women in blockchain

Edit: Block Explorer’s Women in Blockchain article was updated on January 11th to reflect the industry in 2019.

Women in blockchain and cryptocurrency are dramatically under-represented.

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 in the blockchain industry, 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?

#11 Laura Shin (@laurashin)

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

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

What does she say?

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

 

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.

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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?

Edit: This list of crypto experts was updated on January 11th to reflect the industry in 2019.

So-called crypto experts are everywhere in the blockchain world. But it’s not always easy to spot the true influencers from the wannabes.

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

What does she say?

#14 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? 

#15 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?

#16 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?  

#17 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?

 

#18 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?

#19 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?

 

#20 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? 

#21 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?

#22 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?

#23 Jameson Lopp (@lopp)

Who? Professional cypherpunk, creator of Statoshi.info, 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?

#24 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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bitcoin cash fork

There are lots of hard forks across the world of crypto, and even the veterans of the space can’t always keep up with the teams behind each project. While some Bitcoin forks become successful, such as Bitcoin Cash, inevitably most forks fizzle out or die.

This list is dedicated to those that never made it. These are five Bitcoin forks that failed.

For our analysis, we’ve used  this list of 34 Bitcoin Hard Forks. And while there is no scientific way to define the success or failure of a crypto project, we decided to focus on each project’s Twitter following and activity.

Why? The success of any crypto project depends on its community, and Twitter is a relatively good way to gauge the support, community, and updates around each forked coin.

We’ve checked the Twitter profiles (if any) of each project, figured out the number of followers and taken the notice on the date of the last update. The results were the following:

Project NameTwitter followersLast update
Bitcoin902,00021st September, 2018
Bitcoin Cash107,00018th September, 2018
Bitcoin Clashic2,90412th February, 2018
Bitcoin Gold74,10024th September, 2018
Bitcoin Diamond20,90021st September, 2018
United Bitcoin1,80020th September, 2018
Bitcoin Hot1,68620th August, 2018
Super Bitcoin1,44423rd September, 2018
Bitcoin X3,42717th September, 2018
Oil BitcoinAccount deletedN/A
ABitcoinAccount deletedN/A
Bitcoin World44220th July, 2018
Lightning Bitcoin4,64820th September, 2018
Bitcoin StakeNo Twitter accountN/A
BitEthereumNo Twitter accountN/A
Bitcoin Top1451st February, 2018
Bitcoin Gold3,78420th August, 2018
Bitcoin File3106th September, 2018
Bitcoin Cash Plus2,64629th April, 2018
Quantum BitcoinNo Twitter accountN/A
SegWit2x7,5655th July, 2018
Bitcoin Uranium71626th February, 2018
United Bitcoin1,79920th September, 2018
Bitcoin Pizza1,20514th January, 2018
Bitcoin AllNo Twitter accountN/A
Bitcoin Ore20731st December, 2017
Bitcoin Rhodium4,01224th September, 2018
Bitcoin SmartNo Twitter accountN/A
Bitcoin Interest4,96822nd September, 2018
Bitcoin LiteNo Twitter accountN/A
Bitcoin Atom2,64722nd September, 2018
Bitcoin Private51,70021st September, 2018
Classic BitcoinNo Twitter accountN/A
Bitcoin Lunar2316th March, 2018

(All metrics correct at 25th September, 2018).

Of course, some Bitcoin forks have no Twitter presence at all (or did something so bad that led to the termination of their social media account). For the purpose of this list, we’ve ignored those projects that failed from the start, and focused on those that worked on their project but never generated a true community.

So, five Bitcoin forks that fizzled out and died. Here goes:

Failed Bitcoin Fork #5: Bitcoin World (BTW)

bitcoin world fork logo

With 442 followers on Twitter and the last project’s update posted on the 30th of July, Bitcoin World initially aimed to create a faster, smarter, safer and more decentralized version of Bitcoin. Its main net launched on the 20th of December 2017 and BTWs were distributed to bitcoin holders in 1 BTC: 10,000 BTW ratio.

However, it didn’t go a long way. The last announcement posted by the team expressed cheerfulness about joining High-Performance Blockchain Node Election Plan. But nothing else has happened since.

Another weird claim made by the team is the disclaimer placed on the project’s website in the section related to exchanges. It says that “49 exchanges have expressed intent to support BTW, or have already implemented BTW”.

Among these exchanges are some big names like Bitfinex, Bittrex, and Bithumb. However the coin is not tradable on any of them and you can’t even clear things up by browsing Coinmarketcap, because the project is missing in the website’s database.

Failed Bitcoin Fork #4: Bitcoin Ore (BHD)

bitcoin ore fork

Bitcoin Ore has only 207 Twitter followers. The project’s mission was to make mining cheaper and less wasteful. They want to “take mining back to a time when anybody could mine.”

Some of Bitcoin Ore’s goals include:

  • Fork to take place at a block height of 501949 on the 31st of December 2017.
  • Bitcoin Ore Wallet will be temporarily released by the 15th of January 2018.
  • Proof of Capacity consensus mechanism to go online, shifting Bitcoin mining from POW to POC by the 1st of March 2018.
  • Zero-knowledge proofs added by the 8th of September 2018.
  • Dynamic checkpoint protection removed by the 8th of December 2018.

The last update about the project was posted on the 31st of December 2017 about the future fork schedule aiming to launch on 28th of January 2018. The announcement also contained the claims that several exchanges will support the fork, including zb.com, aex.com, and exx.com. However, it is not currently listed on any of them.

Another mysterious feature of Bitcoin Ore is that its website lists this Twitter account as official. The account only has 12 followers, and there’s not much to read there, just the couple of tweets. The first one was posted on the 19th of July 2018 and expressed some wild happiness about the fact that “BTCHD will be released at 3 Aug !!! it’s great!”. The last one is written in Chinese and dated by the 6th of September 2018.

Failed Bitcoin Fork #3: Bitcoin Top (BTT)

bitcoin top fork logo

Bitcoin Top has 145 Twitter followers and was last updated on the 1st of February 2018. It initially intended to lower the transaction fees of the net and decrease the cost of miners participation. Bitcoin Top also hoped to improve privacy features and speed up transaction confirmations by raising the block size limit to 8MB. It was all part of a massive on-chain scaling approach.

The fork was scheduled to happen on the 26th of December 2017 and bitcoin holders were supposed to receive one BTT per one bitcoin. It seems like the project didn’t ever take off and even updates posted before this aren’t exactly positive.

For instance, in the exchanges section of the project’s website is a list of 33 marketplaces. It includes the major players in the field like OKEX, Binance, and Huobi. But the only exchange to ever trade bitcoin top was ZBT. Currently, the crypto is still listed there with the current price of $0.34, but there is zero volume on the asset.

Another thing to mention: the last Twitter update is related to the fact the Bitgo wallet added support for BTT. Sounds like good news, but if you browse the relevant section of the Bitgo website it’s easy to notice that the Bitcoin Top is missing from the list of supported currencies.

Failed Bitcoin Fork #2: Bitcoin Lunar (BCL)

bitcoin lunar fork logo

Bitcoin Lunar has 23 followers on Twitter and last posted on the 16th of March (it was an unrelated retweet).

The project’s website is pretty much empty apart from a disclaimer:

“A new Bitcoin-friendly fork. Website and whitepaper launch spring 2018. Updates via twitter.”

Strangely, most of the project’s tweets were about the moon and related scientific findings, featuring articles from NASA and BBC.

Failed Bitcoin Fork #1: Bitcoin Uranium (BUM)

bitcoin uranium fork logo

Bitcoin Uranium (or BUM) aimed to “Make Bitcoin Great Again.” But as one Bitcointalk user put it, it became “the most hated fork of BTC.” The fork itself never actually happened.

BUM’s official websites both redirect to a suspicious (possibly malicious) website, which we shan’t link here!

The project’s last update was posted on the 26th of February and proudly says “Penis!”

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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