10 blockchain experts to follow on Twitter

The hype around blockchain technology has most certainly gone hand-in-hand with digital currencies like Bitcoin. But it’s about much more than cryptocurrencies: Blockchain is becoming an industry unto itself.

Research firm IDC predicts that spending on blockchain-related technologies will top $2 billion this year, more than doubling 2017 spending.

[ Wondering where blockchain may fit in your organization? See our related article for early use cases: Where does blockchain fit best? ]

Blockchain technology has far-reaching opportunities and impacts in a variety of business, government, legal, and – yes – financial contexts. So how can CIOs and other IT leaders ensure they have  a clear view of the blockchain landscape?

Start reading, of course. There are a growing number of books, publications, and similar sources of blockchain information. But you can also go online; we give your Twitter reading list a head-start below.

As when we shared our 20 must-follow DevOps experts on Twitter, the methodology here is straightforward. We asked a simple question: Can IT leaders and practitioners learn something about blockchain technology from this person’s feed? Just like last time, the only acceptable answer was: “Yes.” Imaginary bonus points this time around for connecting blockchain to emerging business use cases or other major areas of focus in today’s IT shops, such as cloud, containerization, security, and more.

Read on for 10 blockchain experts (in no particular order) worth following for ongoing insights.

Laura Shin aka @laurashin

Bio: Crypto/blockchain journalist; Host of http://Unchainedpodcast.co  & http://unconfirmedpodcast.com  Disclosure: I own BTC & ETH; Email https://earn.com/laurashin/ 
Why to follow: Shin’s a writer and podcast host who lives, eats, and breathes blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Consider her a true believer: As the Unchained podcast description says, “Blockchain technology is about to transform every trust-based interaction of our lives, from financial services to identity, from health care to our Internet of Things devices.” Shin regularly tweets, writes, and talks about significant and emerging trends in the blockchain space.

Nick Szabo aka @NickSzabo4

Bio: Blockchain, cryptocurrency, and smart contracts pioneer. (RT/Fav/Follow does not imply endorsement). Blog: http://unenumerated.blogspot.com 

Why to follow: Szabo has ascended to near-mythical status in the blockchain and crypto universe, quite literally: He’s previously been pegged as the real person behind Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, which Szabo denies. Szabo does get credit for being the brains behind “smart contracts,” which have expansive potential uses in business, law, government, investing, and more.

Ed Featherston aka @efeatherston

Bio: VP Principal Architect @cloudtp #bigdata #IoT #cloudcomputing #entarch #blockchain #ciochat tweets my own http://edfeatherston.sys-con.com
Why to follow: Featherston’s perspective on blockchain is powered by decades-long experience with designing, building, implementing, and integrating complex systems. A VP and principal architect at Cloud Technology Partners, Featherston’s feed is a good place to stay in tune with how blockchain technology intersects with other critical facets of the modern IT landscape – especially cloud and IoT – and its emerging use cases in various industries.

David Marcus aka @davidmarcus

Bio: Running @Messenger @Facebook, Board @Coinbase & @TippingPoint, part-time investor & cryptogeek, formerly led @PayPal & built 3 startups.

Why to follow: Why should blockchain buffs pay attention to the person in charge of Facebook’s Messenger app? Well, because he’s no longer in charge of Messenger: Just this week, Marcus, who previously served as president of PayPal, announced that he was moving into a new role where he’ll build a small team from scratch that will explore how Facebook can best leverage blockchain technologies. While we probably shouldn’t expect Marcus to spill every little detail, this is a feed worth keeping tabs on as Facebook wades deeper into blockchain waters.

[ Are CIOs really ready for blockchain? See our recent article, 5 blockchain statistics: CIO reality check ]

William Mougayar aka @wmougayar

Bio: Author, The Business Blockchain. Producer, Token Summit. Venture investor & Advisor. Founder, Startup Management. Mentor, Entrepreneur, Speaker. Thought Leader.

Why to follow: Mougayar wrote the book The Business Blockchain: Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology, and is a regular speaker on blockchain topics. As the title of his book suggests, Mougayar is particularly interested in the business use cases of blockchain. He’s also one of the event producers behind The Token Summit, which explores “the economics, regulation and best practices around blockchain-based tokens, protocols, and crypto-assets.”

[ Enter our May giveaway and refresh your library with 7 must-read books from MIT Press and MIT CIO Symposium speakers ]