Cryptocurrency innovators have broken new ground with five now joining the list of 40 young global business disruptors represented on this year’s Fortune under 40’s rankings.
The list was introduced in 1999 and ran every year until 2003. It was reintroduced after the global economic crisis of 2008 to celebrate notable innovation by the under 40’s. This year’s list was topped by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in joint first place with Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom.
Cryptocurrency professionals and enthusiasts will notice some more than familiar names on this year’s list including Ethereuem co-founder, Russian-Canadian Vitalik Buterin in 22nd place, who also co-founded Bitcoin Magazine. Remarkably at only 24 years of age, this was not his first time listed in the prestigious rankings as he also featured in 2016 and has now made three in a row.
This year Fortune made note of Buterin’s loyalty to the cryptocurrency space, turning down an opportunity to work for Google, describing him as a “skinny visionary.”
Coinbase CEO, 34-year-old Brian Armstrong made the list again, now for the second time with Fortune suggesting that “tantalizing financial licenses” could push the company to bigger and better things. He made 20th position.
Notably, Armstrong is launching a project this year to help people out of poverty with a personal USD 1 million donation through his ‘GiveCypto’ project, illustrating innovators’ desire to make a difference on a personal level. Last year, Armstrong was listed for leading his company towards a $1.6 billion evaluation in 2017.
A newcomer to the listings in 2018 was Russian developer Pavel Durov, 33, founder of social networking site VKontakte and chat app Telegram. This year he notably refused to comply with a Moscow court which had banned the popular cloud-based messaging service. Appearing 25th on the list and noted by Fortune for Telegram’s successes and a total earning of $1.7 billion.
Two perhaps lesser known names appeared on this year’s under 40’s innovator and disruptor listings are Vlad Tenev, 31, and Baiji Bhatt, 33, appearing in 24th place and heralded for founding brokerage app Robinhood. The platform has been offering free crypto trading in some US States and has now become the second most valuable startup with a $5.6 billion valuation.
Fortune reported earlier this year that Robinhood had shown an ability to rapidly overtake incumbents in one of the oldest Wall Street industries after its valuation has quadrupled in the last year. Notably, the company raised USD 363 million in a remarkable investment round this year.
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