coldie: Pascal Gauthier Has 'Strong Features' in Personality and Facial Makeup

The artist made an NFT of the crypto hardware wallet executive for our Most Influential package.

Coldie, the artist behind the NFT.

Disclosure

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 Block.one; 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 offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.