9 crypto firms enter Forbes Fintech 50

    A record 9 crypto companies made it onto the Forbes Fintech 50 list – the most innovative private companies in fintech. Collectively, they have raised $6.5 billion in venture capital, with the lion’s share within the past 12 months.

    1. FTX

    Locale: Nassau, Bahamas

    Valuation: $32 billion

    One of the largest crypto trading exchanges in the world, it handles some 11% of the $2.4 trillion in derivatives traded each month. The company raised $1.5 billion in private funding last year, jolting its valuation from $1.2 billion to $25 billion. A $500 million raise this past January took its valuation to $32 billion. Eager to become a household name, FTX is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing, signing up celebrity brand ambassadors including Tom Brady, David Ortiz, and Kevin O’Leary.

    1. OpenSea

    Locale: New York, USA

    Valuation: $13.3 billion

    Founded nearly five years ago, this startup was an early player in the NFT market that took off in 2021. It operates as a peer-to-peer platform where users can create, buy and sell all sorts of NFTs—in exchange for a 2.5% cut of each sale. Although OpenSea is facing heightened competition, including from crypto giant Coinbase, which launched its own NFT marketplace in May, it continues to dominate the NFT market with more than 1.5 million accounts having transacted on the platform.

    1. Alchemy

    Locale: San Francisco, USA

    Valuation: $10.2 billion

    Sometimes called an Amazon Web Services for crypto, Alchemy’s infrastructure software organizes blockchain data and makes it easier to access. Dominant NFT marketplace OpenSea uses Alchemy to display information on its website, such as who created and has owned a given piece of digital art. Alchemy’s other high-profile customers include Adobe, DraftKings, and Shopify.

    1. Circle

    Locale: Boston, USA

    Valuation: $9 billion

    Creator and co-issuer of USDC Coin (USDC), the second-largest dollar-pegged token or “stable coin” in the world. Available on eight blockchains, including Ethereum, Solana, and Avalanche, USDC is used across top decentralized finance platforms, accepted at auction house Sotheby’s, and has been integrated into Visa’s payments network. Circle primarily generates revenue on the interest earned on its cash deposits and treasuries, which brought in $85 million in 2021. The company plans to go public via a SPAC in late 2022 at a $9 billion valuation.

    1. Chainalysis

    Locale: New York, USA

    Valuation: $8.6 billion

    The firm’s data platform has been used to solve some of the world’s highest-profile criminal cases involving digital assets, including the seizure of $3.5 billion of crypto by the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation unit, announced in November, and the Colonial Pipeline Ransomware Attack. Chainalysis now screens $1 trillion in transaction value each month across all cryptocurrency assets.

    1. FireBlocks

    Locale: New York, USA

    Valuation: $8 billion

    Institutionally-focused crypto custodian servicing BNY Mellon and popular decentralized finance applications Compound Treasury and Aave Arc. In April 2022, Fireblocks partnered with payments giant FIS to provide its more than 6,000 capital markets clients access to crypto trading and lending services.

    1. Paxos

    Locale: New York, USA

    Valuation: $2.4 billion.

    Founded in 2012, initially as a crypto exchange (itBit), the blockchain infrastructure provider has built a backbone for PayPal and Venmo’s crypto brokerage services that allows their customers to buy, hold and sell crypto. Societe Generale, Credit Suisse, and Nomura Instinet have used Paxos’ software to settle trades directly with each other. Paxos is now hoping to attain a clearing-agency license from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm also issues a U.S. dollar-backed stable coin called Pax Dollar (USDP).

    1. TRM Labs

    Locale: San Francisco, USA

    Valuation: $600 million

    Helps financial institutions and government agencies like the IRS investigate money laundering, crypto fraud, and other financial crimes by analyzing blockchain data. Its tools let customers monitor transactions across more than one million assets on 26 different blockchains.

    1. Ava Labs

    Locale: New York, USA

    Creator of Avalanche, a competitor to Ethereum, the most popular decentralized blockchain platform that applications can run on top of. Over the past year, more than 500 decentralized finance apps have been built on Avalanche, which can process 4,500 transactions per second, compared to just 14 per second for Ethereum. Avalanche’s token AVAX has an $8.5 billion market capitalization.

    Just two crypto companies on the 2022 list have not yet reached unicorn status – Ava Labs, the firm behind the Avalanche blockchain, and Chainalysis’ competitor TRM Labs. As venture capitalists continue to raise multi-billion-dollar funds, Forbes is watching these companies closely to see if they reach this milestone even as the rest of the market is adapting to the new “crypto winter.”

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