The Future Of Blockchain And Cryptocurrency

The Future Of Blockchain And Cryptocurrency


The Richest People In Crytpocurrency.

Sure, the wild swings in the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies dominate the daily news. But beneath the headlines, the nine blockchain startups on the Forbes Fintech 50 list for 2018 are building infrastructure—to support both public cryptocurrency markets and initiatives that could transform how current financial transactions are executed and recorded. Five of the nine are first-timers on the list. Newcomer Chainalysis, with just $1.6 million in capital invested, already counts the IRS, FBI and Europol as users of its tools, which allow specific crypto transactions to be traced.  Meanwhile, first-time list member Symbiont is working with both incorporation capital Delaware and mutual fund behemoth Vanguard, on blockchain initiatives.  Notably, founders of three of our picks—The Bitfury Group, Coinbase and Ripple—also earned spots on Forbes' new list of The Richest People In Crytpocurrency.

The Bitfury Group,
Amsterdam Produces both hardware and software for Bitcoin mining and security, as well as a wide range of software to support blockchains in government, supply chains and insurance.

Bona fides:
Working with the Georgian government to put land titles on the blockchain

Cofounder & CEO:
Latvian educated computer scientist Valery Vavilov, 38, on Forbes' list of the Richest People in Cryptocurrency

Funding:
$90 million from Credit China FinTech Holdings, DRW Venture Capital, iTech Capital, Georgian Co-Investment Fund, Blockchain Capital, Binary Financial and Bill Tai

Threat to:
Traditional government technology suppliers

Blockchain,
World’s most popular cryptocurrency wallet, enabling its users to manage their own private keys for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ether. Expansion to U.S. now allows crypto trading in 22 states, including California.

Bona fides:
More than 23 million Blockchain wallets created

Cofounders:
CEO Peter Smith, Nicolas Cary and Ben Reeves

Funding:
$70 million from Lakestar, Richard Branson, Alphabet’s GV, Lightspeed Venture Partners and others

Threat to:
Coinbase and Xapo

Chain,
San Francisco, Offers blockchain technology for financial institutions, as well as ledger balance software for fintech and ecommerce companies

Bona fides:
Building blockchain initiatives with Nasdaq and Citigroup

Founders:
CEO Adam Ludwin, 36; CPO Devon Gundry, 36; and CTO Ryan Smith, 31

Funding:
$43.7 million from RRE Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Citi Ventures, Nasdaq, Visa, Fiserv, Orange Digital Ventures, Digital Currency Group, Blockchain Capital, Pantera Capital, 500 Startups, Thrive Capital and others

Threat to:
Inefficient legacy record keeping in finance

Chainalysis,
New York City, Its tools allow institutions and law enforcement to trace specific transactions on the blockchain.

Bona fides:
Customers include the Internal Revenue Service, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration and Europol

Founders:
CEO Michael Gronager, 47; CTO Jan Moller, 46; CRO Jonathan Levin, 27

Funding:
$1.6 million from Point Nine Capital, Digital Currency Group, FundersClub, Techstars, Converge Venture Partners

Threat to:
Criminals using cryptocurrency

Coinbase,
San Francisco, Easiest, most user-friendly onramp to the cryptocurrency world, offering digital currency wallets with more than 10 million users; trading in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin on GDAX exchange; and merchant tools.

Bona fides:
Reportedly passed $1 billion in revenue in 2017

Cofounder & CEO:
Brian Armstrong, 35, on Forbes list of the Richest People In Cryptocurrency

Funding:
$217 million from IVP, Greylock Partners, Draper Associates, Andreessen Horowitz, the New York Stock Exchange, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and others Latest official valuation: $1.6 billion, but surely more

Threat to:
Other crypto exchanges, fiat currencies

Ripple,
San Francisco Employs blockchain technology for cross-border payments. Transactions can be done with the XRP token, which has had a wild speculative ride, but isn’t necessary to use the Ripple network. (No banks have fully committed to using XRP.)

Bona fides:
Has 100 plus banking customers including Santander, UBS and American Express,

Cofounder and executive chairman:
Chris Larsen, 57, cofounder of Prosper and Eloan and the richest person in cryptocurrency

Funding:
$93.6 million from SBI Investment, Santander InnoVentures, Seagate Technology, CME Ventures, Standard Chartered Bank, Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Digital Currency Group, Blockchain Capital, Accenture and others

Threat to:
Correspondent banks and the SWIFT payment-settlement system

Shapeshift,
Zug, Switzerland Exchange allows users to trades between 70 cryptocurrencies, without establishing an account or wallet. To maximize privacy, it does not link to bank accounts or take fiat currencies, though it says a fifth of customers are from U.S. Charges no fees and makes money on the spread.

Bona fides:
In an unusual proof of concept, when Shapeshift was hacked by a malicious employee, no crypto was lost, since it does not hold customer funds.

Founder:
Erik Voorhees, 33, an American and early Bitcoin advocate who also founded Satoshi Dice.

Funding:
$12.2 million from Earlybird Venture Capital, Digital Currency Group, Lakestar, Access Venture Partners, Pantera Capital, Blockchain Capital, FundersClub

Threat to:
More traditional crypto-exchanges

Symbiont,
New York City Provides blockchain technology platform to the capital markets.

Bona fides:
Working with incorporation capital Delaware on initiative that will enable distributed ledgers (i.e. blockchains) to be used to track share issuance and ownership. Teaming with Vanguard Group on effort to use blockchain to share index data.

Cofounders:
CEO Mark Smith, 48, CTO Adam Krellenstein, 29 and Evan Wagner, 27

Funding:
$15.4 million from Celeridem Capital Management, Medici Ventures, Fenbushi Capital, SenaHill Partners and others

Threat to:
Broadridge and custody banks like BNY Mellon and State Street

Xapo,
Palo Alto, CA Provides secure offline storage for investors and family offices who want to hold Bitcoin as a form of digital gold (as opposed to actively trading it). Also offers Bitcoin wallets for consumers, mainly in developing world.

Bona fides:
Secures Bitcoin underlying the Bitcoin Investment Trust

Cofounder & CEO:
Wences Casares, 43, who founded the first online brokerage firm in Latin America

Funding:
$41 million from Benchmark, Greylock Partners, Ribbit Capital, Index Ventures, Fortress, Emergence Capital Partners and others

Threat to:
Other crypto storage solutions.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

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