The 38-year-old founder of Coinbase took the U.S.’s largest crypto exchange (by volume) public this year. In addition to his work making mass crypto adoption easy, Armstrong has also been a vocal critic of onerous financial regulations, even proposing that the U.S. appoint a crypto-specific industry watchdog. While a proposed savings feature called Lend was waylaid by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Coinbase continues to expand its revenue streams with a non-fungible token (NFTs) platform and credit card. Recently, Coinbase worked with decentralized finance (DeFi) juggernaut Compound to bring users greater returns on their DAI holdings. Something of a crypto incumbent, Coinbase continues to innovate.
The Complete List: CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2021