Think back to January 1. Crypto was coming off its biggest year yet, when coin prices reached all-time highs and mainstream adoption approached the tipping point. Hell, El Salvador had actually made bitcoin legal tender.
What followed is the Beijing Olympics, with almost no fans due to COVID-19 restrictions; the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, which has more nuclear warheads than any other country on the planet; and inflation at rates not seen since the 1970s and 1980s. Spectacular token failures and crypto scams gave way to crypto winter. Regulators across the globe are cracking down. Sanctions against Tornado Cash led to an arrest, and disbelief.
Meanwhile, non-fungible tokens (NFT) are on the decline (at least in terms of market value) after being the hottest thing in 2021. The metaverse is finding its way, and central bank digital currencies (CBDC) are plodding along in some countries while others continue to play will-they-or-won’t-they. Mainstream adoption of crypto, blockchain and Web3 continues to grow. Starbucks. Chipotle. The Super Bowl.
Once again, CoinDesk is taking stock of the year in crypto and seeking the public’s help. Below is a survey of about 100 contenders determined by CoinDesk editors and reporters. Think back on the year so far and cast your vote to help us narrow the list to the 50 most influential. You get to vote for five. And if we have overlooked anyone, please write in that person’s name.
The economy is down and the crypto industry still has serious problems. The latter may be said for many of those on this list. We are asking who you think had the most impact, whether through their actions or the actions thrust upon them, and therefore who influenced others the most – whether for good or bad. The survey will be up until Monday, Oct. 24.
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Jeanhee Kim is senior editor for lists, rankings and special projects.