Ethereum, Coinbase, Robinhood Led by Under 40 Year Olds Killing It
Fortune magazine’s annual 40 Under 40 is out, recently published in print and online, highlighting leaders under forty years of age. This year, the cryptosphere is well represented by Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin, Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong, and Robinhood’s Vlad Tenev. Wielding billions and billions in valuations, their average age is just a tender 30 years old. Slowly and methodically, crypto is making its way into the mainstream, coming of age.
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Fortune’s 40 Under 40 Include Ecosystem Heavy Hitters
Fortune magazine’s 40 Under 40 list contains forty of the world’s most productive, interesting leaders under forty years old. “Whether they’re building companies worth billions of dollars,” the magazine explains, “carving a prominent niche in a Fortune 500 business, leading governments or winning Academy Awards, these listers are running fast and winning big.”
The 2018 iteration includes cryptocurrency heavies such as Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin (24), Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong (35), and Robinhood’s Vlad Tenev (31). On making the cut, some were asked about keys to their success. Mr. Tenev of Robinhood, the free stock trading application which recently allowed users to trade crypto, emphasized writing things down.
“I write everything down: important decisions,” Mr. Tenev revealed, “my number-one goal for the day, to-dos, and miscellaneous thoughts. It helps me focus on what’s most important each day, not forget anything, and provides a nice look back at key moments and inflection points that can be good teaching moments for new employees down the road.” In only five years, Robinhood reached a reported $5.6 billion valuation.
Crypto is Coming of Age
Making Fortune’s list marks something of a crypto coming of age. The broader, mainstream financial community appears to be taking more notice of decentralized digital currency. It has taken nearly a decade, but with revelations about patent-seeking legacy corporations, futures markets, more talk of ETFs on the horizon, crypto has arrived.
Indeed, famed crypto bank and quasi-exchange, Coinbase, has at its head a 35-year-old who believes in motivational language. CEO Brian Armstrong explains, “Everyday, I write down affirmations (what I aspire to be in the world) and my goals (if I only got three things done today, what would they be). Then I start on those three things, before looking at anything else like my inbox.” Coinbase has grown so fast; rumors are that it aims to be the ecosystem’s Google in terms of stature.
Vitalik Buterin, 24, a founder and the face of Ethereum, describes “his open-source blockchain platform Ethereum as a ‘world computer,’” Fortune notes. “The skinny visionary’s experiment, which began as a white paper, now has a market valuation of $48 billion, making it the second-most-valuable crypto network next to Bitcoin. Ethereum caught a lucky break this year when the SEC said it would not regulate ether, the network’s native coin, as a security. Rumor has it Google recently tried to hire Buterin to lead its own whispered crypto endeavors, but he declined.”