Business & Finance

5 Personalities from the Crypto World Break into the Fortune’s 40 Under 40

Fortune’s 40 under 40 list is one of the most esteemed list for the world’s most influential people under the age of 40. This year’s version of the list contained 5 people from the crypto world who have not only just influenced and made a name in their domain but also have influenced the world with their work that has exceeded bounds in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

The list contained some usual suspects that included the CEO and founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerburg, CEO and co-founder of Instagram, Kevin Systrom and the singer/song writer Rihanna, to name a few. Apart from the entrepreneurs, the list saw the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacina Andern. A proud moment for the crypto world when 5 of the most prominent personalities here graced the auspicious list with their names on it.

The 5 names that made into the list included the inventor of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, Telegram founder, Pavel Durov and the Robinhood co-founders, Baiju Bhatt and Vlad Tenev.

Pavel Durov


Landing on number 25, the 33 year old is also known as the “Mark Zuckerburg of Russia” but since he has worked his way into the Fortune’s list, it’s about time he got recognized for his own name. The primary reason for him to be associated with Mark Zuckerburg is his Facebook’s clone called VKontakte, which is the second most used website in Russia, with almost 500 million users as of date.

The ownership of the website was taken away from him, which made him focus on the project of Telegram. The encrypted app has had an impressive network of almost 200 million monthly active users and also has the name to have raised an ICO of about $1.7B.

Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt


The business partners made their place on the number 24 of influential people for their app RobinHood.

The two minds met at Stanford where Bhatt got his bachelors in Physics and Masters in Mathematics while Baiju got his Bachelors and Masters both in mathematics. Their friendship and business partnership started from the same institution, after which, they launched the application in 2012, called RobinHood, whose aim was to be able to provide people with a platform where they could share stocks with zero fee.

5 years later, the company is valued at $5.6B, and recently they decided to bring in Bitcoin and Ethereum and according to their interview with TechCrunch, the innovation was based solely for customers’ enhanced experience and not for profit:

We’re planning to operate this business on break-even basics and we don’t plan to profit from it for the foreseeable future. The value of Robinhood Crypto is in growing our customer base and better serving our existing customers.

RobinHood has made its place in the market and has challenged the platforms that charge the conventional transaction fee. RobinHood, according to Bhatt, doesn’t has any plans of charging even in the future.

Vitalik Buterin


Vitalik Buterin (No. 22) has made his name globally and in the cryptoworld, by his act in making the blockchain and cryptocurrency, Ethereum. Ethereum has since muscled its way near the top of the list in cryptocurrencies, reaching the second number in terms of market volumes.

Buterin told Wired in an interview that:

When I came up with Ethereum, my first first thought was, okay this thing is too good to be true and I’m going to have five professional cryptographers raining down on me and telling me how stupid I am for not seeing a bunch of very obvious flaws. Two weeks later, I was extremely surprised that none of that happened. As it turned out, the core Ethereum idea was good, fundamentally, completely, sound.

Not only has Buterin made it to the list of 40 under 40, but he has also paved his place into the Forbes’ richest in cryptocurrency and Forbes’ 30 under 30.

Brian Armstrong


The founder of CoinBase has the privilege of standing on the 20th number on the list, making him influentially superior to the others in the cryptoworld. Like Buterin, he has also been featured in Forbes’ richest in cryptocurrency with a net worth of about $900m.

He completed 3 degrees, a bachelors in Computer science, a bachelors in Economics and a masters in Computer science. He chose his career path initially as a developer for some top companies. He later found coinbase, which became a medium which introduced cryptocurrency to masses.

His company has since been labelled a ‘unicorn’ of the crypto industry, having raised $100 million in series D funding in August 2017 and being valued at around $1.6 billion.

Crypto personalities in the near future

There’s no denying the amount of influence that these 5 people have on the cryptoworld and the world in general, however, there are many other motivated and inspired personalities in the game who with their minds along with their business knowledge have pushed the platforms like Forbes to make separate lists for the crypto domain like the Forbes’ richest in cryptocurrency, which features Binance CEO and founder, Changpeng Zhao and Bitcoin foundation chairman Brock Pierce.

The trends also show that more blockchain figures would be featured in benchmark platforms such as these in the near future.

Shehryar Hasan

Performing artist, guitarist and sub-editor at BlockPublisher. Shehryar is an electrical engineer and blockchain enthusiast. He holds investments in bitcoin, ethereum, OST, TRX and Ripple. Email: or contact the editor at

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