As the price of bitcoin collapsed last year from a high of $19,000 to less than $4,000, skepticism fell over many other applications of blockchain, the technology that powers most cryptocurrencies by recording transactions without a central authority.
Much of the hype surrounding promises that sounded too good to be true is dissipating as reality and regulations set in. What remains however, are proven teams, flush with cash from mainstream investors, and increasingly, actual revenue.
Going forward, the blockchain selections from this year’s Forbes Fintech 50 2019 picks will undoubtedly form some unusual alliances as they evolve past competing against other blockchain startups, to competing in mainstream finance against long-established players.
New York City
Using blockchain-based smart contracts to overhaul the back office of the world’s biggest derivative markets. Its distributed ledger will allow counterparties to see payments, calculations and other vital trade information in real time, improving efficiency and lowering risk. Already partnering with world’s biggest banks and financial intermediaries.
Funding: $59 million from Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and others
Bona fides: It is currently putting the $10 trillion credit derivative market onto smart contracts working with DTCC and a steering committee of 15 of world’s biggest banks. It’s already settling foreign exchange trades using the blockchain.
Cofounders: CEO Greg Schvey, 32 and CTO Jeff Schvey, 33. The brothers also cofounded TradeBlock, which provides institutional trading tools for cryptocurrency
This full-service blockchain firm expanded from its roots providing bitcoin mining hardware to launch its own blockchain, plus software designed to help U.S. law-enforcement and others investigate illicit activity using bitcoin.
Funding: More than $150 million from Korelya Capital, Macquarie Capital, Dentsu & others.
Latest valuation: $1 billion plus
Bona fides: $500 million in revenue in 2018
Cofounder & CEO: Valery Vavilov, 39, a Latvian-trained computer scientist.