🗣 Since its inception in 2018 Forbes Blockchain 50 has chronicled the usage of blockchain technology at some 114 companies around the world. Last year 169 companies sent in applications. An analysis of their results over the last four years compiling the list has revealed interesting trends that you can see in the tables and charts below.
👉 Only seven companies have made the list all four years.
In 2022 several notable stalwarts fell off Blockchain 50 including Microsoft, Cargill, and IBM. While there is a growing diversity of list member – from Sotheby’s and Breitling to Boeing and Andreesen Horowitz – there has been a significant shift in this year’s Blockchain 50 towards those engaging in public networks such as Bitcoin and Ethereum as opposed to permissioned platforms like Hyperledger. It is worth noting that Microsoft has been making some news recently in the metaverse, especially with its $68 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, but it remains to be seen how much of these efforts will be based on blockchain.
There are eight firms that appeared three times in the Forbes B50 list in the past and which also made the 2022 list: Block (as Square), China Construction Bank, Fidelity, Mastercard, Meta, Oracle, Tencent, and Visa.
🗣 Some exciting blockchain developments are taking place in Asia, in no small part propelled forward by China’s current Five-Year plan, a national development agenda that gives Chinese firms marching orders from the top, with President Xi Jinping indicating in 2019 that blockchain would “play an important role in the next round of technological innovation and industrial transformation.”
In light of this straightforward guidance, it’s not surprising that Ant Group dedicated 10,000 blockchain developers to help international buyers connect with international banks providing short term trade financing and six million chinese exporters. Tencent, in turn, is working with ten provinces and major cities like Hainan, Guangdong, and Beijing to use the firm’s blockchain platform to issue electronic bills for healthcare and transportation. Asian firms, which include India’s Tech Mahindra, now comprise 24% of all Blockchain 50 firms, up from 8% four years ago. Within China, the hotspots for these innovations are Beijing and Shenzhen. Korean leaders Samsung and Kakao along with Japanese firms Fujitsu and Line Corporation roundup this growing Asian contingent.
European firms experienced a large turnover with six new firms like Breitling and Société Générale joining as newcomers and 10 firms from 2021 including Telefónica and Swisscom dropping off the list this year.
The battle between Silicon Valley (northern California firms) and Silicon Alley (New York-based financial technology firms) continued this year and elbowed out some firms from the U.S. heartland. California and New York based companies have long dominated our list with notables including Twitter and Adobe on the west coast and New York firms like Coinbase and J.P. Morgan. The New York group lost IBM but gained BNY Mellon, Sotheby’s, and Mastercard. California, in turn, lost Oracle and VMware, but gained Adobe, a16z crypto, Paradigm, Twitter, and Meta. Blockchain interest is strong in other major cities across the US, however, with 12 other firms (26% of participants) coming from New Jersey, Illinois, Virginia and other states, including Digital Currency Group.
Finance Still On Top
🗣 It’s perhaps no surprise that finance remains the biggest category, since the first application of blockchain — bitcoin — as a digital currency. Technology (including hardware, software, social media, internet) applications is a close second, followed by efforts to improve processes in supply chain, manufacturing, and health care.
Two areas of finance on the rise are asset management and venture capital. Two venture funds – Andreessen Horowitz (a16z Crypto) and Paradigm – made the list for the first time and joined Fidelity and Digital Currency Group. A16z, which invested in over 60 crypto and blockchain startups, recently closed a $2 billion venture firm, and is rumored to be raising a $4.5 billion (new) fund to deploy. A16z also scored big when Coinbase went public last April. Its shares are now estimated to be north of $4.3 billion. Paradigm, co-founded by Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam, recently closed a $2.5 billion fund, the largest ever.
Venture firms did not just make the list for their savvy dealmaking. These firms are becoming active participants in networks themselves, including the operation of full-scale nodes to bootstrap networks and participating in governance decisions that help define the future of the networks.
Blockchain Project Size
🗣 This year, we also gained some details on how large corporations are approaching blockchain. Our analysis showed that 22% of firms in our annual study supported their blockchain related goals with 50 to 199 employees, followed by 18% of firms having 10 to 49 employees.
Less May Be More
🗣 There is little doubt that Blockchain businesses have benefited from bubbly markets fueled by the central banks easy money policies, but the crypto and stock market correction of the past few months let some air out of the bubble. The overall market cap for this year’s Blockchain 50 is $6.3 trillion, 35% less than last year’s $9.7 billion market cap. The median market cap of firms this year also stood at $66 billion, compared to $116 billion last year.
Exactly half of the firms in the list had an average valuation greater than $50 billion at the end of December 2021, with the seven largest averaging $495 billion in size. Still, this is almost half the amount of the seven largest in 2021 ($964 billion in 2021). A major reason for this change is the dropping off of three large firms at the top in terms of market cap – Microsoft, Saudi Aramco, LVMH – which have a combined market cap of $4.1 trillion.
Fifty four percent of the companies in the 2022 Blockchain 50 had annual revenues greater than $10 billion compared to 64% last year. This year’s median annual revenue was $18.9 billion, compared to $39.5 billion last year.
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