CBInsights Fintech 250 snubs crypto
Cryptocurrencies,  Media

Just seven crypto companies make CBInsights’ Fintech 250

It’s a disappointing showing for the booming crypto sector—but the usual suspects including Coinbase and Binance still have a place in the list

Just seven crypto companies have been named to CBInsights’ list of the top 250 fintech brands of 2020.

Coinbase topped the Fintech 250 list released on Sept. 1 as the most-funded business in the crypto category. Given how rumors have been swirling of a potential stock market listing—potentially as early as this year—it’ll likely be one to watch.

Coinbase is rubbing shoulders with the rival crypto exchange Binance, which is currently embarking on an expansion into the U.K. market (complete with an ad campaign at London bus stops) and entered the U.S. this year via Binance.US. The company recently announced it is forming the CryptoSafe Alliance to crack down on crypto fraud—and earlier this year, it acquired the crypto data site CoinMarketCap for a reported $400 million.

BlockFi—which last month raised $50 million in its latest funding round—also made the list. The company, which allows consumers to use digital assets as collateral for loans without having to sell their cryptocurrencies, said at the time that its revenue has grown tenfold in the space of a year, meaning it is on track to hit $100 million in the next 12 months.

Companies providing crypto lending and savings accounts are a recurring theme—an unsurprising development considering the extraordinary surge in demand for decentralized finance products. CBInsights also name-checked Blockchain.com, which entered the lending industry back in March. According to The Block, the company recently increased the annual interest rate it offers on stablecoin deposits to 12%—bettering what is offered by the likes of BlockFi and Celsius. In the space of two months, Blockchain.com has reportedly added close to $100 million in customer deposits.

The enterprise blockchain firm Symbiont, the cryptocurrency security firm Ledger, and the cryptocurrency prime dealer SFOX make up the remaining members of the seven-strong list.

A modest showing

Given how this list was tracking the 250 top fintech firms, you could argue that just seven entries from the crypto sector is something of a poor showing.

CBInsights said that each winner was chosen based on several factors—“including data submitted by the companies, company business models, and momentum in the market.”

Overall, 32% of these 250 companies were valued at or above $1 billion as of their latest funding round, giving them coveted unicorn status. In the first six months of 2020, they also managed to raise $10.3 billion in equity funding across 120 deals.

Some of the crypto companies mentioned have investment arms of their own. Coinbase Ventures has made financial contributions to BlockFi, the DeFi protocol Compound, and the blockchain infrastructure-as-a-service company Bison Trails among dozens of others.

Last month, CBInsights’ State of Fintech Q2 report revealed some compelling opportunities for blockchain and crypto-focused companies following unprecedented levels of growth in the eCommerce sector. The report’s authors estimated that eCommerce could represent 27% of U.S. retail sales in 2020—two-thirds higher than in 2019.

For crypto companies to get a greater showing in CBInsights’ next Fintech 250 roundup, the industry will have to tackle that years-old problem of cracking mainstream adoption. There have been promising developments—a bank-issued stablecoin being used at an online retailer being just one of them—but there doesn’t seem to be mass appetite among the public to embrace cryptocurrencies and start using them for everyday purchases. Or at least the well-regarded business research firm doesn’t seem to see one.

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Connor Sephton is a journalist with an interest in cryptocurrencies, personal finance, and financial inclusion—as well as the challenges the crypto industry faces in achieving mainstream adoption. He owns cryptocurrencies.