One of the great things about reporting on the blockchain/crypto industry is the infinite variety of interesting, smart people doing bold, crazy things. From daring entrepreneurs and builders, to inspired thinkers and communicators, this space has no shortage of colorful characters pushing the envelope. It’s in this spirit that we present this year’s Most Influential, a selection of people who did exceptional things in 2019. Whether it was Caitlin Long establishing Wyoming as the “blockchain state,” or Rune Christensen corralling MakerDAO, or David Marcus launching Libra, these people made an impact and shaped the conversation, for better or for worse.

The selection was made in a three-step process. First, CoinDesk staff drew up a longlist. Then, we asked readers to vote for their favorites in a survey. Then, based on all opinions, CoinDesk made a final choice. Note: People are chosen for having exemplary years, perhaps the most significant year of their careers. This is not an all-time influencer list; some well-known OGs were not included. For instance, Jack Dorsey made the cut this year for not only championing bitcoin in Silicon Valley, but funding a development team to work on its core protocol. Gerald Cotten of Quadriga infamy helped us learn (again) the truth of the old adage: “not your keys, not your coins.”

Whatever your views of this selection may be, we hope you enjoy the discussion it is likely to spark. Debate, bicker, ponder, but most of all, tag #mostinfluential2019 on Twitter. Happy Holidays.

The paintings here were commissioned from Trevor Jones, an artist based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Trevor became fascinated with art and tech collaboration soon after graduating from university in 2008. He was one of the first professional painters to incorporate augmented reality. Since 2017, his work has concentrated on cryptocurrency. These original oil paintings will be auctioned by the artist at Bitify.com, with 20% of the sales being donated to two worthy charities, BitGive and the Manny Pacquiao Foundation. Contact Trevor at trevorjonesart.com / @trevorjonesart for more information.