The cryptocurrency and blockchain industry has grown at a staggering pace in recent years, and many experts now believe that the fruits of this rapid development are poised to disrupt practically every industry.
But according to a recent report by Swiss blockchain investment firm, CV VC, some sectors within the blockchain industry are picking up steam faster than others, while Crypto Valley in Switzerland continues to grow as a hot spot for many of the largest crypto firms.
Here’s are some of the key insights discussed in the report.
As the use cases for blockchain technology continue to be explored, it has become quite apparent that some sectors are attracting more attention than others. By simply looking at the most commonly used platforms in the crypto space, you will likely quickly realize that the vast majority of them are either in the broker, trade, and exchange sector, or the platform and protocol sector.
Image: CV VC Top 50 Report H1 2020
This is mirrored in the report, where it was found that almost half of the top 50 crypto companies featured in the report were blockchain platforms and protocols, whereas more than a fifth are trading platforms of some sort. There were comparatively few in the wallet and vault, payment and stablecoin, lending and funding, and crypto banking sectors.
Nonetheless, crypto banks and brokers have grown their presence in the last year, as firms like SEBA Bank AG and Sygnum Bank AG move to launch products that target both institutional and retail clients. Likewise, Metaco SA has been providing its technology to central banks for some time, while Bitcoin Suisse recently closed a $48 million funding round at a CHF 250M valuation. As one of the key on-ramps for institutional money into the crypto industry, crypto banks could begin to play a bigger role in future.
The report lists 50 of the largest crypto firms in its Crypto Valley Top 50 section, which is dedicated to the top 50 crypto companies operating out of Crypto Valley, a broad region in Switzerland that is comprised of several Swiss cantons, that has found itself home to many of the world’s pre-eminent crypto companies.
The companies were selected based on the funding receiving from traditional VC investment and token sales, market valuation (traditional market or crypto market cap), and the number of employees.
The list is mainly dominated by industry mainstays like Ethereum, which is scheduled to launch its 2.0 platform later in the year, and currently has by far the largest development community of any cryptocurrency project. Likewise, The Tezos Foundation also found itself on the list again this year, and is currently establishing market dominance in the finance and gaming industry, whereas Cardano (ADA) has kicked up significant interest this year with the community handover of the project with the launch of the Shelley mainnet.
A number of newer, but rapidly expanding crypto companies were also added to the list—including Velas Network, a platform that uses modified PoS combined with advanced artificial intelligence and transactional capabilities to produce a self-learning, massively scalable smart contract platform for decentralized applications (Dapps).
NEAR Protocol, a developer-friendly decentralized storage and Dapp platform was also added to the list along with Aave—a well-funded non-custodial money market protocol. Cryptocurrency mining giant and hardware manufacturer Bitmain, on the other hand, was removed from the list, after withdrawing its presence from Crypto Valley.
Although hundreds of crypto companies are hard at work to bring new products and services to market, and build out the protocols and tools other firms need to thrive, there is no doubt that the recent Coronavirus pandemic has thrown a spanner in the works for many companies, and slowed progress as a whole.
According to the report, the Coronavirus issue has had a knock-on affect for projects seeking funding, as angel investors and family offices largely retracted from the market, while government help in Switzerland was more geared towards established companies rather than startups (like most Crypto Valley firms).
This also had a knock-on affect for many of the largest crypto events and conferences, including Consensus NY, Cardano conference, and DC Blockchain Summit 2020, which were forced to either cancel or move online. Nonetheless, many of these still saw significant attendance for their online events, while Crypto Valley Labs — one of Zug’s biggest crypto incubators — continued to hold live-streamed events which drew strong participation, helping to keep things running in Crypto Valley even during the pandemic.
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