From blockchain startups to cryptocurrency exchanges, more tech giants than ever are founding and joining digital currency companies. But who are these innovators and what are they doing now? Here’s a list of tech giants building cryptocurrency companies.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is a famous American entrepreneur, inventor, and electronics engineer. Recently, Wozniak began working with EQUI Global, a blockchain-focused venture capital fund.
The company aims to disrupt the venture capital industry by trading with the EquiToken (EQUIT). With this token, investors can finance startups and trade on a secure cryptocurrency exchange, like any other cryptocurrency. The token was built on the Ethereum platform.
Former COO and president of Goldman Sachs Gary Cohn just joined Spring Labs. More recently, Cohn served as National Economic Council Director for the Trump administration.
Spring Labs is a blockchain company that uses a decentralized network to exchange credit card and identity information.
Specifically, Cohn joined Spring Labs’ board of advisors.
Randi Zuckerberg is Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s sister and an investor and innovator in her own right. After a ten-year career as Director of Market Development at Facebook, she went on to found her lifestyle website Dot Complicated, Zuckerberg Media and Facebook Live.
Randi is also a best-selling author, executive producer at Dot TV Show, and the founder of Sue’s Tech Kitchen.
Recently, Randi Zuckerberg joined Huobi advisor board. Huobi is one of the popular cryptocurrency exchanges in terms of volume. It is also one of the key players to consider when wondering, What is a stablecoin?
Zuckerberg will sit on the Huobi Chain Expert Advisory Committee to help facilitate initiatives that go beyond the exchange.
Alexis Ohanian is the co-founder of Reddit and a widely recognized tech giant. He is also the co-founder of Initialized Capital and bestselling author of Without Their Permission. Ohanian and co-founder Steve Huffman sold Reddit to Conde Nast in 2006.
In 2015, Ohanian returned as an executive chair of Reddit. Today, he is a member of Reddit’s board of directors. Initialized Capital, a venture capital firm, has over $230 million under management. Due to his success in tech and investment, Ohanian was named a Forbes 30 Under 30 twice.
Recently, the entrepreneur has been showing interest in the world of cryptocurrency. In fact, Initialized Capital has invested $2.1 million in a newly emergent cryptocurrency trading platform, DDEX. DDEX is a decentralized trading platform that allows users to trade without needing to deposit assets into an exchange. DDEX is built on the Ethereum blockchain.
Ohanian is also connected to investments in crypto-related companies like Coinbase, Instacrast and Zenefits.
Founder and partner at Morgan Creek Digital, Anthony Pompliano is among the tech giants who have made the transition into digital currency. Morgan Creek Digital has teamed up with Bitwise to provide access to digital assets for their institutional clients. Bitwise is a leading crypto index provider.
Before delving into the world of cryptocurrency, Pompliano was employed by Facebook as a Product Manager, leading the Growth Team for Facebook Pages. Before that, he worked in growth at Snapchat, Inc.
Apart from his endeavors at Morgan Creek, Anthony Pompliano is known as a cryptocurrency bull, which is cryptocurrency slang for someone enthusiastic about crypto investments.
Charlie Lee is a significant presence in crypto. In fact, Lee refers to himself as a “cryptocurrency enthusiast.” More specifically, Charlie Lee is the creator of Litecoin (LTC). Additionally, Lee is managing director of the Litecoin Foundation.
Before embarking on a career in crypto, Charlie Lee worked for Google writing code for Chrome OS. The tech giant created his own blockchain based on Bitcoin (BTC) in his spare time which he was still at Google. What is Bitcoin? It’s the first cryptocurrency ever created.
In 2013, Lee left Google and started a career at Coinbase. Soon after, Coinbase adopted Litecoin (LTC). As of now, Charlie Lee is working full time with the Litecoin Foundation on Litecoin (LTC) adoption.
Brother of Charlie Lee, Bobby Lee is a co-founder of BTCChina, the first and most significant Bitcoin exchange in China. Lee also had made the transition into the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology sphere.
Before BTCChina, Bobby Lee worked as the VP of Technology at Walmart. Also, Bobby held a number of different positions such as CTO and SVP at BesTV New Media, Director of Software Engineering at EMC and Sr. Engineering Manager at Yahoo.
Naval Ravikant is the founder of AngelList, a platform that helps startups, angel investors and job seekers connect.
More recently, Ravikant collaborated with Juan Benet, founder of Protocol Labs, to create CoinList. CoinList is a company which offers emerging companies a more streamlined ICO precess. Namely, a SAFT—Simple Agreement for Future Tokens—structure.
Additionally, the entrepreneur also writes and speaks frequently about cryptocurrency and blockchain.
Peter Pham is the co-founder of Science, the incubator behind the Dollar Shave Club. Additionally, Science has a $75 million venture fund, and the companies they have built have had over $500 million in follow-on financing. Science has also worked with New York Times and Google on acquisitions.
Pham also grew Photobucket, an image hosting website, to become the largest site of its kind in 2007. Myspace acquired Photobucket for $300 million.
On top of all this, Pham is involved with blockchain startups. In fact, Science also has a blockchain incubator, Science Blockchain. The incubator was the first to do an ICO or Initial Coin Offering. Science Blockchain builds companies on blockchain, coordinate ICOs, and invest.
Entrepreneur Mike Dudas is founder and CEO of The Block. The Block is an information and education platform that covers blockchain and cryptocurrency-related topics.
Before delving into the sphere of digital currency information, Dudas held positions at Disney, Google, PayPal and Venmo. Much of his work involves in business development and strategy.
In addition to The Block, Dudas is also co-founder and CRO of Button, a mobile partnerships platform.
You may know Balaji Srinivasan as the CTO of Coinbase, but before working at a cryptocurrency exchange, he was a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. He was also CEO of Earn.com, which was later acquired by Coinbase.
Srinivasan both invests and advises cryptocurrency businesses including Coin Centre, Polychain, Token Daily, Teleport and Ethereum. Additionally, Balaji Srinivasan holds a Wall Street Journal Innovation Award.
Before blockchain technology, Andy Tian specialized in online, mobile, gamified entertainment. Tian is now known for his position as the CEO of the fastest selling ICO, or Initial Coin Offering, in Asia.
Specifically, the ICO was for GIFTO, a blockchain-based virtual gifting protocol. GIFTO’s ICO closed out in one minute, raising $30 million. The ICO was four-time over-subscribed and is predicted to be the most substantial non-cryptocurrency blockchain adoption in history.
Tian is also CEO of AIG, or Asia Innovation Group.
Vinny Lingham is a Shark on Shark Tank South Africa and co-founder of Gyft, digital gift card platform by Google Ventures, Agrade Investments and Karlin Ventures.
As of now, Lingham is a Board Member for the Bitcoin Foundation. This tech giant is also co-founder of Newtown Partners. Newtown is a seed investment fund focused on early-stage tech startups and Token/ICO advising. Additionally, he is a Partner as Multicoin Capital.
Most notably, Lingham is co-founder and CEO of Technologies. Civic is a blockchain-based identity management platform which has received much media attention recently. Lingham has a wide roster of experience in both the general digital sphere and the digital currency sphere.
Not only is Jed McCaleb among our tech giants, but he’s a crypto giant, too. Jed McCaleb owns approximately $20 billion worth of cryptocurrency, specifically Ripple (XRP). This put him at 40th place on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people.
As of now, McCaleb’s prominent role is co-founder and CTO of Stellar (XLM). Before beginning Stellar, he founded and worked as CTO of Ripple. He also created Mt.Gox.
Before McCaleb dove into cryptocurrency, he founded MetaMachine Inc. where he released the eDonkey2000 application.
Internet pioneer Marc Andreessen is a co-founder of Mosaic, one of the first widely used web browsers in history. He is also the co-founder of Netscape and co-founder and general partner of Andreessen Horowitz, Silicon Valley venture capital firm. Andreessen has been part of countless other notable tech businesses and projects over the years. In fact, this member of the tech giants is in the World Wide Web Hall of Fame.
Andreessen is a big name in cryptocurrency, mainly on account of his work with Andreessen Horowitz who has invested hundreds of millions into Bitcoin startups.
Currently, Brian Forde works on cryptocurrency and emerging technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is currently the Director of Digital Currency at the MIT Media Lab. There, he works to bring digital currency to the mainstream by incubating high-impact applications and use cases.
Before this, Forde world as the Senior Advisor for Mobile and Data Innovation at the White House. Through his work at the White House, he aims to leverage emerging tech to address national priorities. Additionally, Forde co-founded one of Nicaragua’s largest phone and internet services providers, Llamadas S.A.
Roger Ver is one of the world’s first investors in Bitcoin startups and one of the key people to know when you’re wondering, “What is cryptocurrency?” Some of the startups which he invested in include Bitcoin.com, Blockchain.com, Zcash (ZEC), BitPay and Kraken.
Ver was the CEO of MemoryDealers.com until 2012. His crypto career began in early 2011 when he started investing in Bitcoin (BTC). In fact, Memorydealers became the first to accept Bitcoin as payment.
He then created Bitcoinstore.com in 2012. In 2014 Ver took over Bitcoin.com. He has since earned the nickname “Bitcoin Jesus.”
Jon Ramvi is founder and CEO of Blockchangers, the European blockchain production studio. Ramvi has a background in web development and entrepreneurship. He previously worked with the Investors Club in Australia and Nova Vista where he was the Head of Technology.
Additionally, he was the owner of SansSerif Norway and founded EasyPeasy. EasyPeasy is an open source operating system downloaded by over 2 million people.
In addition to his work with Blockchangers, Ramvi is a developer at White Rabbit, public speaker, and guest lecturer at NTNU.
Alex Mashinsky founded Celsius Network. More broadly, Mashinsky is a venture investor, entrepreneur and tech innovator.
His past endeavors include GroundLink, Tellabs, Inseego Corp., Transit Wireless, Governing Dynamics, SIRIN LABS, and more. Furthermore, Mashinsky is a 7X Founder with over 120 VC investments, 34 patents, over $1 billion in raised funds, and over $3 billion in exits. Many of his investments are in blockchain technology and cryptocurrency companies.
On our list of tech giants, Brian Hoffman is CEO of OB1 and project lead for OpenBazaar. OpenBazaar is a decentralized peer to peer marketplace for trade using Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency at the heard of Bitcoin conspiracy theories.
Prior to his crypto involvement, Hoffman worked with the US Department of Defence and Fortune 500 companies like FedEx and Hilton Hotels. Hoffman and his team are working to grow OpenBazaar into a major platform for buying just about anything with crypto, including a new iPhone XS.
Open Bazaar received a $1 million in VC investment from Union Square Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz to build an even better version of the software. They continued to receive investments and evolve after their initial launch in 2016.
Tech Giants Working in Cryptocurrency and Blockchain
The biggest names behind companies like Goldman Sachs, Reddit, Facebook and Google now work in cryptocurrency and blockchain. Not only are CEOs, developers and founders moving into the space, but blockchain engineers now make more than software engineers on average.
In other words, crypto and blockchain are emerging industries that are capturing the attention of almost everyone—especially that of the world’s most famous and successful entrepreneurs.