Top 10 Blockpreneurs in Asia
Behind the recent rapid growth of the blockchain industry lie several determined individuals who believed in an idea and then brought it to life for others to utilize. Here, we look at some of those visionaries without whom the blockchain industry would not have come as far as it has today:
- Justin Sun: When one talks about the Asian blockchain scenario, a name that pops up in everyone’s mind is that of the Founder and CEO of TRON Foundation, Justin Sun. At the age of 26, he was hand-picked by Jack Ma to study at the Hupan University, which has a lower acceptance rate than Princeton. He is also the CEO of PEIWO, the Chinese voice live streaming giant with a user count of more than 10 million users. If that wasn’t enough, he is also the Chief Representative and Advisor of Ripple Labs. Forbes recognized him for his achievements by putting him in the 30 Under 30 – Asia – Consumer Technology. The cryptocurrency made by the TRON Foundation, TRX, is one of the top 15 cryptocurrencies on CoinMarketCap in terms of market capitalization.
- Xinshu Dong: Ranked 32nd on the list of the top cryptocurrencies on CoinMarketCap in terms of market capitalization, Zilliqa is one of the most respected cryptocurrencies in Asia. Xinshu Dong is the Chief Executive Officer of Zilliqa and one of the most reputed entrepreneurs in the Asian blockchain space. He got his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the National University of Singapore in 2013 and has researched the broad areas of systems security, including, but not limited to, cyber-physical systems such as smart grids, and software systems such as web, mobile, and blockchain. Prior to heading Zilliqa, he was a researcher at the Advanced Digital Sciences Center (ADSC).
- Patrick Dai: Patrick Dai is the Founder of Qtum, one of the top 30 cryptocurrencies on CoinMarketCap in terms of market capitalization. He is a graduate of Draper University and is a doctoral degree dropout of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. A former employee of Alibaba, he is committed to the blockchain technology and its development. He has an abundant development experience in the blockchain industry—something which comes in handy for Qtum.
- Loi Luu & Yaron Velner: Loi Luu is the Co-founder and CEO of Kyber Network—a decentralized liquidity network of a huge number of inter-token use cases that anyone can use. He did his Ph.D. from the National University of Singapore, and it was during this time that he generated an interest in cryptocurrencies, smart contract security, and distributed consensus algorithms, consequently researching them. Before joining Kyber, he developed the first open-source security analyzer for the Ethereum smart contracts, Oyente. He is also the designer of the first sharding protocol for the public blockchains—Zilliqa was inspired by it. Yaron Velner is the co-founder and CTO of Kyber Network. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Tel Aviv University and has researched extensively on game theory incentives in the blockchain protocols and also on formal verification of smart contracts. He is one of the top contributors all over the world to the Bug Bounty Program of Ethereum. Yaron has over 10 years of experience as a senior software engineer and is the technical leader at EZchip semiconductors.
- Ma Haobo: How does a combination of blockchain and cloud computing sound? Pretty good, right? Well, that’s what ælf does, and is one of the top 70 cryptocurrencies on CoinMarketCap. Ma Haobo is the Founder of this very cryptocurrency and is also the CEO of Hoopox. He is a blockchain expert and is an early adopter of digital assets. Before starting off with ælf, he worked as the CTO of GemPay, AllCoin. As a member of China Computer Federation and Blockchain Experts’ Commission of Chinese Institute of Electronics.
- Jack Lu: Jack Lu is the founder of the world’s first—and the only—interoperable blockchain which has secure multi-party computing features, Wanchain. He has graduated from Peking University and The Ohio State University and is a technical expert. As a blockchain entrepreneur, he had cofounded Factom in 2014, after which he founded Wanglutech, which brought the blockchain technology to a wider range of applications.
- Julius Tan: Julius Tan is the founder of Electrify, the Singapore-based energy retail marketplace. He has been recognized by Forbes in its “30 Under 30 – Asia – Industry, Manufacturing & Energy 2018” list for his work in the energy domain. His company allows consumers to compare the prices for electricity they get from different retailers and to purchase it directly from those retailers. Since the electricity market in Singapore is highly liberalized, the services of his company are highly in demand.
- Steve Tay: Steve Tay is the Foundation Director of Bezant Foundation. He has a broad spectrum of managerial experience in different sectors of the gaming industry. His experience is mainly focused on the South East Asian region wherein he was directly involved in the operation, planning, and execution process for ensuring that profits were maximized and the revenue targets were delivered. Having been in the gaming industry for a significant time, his interest lies in applying the blockchain technology as well as cryptocurrencies to the industry.
- Shashank Udupa & Varun Mayya: Shashank Udupa and Varun Mayya are the co-founders of Enkidu, a legal-tech solution for startups and small businesses which provides them with 14 smart contracts for handling just about every situation that a small business would face. Shashank is an ex-IIFL investment banker who’s closed several multi-million dollar deals—including 2 Series E companies. An early Ethereum and Ripple investor, his interest in the blockchain industry dates back to the early days of blockchain adoption. He is also the co-founder of Avalon Labs, an edge-technology company and incubator with profitable ventures in the blockchain, SaaS, media and mental health industries. Varun, on the other hand, is a serial entrepreneur. He raised the first round of VC capital for his company Jobspire when he was just 20. After Jobspire’s exit in Feb 2017, he co-founded Avalon Labs—and later Enkidu—with Shashank. He is an Angel investor, an early Ethereum investor, and a Rails/React developer and has a number of profitable businesses to his name.
- Paul Kittiwongsunthorn & Toby Hoenisch: Paul Kittiwongsunthorn is the co-founder and CDO of Tenx, a Singapore-based blockchain company which specializes in making cryptocurrencies spendable anytime, anywhere. He has a background in human-computer interaction and used to be a part of the teaching team of the ME310 Design & Innovation course at Stanford University. His expertise led him to be frequently invited as a speaker at some of the global Tech and FinTech events. He is a regular commentator in the media being quite vocal about the future of cryptocurrency as well as the current trends in the blockchain industry. Toby Hoenisch is the co-founder and CEO of TenX. He is a serial entrepreneur and blockchain expert and is frequently invited to speak at global Tech and FinTech events. Having started programming at the age of 10, he has had a keen interest in technology and has hence studied Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence.