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Crypto 101: Forbes 2021’s 30 Under 30 List

Forbes’ recently published its 30 Under 30 list for 2021, the annual recognition of America’s most successful entrepreneurs and hustlers born after 1990.

Ten awardees are included in Who’s Who in the Crypto world.

Soona Amhaz (Volt Capital)

Sam Bankman-Fried (FTX)

Joey Krug (Augur)

Alexander Liegl (Layer1 Technologies)

Jack Mallers (Zap Solutions)

Flori Marquez (BlockFi)

Charlie Noyes (Paradigm)

Brian Tubergen (CoinList)

Amiti Uttarwar (Bitcoin Core developer)

Athanasios Karachotzitis, Jeong Woo Park, and Andrew Yang (Authenticiti)

Many people on the list say that it didn’t matter, for it was a team effort. They didn’t think about it; four of the recipients expressed their feelings with this recognition:

Flori Marquez, Co-founder, BlockFi

A daughter of Argentinian parents who has fled their country in the 80s because of hyperinflation. She considers making the list proof that she has made a mark on America.

“It’s recognition,” she said, “and publicity for our products.”

Now 29 years old, she founded BlockFi in 2017. Still, it burst onto the crypto scene in the previous year when it began offering the crypto users interest on their Bitcoin and Ethereum holdings – all before DeFi takes off.

When she heard the news, she called her mother, a Spanish teacher in Boston. “And this is the most’ mom’ move of all time,” Marquez said. “She congratulated me, but I could tell she was kind of trying to hang up. And then I think she thought she had hung up the phone, but she hadn’t and I could hear her say to her entire class: ‘Guys, my daughter just won!'”

“It felt great.”

Joey Krug, Co-founder, Augur

Only 25 years old, Joey Krug said that he had no idea that he was in the running. Different from his rivals, he didn’t apply. Forbes journalist Michael Del Castillo snuck him into the competition after writing a profile about Krug last July. Krug only discovered his success upon scrolling on Twitter.

“It’s cool; it’s exciting, I guess,” stated Krug. “But the actual fun part is the day-to-day of actually doing that sort of stuff.”

Krug co-founded Augur, a platform for betting markets built on the Ethereum blockchain. It fosters global markets on anything one might want to bet on and lower the expensive fees that take the fun out of it.

He also shared the role of Chief Investment Officer at Pantera Capital and served as an advisor, investor, or developer on many projects.

“It’s not that important in the grand scheme of things,” Krug said about the Forbes award. “It’s great to be part of it. But it’s not that I would try to use it for personal gain or anything like that.”

Krug is aiming to “at least make a dent” in finance and healthcare, the other industries he considered broken.

Brian Tubergen, Co-founder, Coinlist

At the age of 29, Brian Tubergen, founder of Coinlist, made it on the list in his last year of eligibility.

He said he feels “a little bit like a celebrity.”

“Certainly my friends outside the tech community seem to think it’s one of the most awesome things in the world,” he commented.

“I’m sure it’ll wear off tomorrow,” said Tubergen, who will go back to the grind that gave him today’s award. As CPO at CoinList, he may be helping create the next generation of 30 Under 30 entrepreneurs. “We got to keep working,” he said.

He insisted that the award is “a distraction from what matters most, which is continuing to build this company and deliver value to our customers.”

When asked if he has applied before, he said, “It’s possible in a previous year that I quickly filled it out,” he said. “But this was the first year that I put in the effort.” So that’s how to make a list.

Sam Bankman-Fried, Founder, FTX

Sam Bankman-Fried, 28, founder of crypto derivatives exchange FTX, remarked that the news broke while he was in a marketing meeting.

He felt relieved and excited. But it daunts him, he said.

“I think that adding the incremental thing on doesn’t change that feeling very much,” he said.

He still appreciated being noticed for his work, both at FTX and as CEO of full-service crypto trading firm Alameda Research. “These things tend to at least try to be reflections of what you’ve done,” he stated.

When asked if he thinks that the Forbes recognition reflects his achievements, he said:

“I think that I would feel a lot weirder about it if it didn’t.”

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