Given that blockchain is a revolutionary technology, its mainstream penetration is inevitable. In 2015, a key study showed that no fewer than five million blockchain wallets existed, but in 2019, that user count has reached over 42 million. A typical yardstick to measure the success of any technology is its relevance and acceptability to users, and for the past decade, blockchain technology has not only transformed the way organizations go about their businesses, but also the way people go about their daily transactions.
However, amidst all these leaps forward, its mainstream adoption stalls. While factors such as slow and expensive transactions, safety concerns and an unfriendly user interface are few of the many underlying impediments, blockchain enthusiasts shouldn’t lose hope just yet. While this list is neither organized in order of importance nor comprehensive, it spotlights 10 notable crypto pioneers working tirelessly towards creating a mainstream-ready and highly functional blockchain ecosystem.
The British-American computer programmer and founder of McAfee cybersecurity tools strongly believes that blockchain will experience mass adoption just like the internet. Given McAfee’s deep-rooted ties with cybersecurity, his devout support for blockchain’s progress is understandable as this novel technology offers critical security solutions by decentralizing data and computational infrastructure sources.
Buterin is a Russian-Canadian programmer and writer who co-founded both Ethereum and Bitcoin Magazine. With Ethereum, developers can build a broad array of decentralized applications (DApps) that can run successfully on its network rather than on one centralized computing location. While its mainstream adoption hasn’t clicked yet, Ethereum is gradually growing every day. In fact, Ethereum’s developers are working tirelessly towards resolving existing scalability challenges and planning future transactions to both shared network and proof-of-stake consensus protocol.
Lee is primarily known as the creator of Litecoin, one of the popular cryptocoins in the market. In a tweet earlier this year, Lee announced he will improve Litecoin’s fungibility and privacy by adding confidential transactions, and a few months ago, In an interview with Wharton, he said, “ think for sure cryptocurrency will be one of the currencies that people will use; it will achieve mass adoption one day. The volatility will come down and things will be priced in cryptocurrencies."
Antonopoulos is an entrepreneur and badass coder, as well as a speaker and author of Mastering Bitcoin, The Internet of Money, and Mastering Ethereum. Institutions in the blockchain industry, including researchers like Diar and incubators like DAO Maker, consult with him. In a Q-and-A session following his "Thoughts of the Future of Money" talk, an audience member asked, “Which scalability options should the community adopt?” Antonopolous replied, "That’s an easy one to answer: All of them.” He further explained that scalability problems don't get solved, they only get "pushed further out," and since the network expands, new forms of application and use-cases become visible to present new capacity challenges.
Szabo is a renowned computer scientist, legal scholar and cryptographer who developed the concept of Smart Contracts, in addition to creating Bit Gold, which many people consider the precursor to Bitcoin. Companies such as Modium, Ambrosus and Chronicled are combining Smart Contract with IOT to enhance traceability. For instance, the sensor that monitors the temperature of food in transit can record this data to the blockchain and initiate a smart contract that executes a payment to the supplier.
Voorhees is an American-Panamanian founder of Shapeshift and among the top-recognized serial Bitcoin advocates and entrepreneurs. In a recent interview in Cointelegraph, he commented that, "Mass adoption needs to be specified according to the specific use case. While we aren’t at mass adoption of any of these categories yet, we are certainly past the point of 'mass adoption' in at least a couple."
Steinberg is one of the leading Security Token Offering (STO) experts in the industry. He’s the founder of SteinbergInvest, which holds various subsidiaries including CPI Technologies, the only company providing white-label STO solutions.Currently, he’s leading the $700M Time Square tokenization project, which may greatly increase the adoption of tokenized securities.
Andreessen is a co-founder and general partner of renowned venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Aside from being a strong proponent of Bitcoin and blockchain, he’s among many who believe that blockchain technology could help realign incentives between platforms and users. Andreessen is a key investor in many blockchain ventures; in fact, he has development an industry-centric venture capital fund. He also operates as a key advisor to other institutions aiming to invest in the blockchain sector.
McCalen is a programmer and co-founder of Stellar Development Foundation, which provides low-cost network utility. Actually, it uses a unique consensus protocol and a group of trusted anchors, such as banks and payment processors, to facilitate near-instantaneous and highly affordable financial transactions on the Stellar blockchain network. This allows users to exchange and cheaply send money across international borders. In fact, it enables cost-effective micropayments.
Ver is also an American and one of the early investors in, and promoters of, Bitcoin. He’s popularly known as “Bitcoin Jesus” because of is commitment and prominent support for its adoption. In fact, he uses his entrepreneurial spirit to preach the gospel to anyone who would listen to funding eahrly crypto startups. More so, he invests in projects building new crypto protocols and applications.