Plenty of people have a lot to say about cryptocurrency, but sorting out the truth from the millions of words published and spoken online is a tough task.
Some tech gurus start out intending to mislead so they can pump-and-dump their crypto to make money.
Others tirelessly campaign to help investors understand crypto and the blockchain with educational videos and postings.
These influencers have a massive audience, and sometimes the impact of their words can send crypto prices through the roof or plunging through the floor.
The takeaway is not to take anything they say at face value – influencers get their name and often money from extolling the virtues of a brand.
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Tech Visionary Elon Musk
There’s not much to say about the world’s wealthiest man that he hasn’t said already.
After co-founding online financial giant Paypal, Musk went on to control space travel pioneer SpaceX and electric car maker Tesla. He has a personal fortune reckoned at more than $200 billion.
Musk has had a controversial time as an online influencer, even though he claims to have never told anyone to invest in cryptocurrency.
Tesla famously invested in $1.5 billion of Bitcoin, and Musk promised to allow customers to buy their cars with crypto. Still, Tesla has sold 90 per cent of the corporation’s holding and never accepted crypto as payment for cars.
Musk has also talked up the fun crypto Dogecoin, which rose to a record high on the back of Musk’s approval of the coin on his Twitter feed.
Musk has more than 100 million Twitter followers.
Ethereum Architect Vitalik Buterin
Buterin is well-known for his work on the Ethereum blockchain, the cryptocurrency with the second largest market cap behind Bitcoin.
Aged 28, Buterin is recognised as one of the world’s youngest crypto billionaires. He is known to delve deep into Bitcoin with his observations and opinions. His 3.9 million Twitter followers hang on his every word.
Worth following if you are a crypto investor, Buterln’s feed includes reviews, articles and tools about the latest movers and shakers in the world of cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin Jesus Roger Ver
Roger Ver earned his nickname more than a decade ago when he started promoting Bitcoin. Ver is a cryptocurrency backer who is ready to put his money where his mouth is.
He has staked millions of dollars in crypto start-ups, such as Bitcoin and XRP Ripple, exchange Kraken and online crypto shopping mall Purse.
Ver preaches about cryptocurrency and mainly Bitcoin to his 750,000 fans on Twitter, although his musings tend to drift more towards Bitcoin Cash nowadays.
The crypto entrepreneur started in business selling fireworks and spent ten months in jail before renouncing his US citizenship and taking the helm as CEO of Bitcoin.
Blockchain Advocate Andreas M Antonopoulos
Antonopoulos has a list of books written to explain cryptocurrency and the blockchain to the masses.
Besides writing and Tweeting crypto-related news to his 740,000 followers, Antonopoulos has a YouTube channel where he posts videos, tutorials and occasionally livestreams Q-and-A sessions.
Enthusiasts rate Antonopoulos’s web content highly, and his in-depth video is a good place for crypto newbies to find out how the blockchain and cryptocurrencies work.
His inside knowledge comes from working for free as a consultant and conference speaker in the early years of Bitcoin.
Antonopoulos is an Anglo-Greek entrepreneur born in London in 1972.
Bitcoin Mad Tim Draper
Mention Tim Draper to someone engrossed in the world of cryptocurrency, and they will recall he was the investor who bought the infamous Silk Road Bitcoin from a US Marshals Service auction. The Marshalls have seized the crypto from crooks hiding on the Dark Web.
However, Draper’s claim to fame is as a venture capitalist keen to back crypto or tech projects.
His roll of honour includes investing in Skype, Tesla, SpaceX, Twitter, and crypto exchange Coinbase.
With more than 230,000 followers on Twitter, Draper shares his insights on Bitcoin, the blockchain and ideas about making cryptocurrencies more mainstream.
Born in Chicago, USA, Draper is 64 years old and married with four children.
Litecoin Leviathon Charlie Lee
Charlie Lee was born in the Ivory Coast and moved to the US as a teenager. For 10 years, he worked for Google, mainly writing code for the Chrome operating system. In his spare time, he helped develop Litecoin, one of the oldest and most trusted cryptos.
Litecoin is the 20th largest crypto with a market cap of more than $4 billion.
As a sideline, Lee is also a major investor and developer with crypto exchange Coinbase.
With a million followers on Twitter, Lee often entertains and informs them about crypto by sharing memes and comic strips. He also publishes much more serious content and is considered a reliable and honest source of crypto comments.
Pompliano And Circumstance
Anthony Pompliano is a celebrated cryptocurrency influencer across social media., including his 1.6 million Twitter followers.
He has taken a different route to crypto popularity through founding a hedge to invest in the blockchain and other crypto projects.
Crypto fans can follow his insights on a YouTube channel and online newsletters. His podcasts are ranked as the third most listened to about investment globally, with 14 million listeners tuning in.
Conservatively, Pompliano’s net worth is estimated at more than $200 million, making him one of the wealthiest Bitcoin investors.
Cryptocurrency Influencers FAQ
What is a crypto influencer?
An influencer is someone with the ability to attract potential buyers of a product or service by social media promotion or recommendation. There’s a thin line between giving an opinion and someone offering money to recommend a product.
Influencers are not necessarily independent. They may have an investment or receive a fee in return for talking about a product.
How does someone become an influencer?
Sometimes, the opening is accidental, but influencing is big business online nowadays and too valuable a resource to be left to chance. Brand managers work with agents to find influencers who already have a high profile online and are experts in their field. Most agents want influencers to have at least 1,000 followers before they consider taking them on.
What does pumping-and-dumping mean?
Pump-and-dump is when someone manipulates the price of a crypto or other asset to boost the value prior to sale through fake recommendations. The influencer will likely hold an unpublicised position in the crypto prior to pumping. Most countries regard pumping-and-dumping as investment fraud.
Watch out for affinity fraud by influencers
Affinity fraud is a scam perpetrated against members of clubs, groups and organisations.
For example, a member of your professional society makes an investment pitch that you might consider credible. If someone from outside the group made a similar pitch, you would ignore the tip as coming from an untrusted source.
Who is considered crypto’s leading influencer?
Two of the best-known and most respected influencers are Vitalik Buterin and Anthony Ananopoulos.