One of the most exciting things about being a stakeholder in the fledgling cryptoeconomy is having the opportunity and privilege to be constantly surrounded by brilliant and creative people of all stripes.
With that said, new conversations have been unfolding around crypto’s place in the world amid the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic plunging the world into societal and economic uncertainty.
Some of these conversations have already brought curious newcomers in, and there’s reason to believe more will be coming as these conversations continue. It’s always useful for novices to know great sources of information in any learning curve, so with today’s post I wanted to highlight a select list of people I’ve found to be among the brightest minds grappling with cryptocurrencies today.
Naturally, the following thinkers approach the crypto ecosystem in different ways and from different positions, but they all share in common rigorous intellects, industrious track records, and senses of sincerity in their work.
In a space with no shortage of noise and mirage, then, these thinkers have consistently offered nuanced and bright insights — some more optimistic and others more skeptical, of course, yet all being worthy of closer consideration — and they’re worth keeping in mind as trusted sources accordingly.
Ryan Sean Adams
Publisher of the Bankless newsletter, RSA is one of the best “explainers” in the Ethereum ecosystem — he has a knack not only for illuminating complex things about the platform in simple terms but also for routinely hosting awesome guest posters at his newsletter that are also very bright and insightful in their own rights. He’s an educator, and he’s among the bests so far.
Example work: “ETH’s monetary policy is underrated”
John Adler is one of the great technical talents in the Ethereum ecosystem. Currently at Fuel Labs, Adler is one of the pioneers of the “Optimistic Rollup” technology that burst onto the scene last year. That tech is set to become among the brightest stars in Ethereum’s wider scaling constellation, so Adler’s past, present, and future work and writings are of note in general.
Example work: “The ‘Why’s of Optimistic Rollup”
Artist and art writer Jason Bailey is a foremost specialist when it comes to the crossroads of art and tech. Bailey isn’t defined by his work in the crypto space, but his work therein is notable. He’s seen solid sales (a few to me as I love his style) on SuperRare, Ethereum’s leading art platform to date, and amassed a significant early cryptoart collection. Bailey even made cryptoart history earlier this year when he sold Robbie Barrat’s “AI Generated Nude Portrait 1” for 75 ETH.
Example work: “2020 Art Market Predictions”
Jill Carlson, a principal at Slow Ventures, is among the leading entrepreneurs in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. And you don’t rise to that position without having fostered a keen and assertive feel for the space, which Carlson absolutely has. “To judge cryptocurrency based on mainstream adoption is to judge it on a metric it was never designed to achieve,” the entrepreneur notably argued in the op-ed below.
One could argue Nic Carter, a partner at Castle Island Ventures and co-founder of Coin Metrics, is easily among the three best Bitcoin analysts in the world. Of course, others might reason differently, but I personally lean toward thinking it’s true. Carter has a sharp mind, understands Bitcoin deeply, and knows how to get the most out of cryptoeconomy data that others might tend to overlook.
Example work: “A most peaceful revolution”
Amy Castor is one of the best journalists in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Castor’s written for herself as well as for numerous industry publications, and the whole time she’s exhibited her signature writing style, which has proven consistently to be excellent, focused, biting, and witty. Don’t miss her stuff!
Matthew Graham is the CEO of Sino Global Capital, a vantage point that has allowed him to accrue considerable experience with, and many direct insights into, China’s domestic cryptocurrency scene. As such, if you’re interested in tracking China’s crypto arena, Graham is definitely one of your best bets.
Alongside Nic Carter, I think Hasu is among the best Bitcoin analysts in the game. From their writings Hasu is obviously bright and articulate, but they also strike me as extremely fair and intellectually curious. Taken altogether, those combinations make for a Bitcoin analyst worth closely tracking.
Example work: “A model for Bitcoin’s security and the declining block subsidy”
David Hoffman is the COO of Ethereum real estate project RealT, but he’s also one of the best writers and thinkers in the Ethereum space. Some of his early writings have gone on to become seminal pieces in the platform’s fledgling brainpool, which have in turn inspired further notable pieces.
Example work: “Ether: a New Model for Money”
Matteo Leibowitz is among the top three most talented Ethereum analysts, full stop. There’s no further qualifications needed. If you’re into Ethereum, you simply have to have him on you’re radar.
Example work: “Open Finance: 2020 Trends”
Sarah Jamie Lewis
Sarah Jamie Lewis is a supremely talented anonymity and privacy researcher as well as the executive director of the Open Privacy organization. Like Jason Bailey, Lewis is hardly defined by the areas where her work links up with cryptocurrency, but her supreme expertise in all things privacy makes her a mind worth consulting, crypto or not.
Example work: “Incentivizing Trustlessness”
Hester Peirce is a commissioner at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that has come out in recent times as one of the biggest pro-crypto figures in the U.S. government. She’s a force to watch going forward accordingly.
Gabriel Shapiro is a talented attorney with programming chops, which makes him something of a magical unicorn at the edge of the Ethereum community. He doesn’t hesitate to be skeptical or argue as the devil’s advocate, but that speaks to just how wide his perspective is. He’s an asset to the ecosystem and has helped out in big ways with things like MetaCartel Ventures.
Example work: “An open letter to SEC Commissioner Peirce on token safe harbors”
Ameen Soleimani is a pioneer, not only as the head of SpankChain but also as the found of grassroots Ethereum funding group MolochDAO. That DAO spawned an explosion of innovation around Ethereum, making it major illustration of why Soleimani is one to watch.
When it comes to the “NFT” digital collectibles arena blooming on Ethereum right now, Andrew Steinwold is unquestionably one of the best analysts around, if not the best. Steinwold publishes the excellent Zima Red, which tracks “all things non-fungible.” If you’re into even a little bit NFTs, following him is a no brainer.
Example work: “Cryptovoxels Investment Thoughts”
Camila Russo, the publisher of The Defiant newsletter, is the great Ethereum storyteller. She’s arguably the best DeFi writer around and someone you’ll want to be reading at length.
Katherine Wu is a principal at Notation Capital that has gained the cryptocurrency community’s appreciation for insightfully annotating major crypto legal documents, often in prompt fashion. She has a sharp mind and a helpful spirit, so she’s a great follow like the rest.
Example work: “Dissecting the Block.one Settlement with the SEC“