Both Stani Kulechov and Aave, the decentralized finance (DeFi) money market he founded, enjoyed a fruitful 2021. In April, the launch of a liquidity mining program helped propel Aave past rival Compound in total value locked (TVL) rankings, establishing Aave as the preeminent lending platform.

Just a few weeks later, Kulechov joined Variant Fund as a partner, and has since been listed as an advisor and investor in a number of emerging Web 3 projects. In addition to helming Aave and his growing venture capital portfolio, Kulechov is seeing tremendous success serving as Aave’s hypeman in chief.

His sometimes spontaneous “rAAVE” parties carry growing cultural significance (and have attracted mainstream media attention), and in addition to generally playful attitude, he’s a great Twitter follow for the future products he teases: an Aave-powered social media protocol, Aave debit cards, and even, possibly, a Web 3 fashion line? Even if just one of the above end up being released in 2022, odds are we’ll be seeing him on this list again.

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(Kevin Ross/CoinDesk)

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