Edited by Michael del Castillo, Janet Novack and Matt Schifrin
Reported by Nina Bambysheva, Lauren Debter, Michael del Castillo, Steven Ehrlich, Eliza Haverstock, Chris Helman, Katie Jennings, Jeff Kauflin, Jon Ponciano and Hank Tucker
No longer dismissed as a haven for criminals and drug dealers, Bitcoin and blockchain have gone mainstream. Bitcoin’s 2020 surge grabbed the attention of C-suite executives worldwide; not only are companies employing the technology underlying Bitcoin to perform tasks such as reconciling invoices and verifying product provenance, but dozens are now holding Bitcoin as a treasury asset. Our third annual Blockchain 50 features companies that lead in employing distributed ledger technology and have revenue or a valuation of at least $1 billion. Twenty-one newcomers—including the world’s largest bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and four others from Asia—make their debut. They take the spots of such U.S. companies as Facebook, Google, Amazon and Ripple, all of whom are still active in blockchain but kept lower profiles in the space over the past 12 months.
The Danish shipping and logistics giant’s blockchain, TradeLens, is digitizing supply chain information. Since its August 2018 launch, it has onboarded roughly 50% of container ships around the world. In 2020, it processed 1 billion shipments, 30 million containers and 14 million documents, more than double the previous year. Maersk has also partnered with Microsoft to process marine insurance using blockchain tech.
Blockchain platforms: TradeLens, Hyperledger Fabric, IBM Blockchain
Key leader: Michael White, CEO GTD Solution, a wholly owned subsidiary of Maersk dedicated to the development of the TradeLens platform
Alibaba spin-off Ant has more than 50 blockchain applications in development on its own blockchain platform, AntChain. One notable example is OpenChain, which launched in 2020 to enable small and medium-sized enterprises to tap its blockchain technologies and smart contracts as a way to lower costs. So far more than 6,000 users have written 100,000 smart contracts, facilitating 400 million transactions.
Blockchain platforms: AntChain, Hyperledger Fabric, Quorum
Key leader: Geoff Jiang, VP of Ant Group, president of intelligent technology business group
China’s search giant and its fintech venture Du Xiaoman Financial have introduced morea than 20 blockchain solutions. One of them, Libra Chain, is serving as the infrastructure for China’s three internet courts handling copyright and e-commerce disputes through virtual litigation. To date, more than 35 million pieces of electronic evidence have been filed at the Beijing Internet Court.
Blockchain platforms: Baidu Xuperchain, Hyperledger Fabric
Key leader: Wei Xiao, general manager of the blockchain…
Read more:Blockchain 50 2021