women in blockchain

There are numerous speculations about the lack of women in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. As the New York Times reported earlier this year, the industry has so far been dominated by “blockchain bros,” with women accounting for just four-to-six percent of blockchain investors.

However, there are women out there making a real change, offering a living example that gender doesn’t matter as long as you bring value to the table. 

As Silicon Valley entrepreneur Brit Morin explained, “We have an opportunity to rebuild the financial systems. Women want to be part of that.”

Block Explorer proudly presents the most important women in blockchain: 

1. Kathleen Breitman (@breitwoman)

 Who: Breitman is one of the co-founders of Tezos, a self-governed automatically updated blockchain. The project raised $232 million of funding becoming the third-largest Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in 2017 and the tenth-largest in history (according to data from CoinSchedule). 

Even though the project went through the process of harsh legal scrutiny, the team was able to make it work, launching the fully operational protocol back in September. 

Why follow: Her tweets are a balanced mix of personal thoughts, heads up about important people and events in the field and funny jokes, delivered in a very calm manner. 

What does she say?

2. Neha Narula (@neha)

Who: Narula was a Google engineer and part of the team in charge of relaunching Digg, the news aggregator. Now, Narula is a director of the Digital Currency Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab. It’s a pioneer in industry research, focused on cryptocurrencies, related technologies and solving the major issues standing in the way of mass adoption including privacy, security, and scaling.

Why follow: She is responsible for many amazing things in blockchain development right now, including creating a demo for a crypto-powered vending machine that allows the buyer to pay for goods with multiple coins. You don’t want to miss it! 

What does she say?

3. Galia Benartzi(@galiabenartzi)

 Who: Benartzi co-founded Bancor, the protocol for smart tokens, one of the most successful token sales to date. Getting back to CoinSchedule and their stats, Bancor was the fifth-largest token sale in 2017 and the 12th largest in history, at the time of publishing. 

Benartzi is currently in charge of Bancor’s business development, and that’s one hell of a mission. 

Why follow: Galia mostly retweets Bancor’s whereabouts and given that the project is working to rethink the future of money and digital assets – it’s a lot. Also, she shares her interviews and talks at the major events. It’s nice to be in the loop if you’re eager to attend blockchain events featuring ladies on the panels.

What does she say?

4. Preethi Kasireddy (@iam_preethi)

 Who: Preethi used to work as a blockchain engineer at Coinbase. And before that as an analyst at Goldman Sachs and partner at Andreessen Horowitz investment firm. Her recent venture is a project called TruStory, a social network of experts helping to identify what is real and what isn’t, focused on crypto-related news. She also holds 1:1 sessions with women who want to get involved in blockchain and crypto. 

Why follow: As a person who believes there’s no point in accumulating knowledge if you are not eager to share it, Kasireddy is indeed a goldmine of blockchain theoretical or practical information. All delivered in an easy to digest manner with lots of personality and character.

Her “aha” moment? Realizing that: “One of the biggest potentials of crypto was going to be its ability to break down some of the entrenched, ineffective, and corrupt systems we have in place today and re-imagine them from the ground up. To do things more openly, fairly, and effectively. All along, I had been approaching crypto as just a technological breakthrough. But I realized that it doesn’t stop at the technology, it merely starts there — it’s a movement. A revolution.”

What does she say? 

5. Meltem Demirors (@Melt_Dem)

Who: According to her Twitter profile, Demirors teaches at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Oxford University. She has a prominent corporate background as an analyst at Dow Chemical and Tradax Energy and as a consultant at Deloitte.

Starting from 2015 she was deeply involved in Digital Currency Group, one of the most active investors in the industry (its portfolio counts over 100 companies). Currently, she is chief strategy officer at investment management company, CoinShares. So she really knows her stuff. 

Why follow: Meltem has a UNIQUE point of view on what’s going on in the industry right now and where it might take us soon on the macroeconomic level. And she doesn’t hesitate to share it.

Her “aha” moment? “Sending a bitcoin transaction in 2013. Truly magical. Truly life-changing. When I really understood why this mattered.”

What does she say?

6. Linda Xie (@ljxie)

 Who: Linda accumulated many years of corporate risk management experience at AIG, and in product management at Coinbase. Later she moved on to advising 0x, a project building a protocol for decentralized exchanges, and doing her own thing as the managing director and co-founder at Scalar capital, an investment management firm. 

Why follow: Xie is super insightful on many levels: from how to explain the blockchain and cryptocurrencies to a muggle to sharing worthy thoughts and findings from fellow blockchainers. All delivered in a very warm and personal tone, it’s like reading from a friend. 

What does she say? 

7. Amy Wan (@amyywan)

Who: Amy has a solid legal background established while working for the U.S. Department of Commerce. Later on, she moved to the crowdfunding space (and even helped to raise $23.6 million to a real estate platform in series A). The boom of Initial Coin Offerings got her attention and led to her writing the Bloomberg Law practice guide to ICOs. At the moment her main venture is Sagewise, where along with her team she is building a product aiming to resolve disputes on blockchain efficiently. 

Why follow: Knowledgeable and forceful, but yet feminine, Wan shares her legal insights on security token offerings, decentralization and dispute arbitration on the blockchain. 

What does she say?

8. Taylor Monahan (@tayvano_)

 Who: The woman who founded probably one of the most-used Ethereum wallets out there, MyEtherWallet, and later MyCrypto. 

 Why follow: Monahan tweets her opinions on major industry events and her own product updates, all well-seasoned with humor and irony. 

What does she say?

9. Joyce Kim (@joyce)

 Who: Joyce went a long way from being a legal clerk to counseling startups and then becoming a company founder herself. Here entrepreneurial journey includes Soompi.com, one of the largest online communities for Korean pop fans, Simple Honey Inc., mobile e-commerce app based on “wish list” shopping, that was acquired by OpenCoin Inc. in 2013. 

Later she co-founded Stellar, an open platform trying to make financial products accessible for all, and worked there as an executive director. Since 2017 she is on her own again as a managing partner at SparkChain Capital, series A fund, investing in blockchain companies from around the world.

Why follow: Kim doesn’t tweet a lot, but we hope it will change. She is very passionate not only about the blockchain but also about long-term impact it might have on the disruption of some currently dysfunctional institutions. Also, she talks a lot about crypto founders and a token’s evaluation from the traditional “venture” perspective, and it might get you thinking.  

What does she say?

10. Dovey Wan (@DoveyWan)

 Who:  Founding Partner of Primitive Ventures, a crypto asset investment fund, known for contributing to Zcash, Sia, Kyber Network, and many other stealth-mode projects in the field. 

She’s also a voting member for token listings at Huobi Global, giving her voice for or against the candidates applied to be listed on Huobi Pro (currently ranks number six amongst the largest crypto exchanges based on trading volume) and Hadax exchanges.  

 Why follow: Dovey’s tweets are gold. It’s a never-ending flow of fresh tech-related ideas, witty thoughts on the most debated events in the industry, along with funny pics of the casual things she encounters during her trips. 

What does she say?

Do you think we left someone behind? Go ahead and share your favorite blockchain female in the comment section below. Learned something new in this article? Subscribe to the Block Explorer newsletter.

bigstock-Gold-Bitcoin-Crypto-Currency--213810058

2018 was epic. It started with the madness of altcoins rally at the beginning of the year. Followed by massive steps towards bitcoin and crypto mass-adoption made by regulators, large enterprises, and institutional investors. 

And it ended with the blood and tears of traders on the streets (we can still hear some of them screaming). 

Block Explorer is willing to reflect on the most important events that brought the industry to its current state. So, here are the major crypto announcements that shaped 2018: 

1. January: The Perfect Month to Ban Something

Bitcoin price: $14,112 (on the first of the month)

The beginning of January was marked by the huge news splash made by the South Korean government. They unveiled plans to ban anonymous trading on cryptocurrency exchanges over tax avoidance. And sent the police and tax-collecting authorities to their offices. 

As a result, the bitcoin price decreased by $2,000.

At the end of the month, crypto was in trouble again, as Facebook decided to ban all ads related to digital currencies. Since Facebook marketing was a major driving force for many initial coin offerings (ICOs), it cut the source of easy promo for many blockchain startups. 

2. February: China and Bankers Join Forces Against Bitcoin

Bitcoin price: $10,264

It’s not easy living in China without the freedom of internet browsing, catching up with friends on Facebook or just googling. All of that is restricted by the “Great Firewall of China.”  At the beginning of February, the list of undesirable foreign websites was supplemented with bitcoin-related websites to eliminate the financial risks for Chinese citizens.

Next, the head of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) called bitcoin “a bubble, a Ponzi scheme, and an environmental disaster”. The media went nuts over it, and the more they referred to it in the following articles the more the price of crypto was sliding down, falling as much as 14% in one day. 

3. March: SEC has a Crush on Crypto Exchanges. Google Doesn’t

Bitcoin price: $10,433

Some more heartbreaking and uncomfortable milestones for bitcoin and crypto included the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announcement made in March. They obliged all cryptocurrency exchanges to go through the registration procedure through the agency. 

One week later, news from Google set an overall moody tone of the blockchain scene: the company joined Facebook to ban all cryptocurrency-related ads. 

google bans crypto ads

4. April: India Joins the Strike Against Bitcoin 

Bitcoin price: $7,030

In April, crypto’s misadventures continued. This time the Central Bank of India (The Reserve Bank of India) banned financial institutions from allowing transactions from people’s accounts to bitcoin wallets. 

5. May: Goldman Sachs is Going Crypto, “Rich Dudes” are Boiling Over

Bitcoin price: $9,037

A little happy bitcoin rally happened when it was uncovered that Goldman Sachs had its own team dedicated to entering the crypto market. 

Although some people were are not happy about it. Including some very “rich dudes” that were on a mission to come up with the most-quoted insult for bitcoin. For instance, well-known billionaire value investor Warren Buffett referred to bitcoin as “rat poison squared,” and Bill Gates, one of the kindest billionaires in the world, labeled it a “greater fool theory”. 

Later this month the U.S. Justice Department started an investigation into bitcoin price manipulation. Oh, boy, it’s getting tougher.

But even in spite of all those troubles, crypto was still on a good path to wider acceptance. Or how else could you explain the 25 million crypto wallets registered at blockchain.com?  

6. June: Facebook is Stricken by FOMO  

Bitcoin price: $7,519

In June it was time for more bad news. It’s never enough in the crypto world. A panic sell-off happened in the first half of the month after Coinrail’s hack announcement. Even though this South Korean exchange was relatively small it led to a rapid 10% drop in bitcoin price. 

A couple of weeks later, big news came from Facebook who decided to reconsider the crypto advertising ban. Promoting initial coin offerings was still off the table though. 

7. July: Winklevoss Twins Keep Being Stubborn With SEC

Bitcoin price: $6,366

July was relatively calm for cryptocurrencies. Probably because most of the troublemakers were on vacation. But some news was still in the air, including the fact that asset-management heavy-weight BlackRock was looking into crypto assets and another SEC rejection of exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposal filed by Winklevoss twins. 

8. August: Too Many Rejections of ETF Proposals

Bitcoin price: $7,634

August was all about ETF proposals, their postponing and rejections. The bitcoin exchange rates struggled at first, but at the end of the month, after the U.S. Security Exchange Commission declined nine bitcoin ETFs, the price of the major crypto remained stable. How resilient is it? 

9. September: The First Crypto-Related Company Files for IPO

Bitcoin price: $7,192

Most of September’s announcements were quite positive. First, there was more news about Goldman Sachs jumping into crypto. The company’s chief financial officer Martin Chavez confirmed that the Wall Street giant was working on the development of bitcoin-based derivatives that will be accessible to the bank’s clients. 

At the end of the month, one of the leading bitcoin miners, Bitmain, spilled out their intention to run an initial public offering (IPO). And the application for the process was already filed. Bitcoin Cash prices (one of the assets Bitmain is mining) surged up to 20% rapidly. 

10. October: Happy birthday, Bitcoin. Here’s Your Mass-Adoption

Bitcoin price: $6,619

More happy news to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of Bitcoin’s whitepaper. Big steps from institutional investors happened in the middle of October when Fidelity Investments announced the launch of a spin-off company, dedicated to crypto assets exclusively. The new firm named Fidelity Digital Assets was onboarding its first clients and still preparing for the grand opening for the general public in 2019. 

Also, the launch of the first blockchain phone, made by HTC, stole the headlines in October. 

11. November: Blood, Sweat, and Tears of Bitcoin Cash Fork 

Bitcoin price: $6,427

Fights over the Bitcoin Cash fork got completely out of control. The battle between BCHSV (Satoshi Vision), lead by Craig Wright, aka Fake Satoshi and BCHABC (Adjustable Blocksize Cap), driven by Roger Ver, previously labeled as Bitcoin Jesus was observed by the entire industry. It triggered huge crypto volatility, increased trading volume and, as some experts might say, a bitcoin nosedive to a new bottom. And we are still in the middle of that roller coaster.

On the other hand, we had some good news too. Like the announcement about the first state in the U.S. will be accepting bitcoin as a tax payment. Way to go, Ohio! 

This year is not over yet, and we don’t know exactly what the future holds. As you know in crypto, “one day you are in, and another day you are out”.  But we promise to keep you posted. 

And what was your favorite news break of the year? Go ahead and share it in the comment section below.

Learned something new in this article? Subscribe to the Block Explorer newsletter to get exclusive crypto insights before they appear on the site.

how to evaluate a cryptocurrency

I’ve been in the blockchain industry for a year and a half now. I started as an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) marketer, but the rush of investing and gains potential quickly became contagious. 

So, I dove deep into learning about it and was on the relentless path of discovering all those new exciting crypto assets. At some point, things got crazy, and, as a big fan of diversification, I became a happy holder of more than 300 various tokens.

Of course, many of my decisions were poor. But all those mistakes allowed me to come up with a clear and straightforward framework for analyzing tokenized assets more efficiently and finally properly manage my risks. 

For some time, earlier this year, I also worked at a venture capital fund as a crypto asset analyst utilizing this very same approach that I am about to share with all Block Explorer readers. 

Don’t get me wrong, even the smartest people on Earth, including the most influential investors in Silicon Valley, have made mistakes. Just think of those who passed on Airbnb or Uber or those who poured money into Theranos. 

Fasten your seatbelts. And let us introduce you to our GGECTRA crypto assets quick evaluation approach. 

GGECTRA is an abbreviation and stands for:

Growth potential

Github activity

Execution

Community

Team

Risk

Average score

Now, let’s break the concept down into the smaller chunks. 

1. What’s the Growth Potential?

The first question to ask yourself is: can this project scale up? Does it have the potential to be used by millions of people or businesses? Can it grow from a small, experimental idea into a true use-case?

The next question is about competition. Are there similar projects out there having success? If so, what does this crypto asset do differently that could tap into that growth?

Finally, ask yourself how much revenue and profit this project can generate. Many startups don’t make a penny in profit for years, but is there a clear business plan for growth and revenue?

Evaluate the potential growth opportunity from 1 to 5, where one is poor, and five is excellent.

2. The Project’s Github Activity

Many of the blockchain-based projects are supposed to be transparent and open source. And they should be. Since this new way of investing is open to thousands of amateur investors from all around the world, the very least they deserve is some transparency to track on what’s going with their funds.

Thankfully, many of the projects in the field are on board with that, and the source codes are freely available on GitHub. One of the best ways to track GitHub activity for crypto projects is Cryptomiso. 

It ranks the projects that are most active and provides visitors with important stats (like source code, programming language, number of contributors, etc.), and, of course, directs you to the project’s Github directly. 

Let’s say we want to estimate what’s going on with Aion, the project that is building a product for solving famous blockchain scalability and interoperability problems. Looking into the team’s Github account, we can see that there is a lot of action going on and new changes are made even as I am writing these words. That’s an excellent sign. 

On the contrary, if you came across the project with little or no Github activity, you can rate it as “poor” with no hard feelings. 

Github activity

3. The Crypto Project’s Execution

I evaluate this metric based on the milestones achieved and judging by the company’s roadmap execution. Following social media accounts and corporate blog updates is a tremendous help in this case.

If you are out of time just briefly check the Twitter feed and see what kind of updates are posted. 

If you see tweets mentioning development reports, new impressive partnerships and delivering yet another milestone from the roadmap – that’s a bold “yes!”

But if there are simply “thank you for being with us” messages, new exchanges listing announcements, or some very distantly-related quotes and reposts from big Twitter accounts, that’s not a good sign.

4. How to Rate the Crypto Project’s Community

I’ve discussed the importance of crypto communities in a previous post. A good community can make or break the success of a particular asset or project.

Evaluating this metric is pretty straightforward. Browse the project’s social media accounts and check the followers. Some things to be aware of: the project might have a pretty decent following, but not so much engagement. That’s not good.

Also, the large volume of retweets and likes might indicate that the company has generous bounty rewards. So, while making your research, don’t forget to scroll through the comments and see if those are making sense. Don’t be too excited over bare numbers. 

For instance, the Aion Twitter account has almost 71,000 followers, but engagement rates are not very high. So, I’ll rate it as “good”, not “excellent.” 

Crypto project twitter activity

5. How to Evaluate a Crypto Project’s Team

When evaluating the team, I try to look first and foremost at the Chief (C)-level employees and their expertise: Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO), etc. 

I browse through their LinkedIn profiles and see if they have relevant experience and connections in the industry that they are trying to disrupt. 

Since I’ve been traveling around at some conferences in the field, it’s relatively easy for me to evaluate how well connected the person is. And, in some cases, even the working ethics of the particular person. I scan through the list of shared connections and make my judgments. 

If you don’t have that luxury yet, you can browse through the person’s endorsements. Let’s say Andreas Antonopoulos pats someone’s shoulder for their knowledge of bitcoin, then it’s a winner.  

Let’s look into the STACK! project. The company is trying to build another cryptocurrency with the goal of mass adoption, with a great wallet and easy crypto payments right from someone’s smartphone. Not a unique aspiration, but STACK!’s Chief Executive Officer has immense experience in the field. 

linkedin connections blockchain

And quite a lot of quality connections in the blockchain department. You get the logic. 

Linkedin activity

One thing to remember when assessing the team: just as with social media following, quantity doesn’t mean quality. On numerous occasions, I came across profiles that blinded me with impressive numbers of endorsements, just like the profile on the picture below (and let’s keep the name and the project a secret). 

However, digging deeper into the list of endorsers it’s obvious that those are not real. In some cases, if I have my doubts about the team member, I would also reach out to former colleagues to clear up my reservations. 

6. How to Measure the Risk of Cryptocurrency Investment

As for the risk evaluation, it’s a mix of various factors that you have to keep in mind, and this list might be adjustable. For example, I look into tokenomics, especially at the token’s supply and distribution. 

Huge supply often means less room for growth. And if a large chunk of all tokens reserved are for the team with no mention of the vesting period (how long the team must wait for scheduled token distributions) – it’s a huge red flag. Anything more than 10% raises some serious question marks for me. 

Then there’s the legal structure and licensing. Is there zero clarity? More questions.  

Overall it’s a very important, but somewhat subjective metric. And there’s a lot to process, based on your own risk appetite and investment strategy.

Jumping into the project with the sketchy team? Risky! 

Investing even if there was no development activity? Risky! 

And so on, you’ve understood the reasoning. 

7. How to Calculate the Average Score?

The average score is pretty much self-explanatory: add up the values of all the metrics and divide by six, the number of evaluated parameters. 

You will end up with a number you can use to compare against other projects. Yes, it will be somewhat subjective. But you still have the logic behind it rather than buying assets based on a hunch. Basing your judgments on such numbers will save you from making any snappy decisions. Just stick to the process and try to be less emotional. 

Do you have any special tricks to identify great investment opportunity when evaluating a crypto project? Go ahead and share it in the comment section below.

Learned something new in this article? Subscribe to the Block Explorer newsletter.

cryptocurrency communities

If it weren’t for strong cryptocurrency communities, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

There would be no debates on whether Bitcoin is better than Bitcoin Cash. Telegram wouldn’t have raised  $1.7 billion in its token sale, EOS probably still wouldn’t have launched its mainnet, and, well, it’s hard to tell for sure if crypto would even exist as we know it.

Block Explorer identified the strongest crypto communities and figured out why they were so important for the blockchain universe.  

The Strongest Crypto Community #1:  Bitcoin 

Bitcoin began as a small community of cryptography geeks and cypherpunks. They shared ideas on obscure forums and mailing lists years before it gained mainstream attention.

Satoshi Nakamoto was the one who created and envisioned bitcoin, but it gained traction because a dedicated community worked together on the development. (Note: you can read the very first community thread about bitcoin here)

In the ten years since, the bitcoin community has grown across the world. Bitcoin has suffered some huge price drops and dips in popularity, but every time, it comes back stronger. After bitcoin reached almost $1,200 in December 2013, it went down to $400 in just three months and did not grow back till the beginning of 2017.

But even in spite of all the roller coasters and bad publicity, bitcoin is still alive and thriving due to the large community of believers around. At the moment of writing, the Bitcoin Core client is the product of almost 19,000 unique code contributions from almost 600 individual developers. 

Its public Github repository also tracks so-called “forks” of the code, the copies that can be modified for any specific purpose. To this date, the developers have forked Bitcoin Core reference client over 21,000 times. That’s a massive amount of people involved. 

And let’s not forget the number of bitcoin wallets created so far – more than 30 million people have registered Blockchain wallets, and more than 20 million created Coinbase accounts. 

No, bitcoin most likely won’t be disappearing any time soon.

The Strongest Crypto Community #2:  Ethereum 

purple ethereum logo on blue background

If it wasn’t for the strong community, we can’t even imagine where Ethereum would be right now. 

Let’s recap some disasters. Remember 2016 and the imperfections of the DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization)? At that time more than $50 million worth of ether was stolen from the infamous DAO and transferred into its smaller version called “child DAO.”

DAO explained: A DAO is an organization or business without a central authority. Instead, it makes decisions using digital “smart contracts” and voting mechanisms on the Ethereum blockchain.

Forking the blockchain was the only way to fix it. That meant a change to Ethereum’s code that split the currency into two versions. Users had to choose between by either updating their software or not. 

It was risky. However, the fork was successful with 85% of users moving over to the new version.

Want to know more about this hack? Read our beginner’s guide to Ethereum.

What is Ethereum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2017, another hack breached a vulnerable Ethereum wallet, but the community quickly stepped in to re-route the funds and prevent a further theft. And, well, Ethereum is still around. 

The Strongest Crypto Community #3: EOS  

EOS was developed by Block.one, as a faster, cheaper alternative to Ethereum. EOS begins with one of the most respected minds in the industry, Dan Larimer, who also created Bitshares and co-founded Steemit. 

He has been described as a visionary and was very articulate about the need to eliminate fees in decentralized applications long before EOS appeared.

On top of the fees elimination, EOS intends to help fix the scaling problem in Ethereum. EOS implemented an alternative network that could, one day, manage millions of transactions per second and introduced a developer-friendly sandbox for creating new, fast decentralized applications (dapps). 

Also, it has a great appeal for new blockchain entrepreneurs since it suggests a simple alternative for fundraising – switching from initial coin offering (ICO) to airdrops and airgrabs.

So, it’s not surprising that in a year-long ICO, EOS raised $4 billion for its blockchain and smart contracts platform.

However, even though the project is in its early stages, it has already experienced significant shakedowns. At one point hackers managed to gain control of Block.one’s Zendesk account and used it to send persuasive phishing emails. 

Hackers could have got away with millions of dollars if it weren’t for the community to spread the word about the incident. 

Less than a week away from the EOS mainnet launch, an internet security firm from China, called Qihoo360, reported that it found several vulnerabilities in the EOS system. The holes would allow hackers to gain remote control of EOS nodes and even access private keys. 

Then, the much anticipated mainnet launch event was a disaster by itself. It was scheduled on the 2nd of June, 2018. But almost a week later the blockchain was not yet live because it required EOS token holders to vote. 

And the voting process itself was very confusing and not very friendly to a non-techy audience. But that case only demonstrated the power of the project’s community. At the time, dozens of brilliant and helpful members of the EOS ecosystem developed a bunch of handy tools for voting along with the sets of instructions and guidelines. That promptly enabled the ability of token holders to vote for the mainnet launch and the network was successfully started on the 14th of June, 2018.

The Strongest Crypto Community #4: Monero

Monero logo

Monero’s community is united around a core group of principals: privacy, security, and decentralization.

Recently, the Monero community rallied together to fund a deep audit of its new bullet-proofs technology. The audit ultimately turned up a vulnerability that could have lead to a 51% attack.

It would have been easy to ignore a security audit, but the Monero community felt strongly enough about security to fund it themselves.

Further, the Monero community actively fights against the use of mass-market mining tools (ASICs) to protect its decentralized nature. A community that puts its core principals ahead of economic gain is one worth keeping an eye on.

What’s your favorite story about the strongest crypto communities? Go ahead and share it in the comment section below.

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who to follow in crypto?

In the irrational crypto world, anyone can claim to be an expert, but it’s not always easy to spot the true influencers from the wannabes.

We crawled dozens of “best cryptocurrency experts” lists and hundreds of self-proclaimed crypto gurus’ Twitter profiles to distill the data into Block Explorer’s own list of the blockchain experts to follow. 

Some are well-known figures shaping the future of the industry. Others are low-key insiders that truly have an immense value to share. So here it goes, the 23 crypto experts you have to follow on Twitter: 

#1 Vitalik Buterin (@vitalikbuterin)

Who? Genius Canadian programmer of Russian origin, creator of Ethereum and co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine. 

Why follow? He’s at the heart of Ethereum’s cutting-edge development, knows the industry’s nitty-gritty and he’s funny, in a dry, sarcastic kind of way. 

What does he say?

#2 Charlie Lee (@SatoshiLite)

Who? The creator of Litecoin. Former director of engineering at Coinbase. Managing director of the Litecoin Foundation.

Why follow? Shares great and easy-to-comprehend bits of information explaining the beauty of blockchain technology to non-tech-savvy blockchain enthusiasts. Also, he is very social and spends time with the most important people in the industry, so you get to know all the experts.

What does he say? 

#3 Jed McCaleb (@JedMcCaleb)

Who? The creator of Mt. Gox (though he left before it was hacked and went bankrupt) and one of the founders of Ripple. Currently developer at Stellar and co-founder of Stellar Development Foundation. Fascinated by octopuses.

Why follow? One of the brightest developers in the field. Tweets are rare but feature the important updates from Stellar on the way to crypto’s mass adoption. 

What does he say?

 

#4 Roger Ver (@rogerkver)

Who? Among the world’s first investors in Bitcoin startups including Bitcoin.com, Blockchain.com, Zcash, BitPay, Kraken, Purse.io. Bitcoin Cash advocate. 

Why follow? Interested in some popcorn-worthy debates, involving the sharpest minds in the industry? Then enjoy the regular performances in the comment section for some of Ver’s tweets, in a vivid manner explaining why Bitcoin Cash is far way better than Bitcoin. 

What does he say?

#5 Tuur Demeester (@tuurdemeester)

Who? Investor, fintech analyst, the founder of bitcoin fund called Adamant Capital.

Why follow? Shares some great perspectives on trading crypto (and securities) with lots of relevant data and research from authoritative sources.

What does he say?

#6 Andreas M.Antonopoulos (@aantonop)

Who? Entrepreneur, coder, atheist, pacifist, pilot. Author of: Mastering Bitcoin, The Internet of Money, Mastering Ethereum.

Why follow? For all the people out there who are still struggling to understand what bitcoin is and how blockchain works, Andreas is the go-to guy for perfectly clear explanations. His latest book ships at the end of the year. 

What does he say? 

#7 Nick Szabo (@nickszabo4)

Who? Blockchain, cryptocurrency, and smart contracts pioneer (and possible Bitcoin creator?!)

Why follow? Shares some profound thoughts on the blockchain and its potential place and role in the current political, social, and financial systems. On top of that, from time to time, adds some technical insights for those who want to understand the concepts of the blockchain and smart contracts deeper.

What does he say? 

#8 Gavin Andresen (@gavinandresen)

Who? Bitcoin developer, the founder of Bitcoin Foundation. 

Why follow? His tweets are appealing both for crypto traders and developers. Gavin is also witty. 

What does he say? 

#9 Barry Silbert (@barrysilbert)

Who? Founder at Digital Currency Group, “parent” of Grayscale Investments’ Bitcoin and Ethereum trusts and CoinDesk. Also, he’s an investor in more than 100 different cryptocurrencies.

Why follow? Barry’s vast involvement in the field gives him a notable edge on knowing which news to follow and which new cryptocurrencies are worth taking a more in-depth look.

What does he say?

#10 Nicolas Cary (@niccary)

Who? Founder of Blockchain wallet, the chairman and co-founder of Youth Business USA.

Why follow? One of the first people in the industry who actually built a working product (with 29+ million wallets created at the moment of writing this article) and who continues its development. 

What does he say?

#11 Emin Gün Sirer (@el33th4xor) 

Who? Hacker and the professor of computer science at Cornell University.

Why follow? Shares some non-trivial and easy-to-digest ideas that can be appreciated by academics and non-technical audiences alike. If you’re striving to learn more about blockchain and dig into some real questions that the industry still has to solve, he’s worth a follow.

What does he say?  

#12 Adam Black (@adam3us)

Who? Cryptographer, inventor of Hashcash, the proof of work algorithm used in bitcoin mining, co-founder of Blockstream.

Why follow? Perfect if you want to follow the latest developments in blockchain (from the tech perspective).

What does he say? 

#13 Brock Pierce (@brockpierce)

Who? Chairman of Bitcoin Foundation, involved in a long list of projects including (Re)start, ONE, Blockchain Capital, EOS, DNA, Tether, Mastercoin. 

Why follow? As his own Twitter profile states, Brock is “working to positively impact the lives of billions of people.” A controversial figure, but definitely worth a follow.

What does he say? 

#14 Ari Paul (@AriDavidPaul)

Who? Co-founder of BlockTower Capital. 

Why follow? An expert with in-depth knowledge of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, putting the tech in the perspective of markers, mass-adoption, and regulations. At the moment of writing, Ari decided to take a break from Twitter, but we really hope he’ll be back soon with more insights.  

What does he say?

#15 Jimmy Song (@jimmysong)

Who? Bitcoin educator, developer, and entrepreneur.

Why follow? One of a few people who truly understands the insides of a blockchain and at the same time clearly (and sometimes with a hint of a perfect sense of humor) articulate it to a broader audience.

What does he say?  

#16 Peter Todd (@peterktodd)

Who? Applied cryptography (also called blockchain by some cool kids) consultant.

Why follow? He is sarcastic and geeky, his tweets are right to the point, and he is passionate about tackling some of crypto’s underlying problems like scaling and privacy. 

What does he say?

 

#17 Eric Voorhees (@ErikVoorhees)

Who? Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ShapeShift.

Why follow? One of the oldest players in the industry. Shares the most important news and developments in the field of the blockchain that step-by-step lead to crypto assets becoming mainstream. 

What does he say?

#18 Laura Shin (@laurashin)

Who? Forbes editor and host of two crypto podcasts, Unchained and Unconfirmed.

Why follow? She has interviewed and grilled most of the names on this list, asking them tough questions and removing the hype from blockchain. Just listen to her podcast with Binance founder CZ.

What does she say?

 

#19 Tone Vays (@ToneVays) 

 Who? Derivatives trader, analyst, and blockchain content creator, including the podcast called CryptoScam.

Why follow? For many years Tone worked on Wall Street and even became vice president at JP Morgan Chase after the 2008 financial crisis. The expertise he acquired in the institutional world and his passion for cryptocurrencies are definitely making him a viable candidate for any “best crypto experts to follow” list.  

What does he say? 

#20 Naval Ravikant (@naval)

Who? Co-founder of AngelList. And, as one of the founders on a project Naval advised put it, “he’s the f*cking man.”

Why follow? A person who knows all the nuts and bolts of entrepreneurship. Naval’s tweets are a combination of philosophy, practicality, and inspiration. He also intervolves Bitcoin in this ravel of awesomeness.  

What does he say?

#21 Nathaniel Popper (@nathanielpopper)

Who? The New York Times journalist, reporting about technology and finance, the author of Digital Gold, the most exciting history of Bitcoin.

Why follow? Nathaniel writes the most interesting, in-depth, and entertaining stories about the industry. No kidding. 

What does he say?

#22 Jameson Lopp (@lopp)

Who? Professional cypherpunk, creator of Statoshi, infrastructure engineer at Casa.

Why follow? Along with techy mambo-jumbo that many of the people involved in crypto will appreciate, Jameson spreads profound knowledge, aimed at a broader audience. Anything from funny comics, curious thoughts and eye-opening metaphors will do in the second case.

What does he say?

#23 Changpeng Zhao (@cz_binance)

Who? Founder of Binance, the largest bitcoin exchange in the world by volume.

Why follow? Insight into what’s going on at the world’s biggest crypto exchange (and the occasional funny tweets towards Elon Musk!)

What does he say?

Do you think we left someone behind? Go ahead and share your favorite crypto expert in the comment section below.

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