The Future Of Crypto And Blockchain: Fintech 50 2022


Reported by Nina Bambysheva, Michael del Castillo and Steven Ehrlich

Cryptophiles are settling into the realities of a bear market, but their recent triumphs should not be missed.

A record nine cryptocurrency-focused companies have achieved this year Forbes Fintech List 50: An honor list of the most innovative private companies in fintech. Together, these nine pioneers raised $ 6.5 billion in venture capital, with the lion’s share of that over the past 12 months.

Leading the group is the cryptocurrency exchange of billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX, which raised $ 1.5 billion in private funding last year alone, bringing its valuation from $ 1.2 billion to $ 25 billion. A $ 500 million increase last January brought its valuation to $ 32 billion, making it the third most valuable private fintech based or doing business in the U.S. With its fast growing business in the US. The company follows in the footsteps of its predecessors in the Coinbase, Kraken and Gemini list of the customer base.

Another of the main beneficiaries of last year’s and newcomers to the list is the NFT OpenSea market, where users can buy and sell all kinds of digital collectibles, whether art, music or games. In January, the startup grossed $ 13.3 billion, making its founders Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah the first billionaires in the non-fungible chip craze.

Meanwhile, San Francisco-based Alchemy, whose developer suite helped build almost every major NFT platform, including OpenSea, saw its valuation rise to $ 10.2 billion from last year’s $ 505 million (its first year on the list). Similarly, veteran Chainalysis, which helps governments and companies in 70 countries analyze blockchain data to investigate illicit transactions, has quadrupled its valuation to $ 8.6 billion from last year’s list.

Only two cryptographic companies on the 2022 list have not yet reached unicorn status: Ava Labs, the company behind the Avalanche blockchain, and Chainalysis competitor TRM Labs. While venture capitalists continue to raise multimillion-dollar funds, Forbes is looking closely at these companies to see if they reach this milestone even as the rest of the market is adapting to the new “cryptographic winter”.

Scroll down to see the full list of the most innovative crypto companies:

Alchemy


San Francisco, California

Sometimes called Amazon Web Services for crypto, Alchemy’s infrastructure software organizes blockchain data and facilitates access. The dominant NFT OpenSea marketplace uses Alchemy to display information on its website, such as who created and owned a particular digital work of art. Other prominent Alchemy customers include Adobe, DraftKings, and Shopify.

Financing: $ 413 million from Andreessen Horowitz, Silver Lake, Lightspeed Venture Partners and others

Last rating: $ 10.2 million

In good faith: Alchemy software was key to the NFT explosion. Between October 2021 and February 2022, the volume of Alchemy-driven annualized chain transactions rose from $ 45 billion to $ 105 billion.

Co-founders: CEO Nikil Viswanathan, 34, and CTO Joseph Lau, 32. Earlier, they co-founded the popular Down to Lunch dating app.

Ava Labs


New York, New York

Creator of Avalanche, a competitor to Ethereum, the most popular decentralized blockchain platform on which applications can run. Over the past year, more than 500 decentralized financing applications have been built in Avalanche, which can process 4,500 transactions per second, compared to just 14 per second for Ethereum.

Financing: $ 6 million from Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain, Initialized Capital and others

In good faith: More than 2.4 million users; Avalanche’s AVAX token has a market capitalization of $ 8.5 billion.

Co-founders: CEO Emin Gün Sirer, 50, a former computer science professor at Cornell University known for his research on distributed systems; COO Kevin Sekniqi, 28; chief protocol architect Ted Yin, 27.

Chain analysis


New York, New York

The company’s data platform has been used to solve some of the world’s most important criminal cases involving digital assets, including the $ 3.5 billion in cryptography seized by the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Unit, announced in November, and the attack. of Colonial Pipeline ransomware. Chainalysis now analyzes $ 1 trillion in transaction value each month on all cryptocurrency assets.

Financing: $ 535 million from Coatue, Paradigm, Accel and others

Last rating: $ 8.6 million

In good faith: Over the past year, Chainalysis has increased its customer base by 75% and now has more than 750 customers in 70 countries.

Co-founders: CEO Michael Gronager, 51, a doctor in quantum mechanics who co-founded the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange before leaving in 2015 to launch Chainalysis; strategy director Jonathan Levin, 32.

Circle


Boston, Massachusetts

Creator and co-issuer of USDC Coin (USDC), the second largest dollar-linked or “stable currency” token in the world. Available in eight blockchains, including Ethereum, Solana, and Avalanche, USDC is used on major decentralized financing platforms, accepted at Sotheby’s auction house, and integrated into Visa’s payment network. Circle generates revenue primarily from interest earned on its cash and treasury deposits, which reported $ 85 million in 2021. The company plans to go public through a SPAC in late 2022 with a valuation of $ 9 billion.

Financing: $ 1.5 billion from Marshall Wace, Fidelity and others

Last rating: $ 9 billion

In good faith: Its stable USDC currency has a market capitalization of $ 49 billion.

Co-founders: Jeremy Allaire, chief executive and chairman, and Sean Neville, board member. Prior to founding Circle, Allaire co-founded and led two global Internet technology companies through successful IPOs on Nasdaq, the online video platform Brightcove, and the software development company Macromedia.

Fire blocks


New York, New York

Institution-centered cryptographic custody service to BNY Mellon and the popular decentralized financing applications Compound Treasury and Aave Arc. In April 2022, Fireblocks partnered with payments giant FIS to provide its more than 6,000 capital market customers with access to lending and cryptocurrency trading services.

Financing: $ 1.2 billion from BNY Mellon, Coatue, Ribbit and others

Last rating: $ 8 billion

In good faith: It has grown from 100 customers in January 2021 to over 1,200 today. It transfers more than $ 260 billion in assets a month.

Co-founders: CEO Michael Shaulov, 39, and CTO Idan Ofrat, 40. Prior to entering the private sector, Shaulov worked in the field of mobile security for the Israel Defense Forces’ 8200 Elite Intelligence Unit, where he received the Honor. of the Presidential Excellence of Israel for their contributions.

FTX


Nassau, Bahamas

One of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, it handles 11% of the $ 2.4 trillion in derivatives traded each month. The company raised $ 1.5 billion in private financing last year, bringing its valuation from $ 1.2 billion to $ 25 billion. An increase of $ 500 million last January brought its valuation to $ 32 billion. Eager to become a household name, FTX is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing, registering famous brand ambassadors such as Tom Brady, David Ortiz and Kevin O’Leary.

Financing: $ 1.8 billion from Sequoia, Temasek, Thoma Bravo and others

Last rating: $ 32 billion

In good faith: It will reach about $ 1 billion in revenue by 2021; has increased its customer base from 246,000 in 2020 to 3.1 million in 2021.

Co-founders: CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, 30, the world’s second richest cryptocurrency billionaire, and CTO Gary Wang, 28.

Open Sea


New York, New York

Founded almost five years ago, this startup was one of the first NFT market players to take off in 2021. It operates as a peer-to-peer platform where users can create, buy and sell all types of NFT, in exchange for a 2.5. % cut of each sale. Although OpenSea faces stiff competition, including that of crypto giant Coinbase, which launched its own NFT market in May, it continues to dominate the NFT market with more than 1.5 million accounts making transactions on the platform.

Financing: $ 423 million from Andreessen Horowitz, Paradigm, Haun Ventures and others

Last rating: $ 13.3 million

In good faith: He has been processing about $ 3 billion a month in NFT transactions, earning about $ 75 million in monthly revenue.

Co-founders: CEO Devin Finzer, 31, and CTO Alex Atallah, 30. They became NFT’s first billionaires in January 2021.

Paxos


New York, New York

Founded in 2012, initially as a cryptocurrency exchange (itBit), the blockchain infrastructure provider has built a backbone for PayPal and Venmo’s cryptocurrency brokerage services that allows its clients to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies. Societe Generale, Credit Suisse and Nomura Instinet used Paxos software to liquidate trades directly between them. Paxos now hopes to obtain a clearing agency license from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company also issues a stable US dollar-backed currency called the Pax Dollar (USDP).

Financing: $ 540 million from Oak HC / FT, Declaration Partners, Founders Fund and others

Last rating: $ 2.4 billion.

In good faith: More than 100 institutional clients.

Co-founders: CEO Charles Cascarilla, 45, co-founded the institutional asset management complex Cedar Hill Capital Partners in 2005 and its venture capital subsidiary Liberty City Ventures in 2012; Asia CEO Rich Teo, 42.

TRM Laboratories


San Francisco, California

It helps financial institutions and government agencies such as the IRS investigate money laundering, cryptocurrency fraud and other financial crimes by analyzing blockchain data. Its tools allow customers to track transactions on more than one million assets in 26 different blockchains.

Financing: $ 80 million from Blockchain Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, Tiger Global and others

Last rating: $ 600 million

In good faith: FTX and Circle are customers; its 90-person team includes veterans of the FBI, the U.S. Secret Service and Europol, and data scientists from Apple, Amazon, and Google.

Co-founders: CEO Esteban Castaño, 31, formerly a McKinsey analyst; CTO Rahul Raina, 28, a former software engineer at Amazon and a member of the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.



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