Cryptocurrency technology has captured the attention of people worldwide, and Twitter has become a place where many respected crypto enthusiasts and experts gather. The most popular share their thoughts about the current and future state of crypto and decentralized finance (DeFi).
The top 10 crypto and DeFi influencers on Twitter chosen for this list,* which is presented in no particular order, don’t all have a lot of followers or deep industry clout. But each provides insightful content and inspires valuable discussions about the DeFi movement.
1. Vitalik Buterin (@VitalikButerin), 929.4K followers
Co-creator of Ethereum and co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine
Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum (and a large supporter of Maker’s decentralized stablecoin Dai) is an extremely influential thought leader. He’s said that DeFi has the potential to disrupt the existing financial sectors, and that it has been proving itself step-by-step with its huge user growth and various use cases. However, while he’s long asserted that the DeFi movement is extremely attractive, he is concerned about the high interest rates and tension around additional leverage opportunities offered by some DeFi platforms.
2. Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong), 341.2K followers
CEO and co-founder of Coinbase
Brian Armstrong’s easy-to-use, centralized crypto exchange, Coinbase, boasts over 30 million users, including merchants that accept crypto via Coinbase Commerce. The popular exchange integrates Dai, which, as a stablecoin, helps mitigate volatility for users. Meanwhile, DeFi apps are increasingly integrating Coinbase Wallet to allow easy access to their projects and further user adoption. Armstrong’s fans respect the rapid growth of his company and his offerings. He recently alerted his Twitter followers to the Coinbase Price Oracle, which, he says, will provide a beneficial service to the overall DeFi ecosystem:
3. Andreas Antonopoulos (@aantonop), 509.9K followers
Author, Bitcoin advocate, and tech entrepreneur
Andreas Antonopoulos is a best-selling author and speaker, who is well versed in Bitcoin and blockchain technologies. He is known for his clear and compelling explanations on those subjects and his valuable insights about the future of cryptocurrencies.
While he’s created a lot of educational content about Bitcoin (BTC), he’s also posted meaningful content regarding Ethereum, the blockchain on which most DeFi dapps (decentralized applications) are built. In a 2019 segment of his popular Ethereum Q&A series, he provided an easy-to-understand intro to how the Maker Protocol and Dai, the most used cryptocurrency in the DeFi space, work. Shared via Twitter last year, the video refers to CDPs, the first iteration of Maker Vaults.
More recently, in an interview with Cointelegraph, Antonopoulos focused on the beneficial effect DeFi has had on the BTC network, stressing that DeFi can be used cautiously as a method for earning BTC passive income.
Co-founder of Gemini and early Bitcoin adopter
Cameron Winklevoss, along with his twin brother Tyler, co-founded Gemini, a US-based crypto exchange. The brothers are famous for their early investment in Bitcoin, which made them the first crypto billionaires in the world.
In an interview with Camila Russo for The Defiant in May, not long after Dai was added to Gemini, Cameron shared some thoughts about DeFi. “I think DeFi is a new vista, a new type of system for which Bitcoin paved the way,” he began. “It was sort of the blueprint for decentralization. Like, this is what’s possible. You can take something that’s centralized and make it decentral. Bitcoin was the starting point.”
5. Tyler Winklevoss (@tylerwinklevoss), 226.2K followers
Co-founder and CEO of Gemini
Tyler Winklevoss, CEO of the company he founded with his brother, is excited by the promise of DeFi for the next generation.
As reported by Cointelegraph, he told the Defiant that the importance of stablecoins won’t be truly evident until Wall Street invests DeFi, and that fiat-backed stablecoins don’t offer a long-term solution for traditional finance. He said that Gemini plans to increase support for crypto assets “that power the DeFi revolution,” and added that the company will look to offer both trading and custody services.
6. Laura Shin (@laurashin), 117.8K followers
Podcast host and producer
Writer Laura Shin shares content via Twitter and her popular podcasts, Unchained and Unconfirmed. Once a senior crypto/blockchain editor for Forbes, she’s now on her own, continuing to cover a wide range of DeFi topics, including stablecoins and security. Her interviews of representatives of market-leading DeFi protocols, such as Maker, Uniswap, and Compound, are especially appealing.
7. Linda Xie (@ljxie), 62.6K followers
Co-founder of ScalarCapital
Linda Xie, who along with Jordan Clifford founded cryptocurrency venture capital firm Scalar Capital, earned a spot on Forbes’ 30 under 30 list (finance) in 2019. Her Twitter strength lies in her powers of aggregation. She’s a bulletin board of useful info for DeFi fans.
8. Chris Burniske (@cburniske), 123.4K followers
Partner at Placeholder
Chris Burniske is a partner at Placeholder, a New York-based crypto venture firm. He’s often quoted in the financial sections of newspapers and magazines, has appeared on national media outlets to discuss crypto markets, and pens insightful posts for the Placeholder blog from time to time. In 2017, he wrote Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor's Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond, a book he co-authored with Jack Tatar.
Burniske is a strong advocate of DeFi, believing it will unleash Ethereum’s ability to positively impact all types of financial services.
9. Ryan Sean Adams (@RyanSAdams), 25.9K followers
Founder of Mythos Capital; creator of Bankless
While Ryan Sean Adams has fewer followers than the other influencers on this list, he is one of the most active DeFi experts on Twitter. He also writes Bankless, his subscription-based blog and “ultimate guide to crypto finance,” in which he often interviews DeFi influencers at the center of the movement.
10. Camila Russo (@CamiRusso), 26.3K followers
Founder of DefiantNews
Camila Russo is a well-known crypto writer, who focuses her popular newsletter The Defiant on all things DeFi. She has written about finance for Bloomberg News in New York, Madrid, and Buenos Aires, and is currently celebrating the publication of her first book, The Infinite Machine: How an Army of Crypto-hackers Is Building the Next Internet with Ethereum. She’s thoughtful, engaging, and always has her fingers on the pulse of the DeFi market.
Continue the Conversation with the Maker Foundation on Twitter
As the Foundation continues to bootstrap MakerDAO toward becoming a fully decentralized organization governed by the Maker community, you can learn even more about DeFi by following these Maker Foundation influencers:
- Rune Christensen, CEO, @RuneKek
- Steven Becker, President and COO, @altsdbecker
- Mariano Conti, Head of Smart Contracts, @nanexcool
- Greg Diprisco, Head of Business Development, @g_dip
- Cyrus Younessi, Head of Risk, @cyounessi1
- Wouter Kampmann, Head of Engineering, @wkampmann
- Charles St. Louis, Decentralized Governance Architect, @CharlieStLouis
- Soren Peter Nielsen, Head of Product, @sorenp
- Doo Wan Nam, Business Development Associate, Asia Pacific, @DooWanNam
- Mariano Di Pietrantonio, Marketing Manager, Latin America, @Mariandipietra
- Maria Magenes, Community Lead, Europe, @mariamagenes1
- Lenka Hudakova, Events Manager, @LenklaH
- Coulter Mulligan, Head of Marketing, @CoulterM
- David Utrobin, Core Community Lead, @Davidutro
*The views and opinions expressed by the crypto influencers and Maker Foundation employees referenced above do not purport to reflect the views or opinions of the Maker Foundation or its affiliates.