Five prominent figures from the crypto world have been included in Fortune’s latest40 Under 40annual ranking of the most influential young business people, up from two in 2017. As cryptocurrencies enter mainstream discourse, three new people – Pavel Durov, Vlad Tenev, and Baiju Bhatt – have been added to this year’s list to accompany Brian Armstrong and Vitalik Buterin, who joined the ranking already in 2016.
Fortune’s list of business influencers under the age of 40 includes entertainers, entrepreneurs, and politicians such as New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and artist and actor Donald Glover.
Two of the crypto world figures appear on the list for the third time. Brian Armstrong, the 35-year-old CEO of US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, who was 10th in 2017, ranks 20th in this year’s list. Although the bearish market did have an effect on the exchange’s popularity, Coinbase remains one of the most popular digital asset trading platforms, with a valuation of over $8 billion.
Further down the list is 24-year-old Vitalik Buterin, who conceived the idea for the Ethereum blockchain while still a teenager. Buterin, who was 11th last year, also lost positions to no.22 this year, just behind popular singer Rhianna. Unlike the mysterious Bitcoin creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, Vitalik does not shy away from publicity and has also appeared in Bloomberg’s similar 50 Most Influential ranking.
Two of the new crypto-related additions to this year’s list are the co-founders of brokerage platform Robinhood, Vlad Tenev, 31, and Baiju Bhatt, 33, listed together under no.24. Robinhood emerged as a competitor to Armstrong’s Coinbase in early 2018 when it introduced commission-free cryptocurrency trading to the platform. With over 5 million users, the platform currently serves only the US, where residents of 17 states can trade in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETC). For comparison, Coinbase supports also Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), in addition to the two headliners.
Spot no.25 in the 40 Under 40 list is occupied by Russian-born Pavel Durov, 33, who created the Telegram encrypted messaging service, which remains popular with crypto-enthusiasts and protesters, after he was forced to sell his previous creation – social network VKontakte – to a Russian oligarch in an alleged Kremlin conspiracy plot. The messaging app thrilled the crypto community earlier this year with a plan for the world’s biggest ever initial coin offering (ICO) that should sell the GRAM token to the public. However, in May Telegram abandoned the ICO plan after hitting its $1.7 billion funding target via two private token pre-sales.