Crypto makes strong showing in Forbes '30 Under 30' list of finance leaders

Quick Take

  • Of the 30 spots, 13 founders and executives with backgrounds in crypto made Forbes’ class of 2024 list.

While down from the number of leaders and founders celebrated during the last crypto bull run, Forbes did not shy away from honoring crypto professionals with its most recent "30 Under 30" of finance leaders in North America.

Nearly half of the slots were filled by professionals either working in or with ties to crypto. Of the 30 spots, 13 founders and executives with backgrounds in crypto made Forbes' class of 2024 list.

Some of the highest profile additions included the co-founders of Sei Labs  Jayendra Jog and Jeff Feng who say their blockchain can confirm transactions much faster than the popular Ethereum chain. Sei launched in August with $35 million in funding raised from investors including Multicoin Capital, Jump Crypto and Coinbase Ventures, according to Forbes' report.

With their company Toku, co-founders Kenneth O'Friel and Dominika Stobiecka aim to help employees who receive token payments from crypto organizations navigate tax regulations. Toku’s clients include dYdX and Protocol Labs.

Other notable additions include Injective Labs co-founders Eric Chen and Albert Chon, which head development of the Injective blockchain; Layer3 co-founders Dariya Khojasteh, Brandon Kumar; and Aleks Larsen, a general partner at Blockchain Capital, the crypto venture firm which in September announced a $580 million raise across two new funds, according to Forbes.

The 2023 crowd

The 2023 list also showcased a strong showing of professionals with ties to crypto, with Chipper Cash co-founder Ham Serunjogi topping the list. The 28 year-old's company services over 5 million customers who use it to trade crypto or make payments across seven nations including South Africa, Nigeria, the U.K. and the U.S., according to Forbes. Serunjogi and his co-founder Maijid Moujaled launched Chipper Cash in 2018 and "have raised $300 million, hitting a peak valuation of $2.2 billion in November 2021," the report also said.

Serunjogi was one of 14 slots on the list filled by people who have at one point worked with crypto or blockchain. "Serial entrepreneur" Samuel F. Poirier — while now the CEO of Mercantile, a company that provides small businesses with custom credit cards — at the age of 17 launched a bitcoin debit card, according to his Forbes profile.

Higher-profile additions also included BlackRock digital asset professional Maxwell Stein, MoonPay co-founder and CTO Victor Faramond, Uniswap Labs founder Hayden Adams and The Graph Foundation Director Eva Beylin.

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In late 2021, Forbes put 21 "Bitcoin and Blockchain leaders" on its 30 Under 30 list, which was nearly double the previous year's count, the magazine said at the time.

Bankman-Fried had topped 'Hall of Shame' list

Forbes has been known for sometimes celebrating the achievements of young entrepreneurs who later go on to fail in dramatic fashion, but maybe no such instance is more famous than the magazine honoring one-time crypto wunderkind FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.

In 2023's class, in an apparent mea culpa, Forbes published a "Hall of Shame" list topped by Bankman-Fried. That was after the magazine put Bankman-Fried on its cover and included the young executive in its "30 Under 30" list in 2022.

"Many Under 30 alumni have gone on to become tech titans, CEOs, and even billionaires," Forbes said. "A few have turned out to be duds, or far worse."

Bankman-Fried's former colleague and Alameda Research co-CEO Caroline Ellison also made that "Hall of Shame" list.

(Corrects and updates to include 2024 list.)


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About Author

RT Watson is a senior reporter at The Block who covers a wide array of topics including U.S.-based companies, blockchain gaming and NFTs. Formerly covered entertainment at The Wall Street Journal, where he wrote about Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros. and the creator economy while focusing primarily on technological disruption across media. Previous to that he covered corporate, economic and political news in Brazil while at Bloomberg. RT has interviewed a diverse cast of characters including CEOs, media moguls, top influencers, politicians, blue-collar workers, drug traffickers and convicted criminals. Holds a master'