Like the early adopters of the internet and mobile technology, entrepreneurs and executives with specialized knowledge are paving the way for the next technology revolution. Despite backgrounds ranging from philosophy to aerospace, these leaders in the cryptocurrency sector understand how decentralized finance will impact economic futures worldwide. By doing so, they have upended how the world thinks about storing and trading money within the banking, trading, investing, and infrastructure ecosystems.
Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum
Vitalik Buterin, a Russian-Canadian programmer, graduated from the University of Waterloo in Ontario with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. He joined the Bitcoin community in 2011 when he launched and wrote articles for Bitcoin Magazine before producing the Ethereum white paper in 2013. Now the second-largest cryptocurrency by market value, Buterin came up with the idea for an open-source blockchain that uses a token, Ether, to fund application program development. In response to Bitcoin’s alleged flaws, he created the blockchain. Hardware integration allows anything to be decentralized, codified, secured and traded using Ethereum. This includes financial exchanges, contracts and agreements, crowdsourcing, corporate governance, and intellectual property. Vitalik received the Thiel Fellowship Award in 2014 and the World Technology Network (WTN) award for IT software. A Forbes “40 Under 40” and “30 Under 30” list honoree, he became the youngest crypto millionaire at 27. Additionally, Buterin has donated around $1 billion in cryptocurrency to the India Covid Relief Fund and several other organizations.
Brian Shroder, President and CEO of Binance
Brian Shroder graduated from Miami University with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Organizational Leadership before earning his MBA from Harvard Business School. He is responsible for creating the country’s most successful cryptocurrency and digital asset exchange. Binance aims to improve the financial markets liquidity, transparency, and efficiency by developing solutions that use cryptocurrencies. Binance.US offers a regulated marketplace based on cutting-edge technology. Users may buy and sell 65+ cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, using its dedicated app.
Before joining Binance.US, Brian held executive positions at several companies, including Ant Group, where he served as the Head of Business Development for Global Partnerships, and Uber, where he served as the Head of Strategy and Business Development for the Asia Pacific region. Prior to those positions, he worked as an angel investor and start-up advisor. Additionally, he had a Principal role with Boston Consulting Group.
Jeremy Allaire, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Circle
Founded in 2013, Circle is the pioneer of USD Coin (USDC), the fastest-growing, fully-reserved, and regulated dollar digital currency. This global financial technology firm enables businesses to harness the power of stablecoins and public blockchains for commerce. USDC has grown exponentially to reach more than 41 billion in circulation, and Circle boasts a post-money valuation of $200 million. The company employs more than 240 professionals between its headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts, and its New York City office. Jeremy Allaire holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy, with a concentration in Economics, from Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Before launching Circle, Allaire was the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Brightcove, a cloud-based online video platform provider. Previously, he was an Entrepreneur-In-Residence with General Catalyst Partners and CTO of Macromedia. He was also Co-Founder and CTO of the Allaire Corporation, which Macromedia acquired in 2001.