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Five blockchain influentials to follow in 2018

Umair Ahmed
28th May 2018
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Blockchain is interrupting every industry and sector. Let’s have a look at some of the top blockchain influentials, who are the backbone of this digital revolution. 

Blockchain technology is still not mainstream technology but the way governments, corporations, financial institutions and other industries are taking interest in it can clearly tell us about its bright future. Many experts are looking at blockchain technology as the beginning of another digital revolution.

Most of the non tech-savvy people consider blockchain and Bitcoin as the same thing and their view about the blockchain is limited to the digital currencies. On the other hand, Blockchain is interrupting every industry and sector. Finance and banking sector, supply chain industry, real estate, legal and almost all sectors are looking at different blockchain-based solutions.

This is where it becomes really important to keep an eye on the latest developments. And the easiest way to do this is to follow the influentials and trend-setters. Let’s have a look at some of the top blockchain influentials who are the backbone of this upcoming digital revolution we are going to witness:

Vitalik Buterin 

Vitalik is the co-founder of Ethereum, the most prominent blockchain platform at the moment.

Who developed Bitcoin is a mystery. Satoshi Nakamoto, the name we know today as the main developer of Bitcoin, is a mystery person no one knows about. But Vitalik Buterin, who is the co-founder of the second most popular blockchain platform, Ethereum, is not an unknown person. The 24-year-old young Canadian programmer has become the most important voice in the blockchain industry everyone listens and gives weight to.

Ethereum, contrary to Bitcoin that is more like a digital currency, is a blockchain platform on the top of which different other solutions, called smart contracts or DAPPS, are developed. So, in other words, the way bitcoin changed the money and payments industry, Ethereum has similar power to change almost every other sector and industry.

This makes Vitalik Buterin, one of the most important people in the blockchain sector. Vitalik not only expresses his view point about his brainchild, Ethereum, but he also sheds some thoughtful insights about the overall industry trends. Vitalik explains the blockchain in an interesting manner:

“Whereas most technologies tend to automate workers on the periphery doing menial tasks, blockchains automate away the centre. Instead of putting the taxi driver out of a job, blockchain puts Uber out of a job and lets the taxi drivers work with the customer directly.”

Gilbert Verdian 

Gilbert is focusing on the biggest challenges blockchain faces today

Blockchain faces two major challenges today i.e. scaling and regulations. On one end, speed and inter-chain communication has become a real challenge and, on the other hand, government regulations are still under way and unclear.

Gilbert Verdian is the man going to play a very important role in both these areas in coming days. The former MasterCard Security executive is playing a key role in regularising the blockchain technology and defining the standards acceptable worldwide. Gilbert Verdian is the head of the British delegation working on blockchain standards at International Standards Organization.

He is also the founder of Quant Network, the first blockchain operating system that allows the development of multi-chain applications aka MAPPs, thus providing the solution for inter-chain communication and scaling. Quant Network is also an exclusive partner to China’s blockchain research hub for China Ministry of Commerce. These connections has Verdian in a unique position in the coming days.

Perianne Boring

Perianne Boring is one of the very few women working in the blockchain industry. She is the Adjunct Professor of Blockchain at Georgetown University, and also Founder and President of Chamber of Digital Commerce, one of the largest trade associations representing the blockchain industry.

Boring, who began her career as a legislative analyst in the US House of Representatives, is playing a key role in promoting the acceptance and awareness of blockchain technologies by working with policymakers, regulatory bodies and industry experts.

Roger Ver 

Once known as the ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ is now one of the most controversial persons in the blockchain community as well

Roger Ver is the man who invested heavily in Bitcoin in its early days and also backed a lot of blockchain startups in the early days of blockchain technology. This is where people started calling him ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ for his active participation and promotion. But this is not it! After years of backing and promotion, Ver started losing in Bitcoin due to different issues and came with his own Bitcoin fork called Bitcoin Cash, which he claims is the original Bitcoin.

Ver believes in faster and cheaper transactions of Bitcoin, which comes at the cost of the Bitcoin miners’ monopoly over the chain, resulting in the centralisation of Bitcoin chain, which is contrary to the core concept of decentralisation. You can read about this interesting debate here. No matter Ver wins or loses this war, no one can ignore him in the coming days.

You can find how excited Roger Ver was about Bitcoin with this quote:

“Bitcoin is amazingly transformative because it's the first time in the entire history of the world in which anybody can now send or receive any amount of money, with anyone else, anywhere on the planet, without having to ask permission from any bank or government.”

Emma Channing

She not only advises new blockchain startups, she also focuses on the government regulations and proposed standards.

Emma Channing runs ICO advisory firm Satis Group, providing the consultancy to the blockchain startups and ICOs focusing in the areas of global capital markets, financial regulatory issues, corporate governance, corporate finance and other areas. With her extensive background in legal and law firms, Channing keeps an eye on the regulations and standards being proposed on the blockchain horizon.

She recently expressed her fears about the I.S.O. group working in the area of blockchain regulations. She believes that the countries with more resources and devotion can push forward their preferred cryptographic algorithms as industry standards but with creating some back doors in those algorithms to be used as Trojan.

These are very real concerns in the world where powerful nations keep pushing their agenda in the name of regulations.

There are a lot of other people working in this area. Blockchain technology looks like a beginning of a new ‘decentralised era’ in this centralised world. How and where things will proceed will be known in time. But it looks like blockchain is here to stay and with some improvements and broader acceptance, we will be witness this digital revolution very soon.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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