The blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem is well represented in this year’s Forbes 30-Under-30 list, with four young founders and CEOs aged between 25 and 28 featured for their work on crypto finance, blockchain scaling and crypto asset management.
Olaoluwa Osuntokun (25), Nader Al-Naji (26), JB Rubinovitz (26) and Hunter Horsley (28) have made their debut on this year’s list after applying blockchain technology to solve real world problems through their various startups.
Disrupting Economic Instability and Scaling Bitcoin
Olaoluwa Osuntokun is featured this year because of his work on creating a scaling solution for the Bitcoin blockchain. The Lightning Labs co-founder who moved to the U.S. from Nigeria as a child has successfully raised more than $2.5 million toward increasing bitcoin transaction speed with the aim of someday making bitcoin a usable and reliable system for carrying out relatively low-value transactions in the manner of Venmo and Cash App.
Nader Al-Naji on the other hand, has raised more than $133 million from a stellar list of investors including Bain Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and Stanley Druckenmiller to develop Basis, a U.S. Dollar-pegged stablecoin which aims to replace central banks in countries suffering from currency volatility such as Venezuela and Zimbabwe. Unlike most existing stablecoins, Basis intends to maintain its USD peg by algorithmically increasing and decreasing its supply instead of being backed by actual currency reserves in an account. In so doing, Basis aims to offer a new paradigm of economic stability to people in countries currently wracked by hyperinflation or political turmoil.
Solving America’s Bail Problem
JB Rubinovitz on his part is the co-founder of Bail Bloc, which uses a cryptocurrency mining framework to raise bail for qualified individuals who cannot afford it. This is a particularly serious social problem in the United States where roughly 60 percent of detainees are awaiting trial, of whom as many as nine out of ten remain in detention simply because they cannot afford to post the required bail sum. In other words, as much as half of America’s total population of incarcerated people would not be imprisoned if they could afford to post bail.
Hunter Horsley, the CEO of Bitwise Asset Management currently maintains four cryptocurrency indices that are currently used by over 600 multifamily offices, which is an important element in the evolution and eventual mainstreaming of crypto assets.
The Forbes 30-Under-30 list is yet another indication of the growing influence of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology as it expands from being a niche area of Fintech into an industrial heavyweight in its own right. In July, CCN reported that the Fortune 40-Under-40 list was also dominated by blockchain personalities including Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, Coinbase co-founder Brian Armstrong and Robinhood founder Vlad Tenev.