There are many benefits to investing in founder-led businesses. Chris Zook, the author of The Founder's Mentality, finds that founder-led businesses are more innovative because they exhibit business insurgency (the ability to buck industry norms or form new industries entirely), a "front-line obsession" with their business, and an ownership mindset that aligns them with investors.
Founders often think like long-term owners, are willing to take risks and innovate, and are willing to make difficult but necessary decisions. The same positive attributes that founders bring to publicly traded companies can also be applied to cryptocurrencies. While Bitcoin's (CRYPTO: BTC) founder (or founders) chose to remain anonymous, there are benefits to having vocal and visible creators outlining their vision to the public. Here are three cryptos led by passionate and dynamic founders that are all worthy of a long-term investment.
It's hard to find a better team of founders, in crypto or equity markets, than the leaders of Terra (LUNC -4.63%), Do Kwon and Daniel Shin. Shin is also the founder of Chai, a leading South Korean e-commerce and payments app. Kwon is a visionary who built Terra into a full-fledged ecosystem and helped it grow to a $30 billion market cap. Under his leadership, Terra is purchasing over $10 billion of Bitcoin to back the network's stablecoin, TerraUSD (CRYPTO: UST)..
Kwon founded Terraform Labs in 2018 and was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2019. In many ways, Kwon has become a leader in the crypto space as a whole, working to integrate Terra with other cryptocurrencies. For example, Terra's Luna Foundation Guard recently purchased $100 million of Avalanche (CRYPTO: AVAX) to back UST and to encourage further collaboration between Avalanche and Terra, with Kwon praising Avalanche as one of the "most exciting ecosystems in web 3". At a time when many cryptocurrencies compete for users and capital, Kwon's approach is refreshing. Kwon is in it for the long haul and has been around since Luna token was at 10 cents (it now trades for about $110).
We can't talk about crypto founders without giving a nod to Vitalik Buterin and Ethereum (ETH -0.40%). Ethereum had other founders -- like Charles Hoskinson, who went on to found Cardano (CRYPTO: ADA), and Gavin Wood, who went on to found Polkadot (CRYPTO: DOT) -- but Buterin has stuck with Ethereum for years and doesn't appear to be going anywhere.
After first getting involved in cryptocurrency in 2011, Buterin wrote the Ethereum white paper (the document laying out the foundation for what the project was aiming to achieve) in 2013, and nine years later it has grown into an asset worth $360 billion. To put things into perspective, Buterin's creation now has a larger market cap than companies like Mastercard, The Home Depot, and Chevron.
During this time frame, Ethereum became the blockchain where smart contracts and dApps first flourished and non-fungible tokens pushed crypto into the pop culture vernacular. Rather than resting on their laurels, Vitalik and Ethereum's other developers are continually working to tweak and improve the world's second-largest cryptocurrency. For example, Ethereum will soon transition to a proof-of-stake model, which has taken years of work to come into fruition and will make Ethereum more environmentally friendly and thus more sustainable over the long term.
Founders like Kwon and Buterin are maneuvering like longtime CEOs, thinking about what will benefit investors many years ahead into the future with moves like purchasing a substantial reserve of Bitcoin or moving to proof of stake. Their long-term vision and dedication to their projects as well as the cryptocurrency space as a whole make Terra and Ethereum long-term buy and holds in my view.