The end of 2023 saw a changing of the guard for the cryptocurrency sector. The FTX Exchange trials have come to a close, with Sam Bankman-Fried being found guilty, thus closing out the FTX saga.
Changpeng “CZ” Zhao decided to settle with the US Department of Justice and subsequently stepped down as well.
The pair had been two of the biggest names in the sector for years now, whether famously or infamously, but who are the big names now. Let’s talk about some of the biggest names in crypto for 2024.
The 5 Biggest Names in Crypto for 2024
Below we’ll discuss 5 of the biggest names in crypto for 2024, in no particular order.
Brian Armstrong is the founder and CEO of Coinbase (COIN), the largest crypto exchange by trading volume in North America. He has been an advocate for cryptocurrency regulation for years, and has certainly tried to lobby US regulators for better, clearer rules. He has also indicated a willingness to shift the company out of the US should it stay a difficult place to do digital asset business.
CZ may be gone from Binance, but he had long been grooming Richard Teng to be his replacement. Now that CZ has settled with the US Department of Justice and stepped down from his position at Binance, Teng is the main man at Binance. Binance is still the world’s largest exchange by trading volume, offering the widest selection of digital assets of any exchange and with the most pairs.
Barring some sort of further negative news story about the company, it’s unlikely that Binance will lose its place at the top, making Teng and his decisions for Binance incredibly important as we head into what’s expected to be the biggest bull market crypto has seen.
The founder and CEO of Tron and the Tron Foundation, Justin Sun has a large role in the cryptocurrency sector, especially in the Asian markets. The Tron blockchain has become the number one blockchain for USDT stablecoin transfers, making it a strong player in the industry. Perhaps more importantly, Sun has a large twitter following in the millions, and users track his crypto trades, which can sometimes affect users’ investing decisions. As long as Tron remains a strong blockchain network. Sun will be one of the biggest names in the sector.
This isn’t a big name in crypto because of anything positive. If anything, this is perhaps the most infamous name in crypto in 2024. For years now, Gensler and the SEC under his control have been heavy handed, if not completely out of line with most of their cryptocurrency rulings and regulations, or perhaps more accurately, the lack thereof.
What Gensler and the SEC do this year regarding crypto and especially spot ETFs will be one of the most followed stories of the year. Let’s hope he doesn’t become any more infamous as a result of those decisions.
The next one isn’t a person but will likely play a huge role in crypto this coming year. Closely tied to Gensler and the looming ETF decisions, Grayscale could be one of the biggest names in crypto this year. What they decide to do with their absolute trove of Bitcoin if and when their closed-end ETF becomes an open-ended one will be interesting. It will also be interesting to see if they change the premium on the product. Grayscale is the largest holder of Bitcoin in the world with over 619k BTC under their control.
What holders of their current GBTC product do will be interesting as well, as they have been able to buy it at a discount compared to the underlying Bitcoin for some time. Now those prices are coming closer together and one has to wonder whether many will cash out. How all these variables come together and affect the overall crypto market is what makes Grayscale such a big name this year.
Though the above names may not all be household names outside of the cryptocurrency sector, they certainly are for those of us within it. It will be interesting to see what happens throughout the year and whether any other names begin to stand out within the industry.
There are plenty of other names that come to mind as well, like Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, but we decided to focus on the business side of the industry in the wake of SBF and CZ’s exit.
As more adoption and real world use cases come about, it seems inevitable that another innovative person or company will make waves sooner than later.