The Crypto Valley’s Top 50 Blockchain Startups in 2019

The Crypto Valley’s Top 50 Blockchain Startups in 2019

by July 31, 2019

The latest figures confirm that optimism in the Crypto Valley has returned.

The Top 50 blockchain companies in Crypto Valley doubled their valuations in the first six months of 2019 from US$ 20 billion to US$ 40 billion. The ecosystem now includes more than 800 companies active in Distributed Ledger Technology and blockchain and employs over 4,000 professionals. Six Unicorns – companies valued at more than US$ 1 billion – are based in Crypto Valley.

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Investment company Crypto Valley Venture Capital CV VC, in collaboration with PwC’s Strategy& and IT partner inacta, has published its new quarterly list and study of the largest and most important companies in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Crypto Valley counts more than 800 companies active in cryptocurrency and blockchain and employs over 4,000 professionals.

The current upwards trend in cryptocurrency prices pushed the market capitalization of the 50 largest blockchain companies in Crypto Valley from US$ 20 billion at the end of December 2018 to over US$ 40 billion in July 2019.

“Crypto Winter undoubtedly left a mark on the industry, but companies with strong fundamentals and emerging use cases have significantly increased valuations,”

says Mathias Ruch, Founder and CEO of CV VC.

The research shows six clear hotspots in Crypto Valley: Zug, Zurich, Geneva, Ticino, Liechtenstein and Vaud. With more than 50% (over 400) of all registered companies and all six Unicorns, Zug is the heart of Crypto Valley.

Crypto Valley Already Counts Six Unicorn Blockchain Companies

The prior Crypto Valley Top 50 Report counted four Unicorns. Among those are three of the world’s biggest protocol projects: Ethereum Foundation, Cardano and Dfinity Foundation with its headquarters and over 40 employees in Zurich, as well as the mining company Bitmain Switzerland, currently gearing up for an IPO on a US stock exchange.

This quarter, there are two new Unicorn additions: Cosmos Network and Polkadot. Both are protocols and valued at more than US$ 1 billion each.

Prospective Crypto Banks are Growing and Attracting High-Level Talent

In 2019, the new but well-funded prospective Swiss Crypto Banks accounted for the highest employee growth across the blockchain industry. Many experienced bankers have joined the industry, bringing seniority and specialist knowledge to the players which have applied banking and other licenses at the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA. The firms include Bitcoin Suisse, Sygnum, SEBA Crypto and Mt. Pelerin Group.

“This development clearly signals increasing maturity in the space and the favorable regulatory and business environment we have here in Switzerland. But this is just the beginning: as the market infrastructure levels up, we will see more and bigger projects develop and grow in the Crypto Valley Switzerland”,

comments Dr. Daniel Diemers, PwC Head Blockchain EMEA and Partner for Financial Services at PwC’s Strategy&.

Rise of Swiss-Based Crypto Custody Solution Providers

The rising importance of crypto assets and the requirement to safely store them have created a significant business opportunity for Swiss-based crypto asset custodians. Well-known crypto companies, such as Bitcoin Suisse (Swiss Crypto Vault), Crypto Finance (Crypto Storage) and Taurus Group (Taurus Protect) have set up custody solution subsidiaries. Activity in the space indicates that private banks are evaluating solutions and are ready for deployment.

Nine New Additions to the Top 50

Five out of the nine newcomers to the Top 50 Report are related to the wallet & vault sector: Algo Trader AG, Cysec Systems AG, Custodigit AG, Metaco SA and Taurus Group SA. Three new additions come from the protocol sector: Cosmos Network (Interchain Foundation) and Polkadot (Web3 Foundation), each valued at more than US$1 billion as well as Concordium Foundation, world’s first ID/KYC-ready blockchain network. Zug-based company cryptix AG announced their stable token project “ecredits” and applied for an e-money license in Liechtenstein.

Noteworthy Drop-Outs of the CV VC Top 50

Due to market dynamics, declining valuations or reductions in staff caused noteworthy companies to drop out of the CV VC Top 50. Melonport handed the project over to the community, after fulfilling its road map. The Melon Team and its founder, Mona El Isa, created a whole industry movement around asset management on blockchains. Shapeshift closed their Swiss office and continues to operate from other jurisdictions. Tend, an early mover, the first Swiss ICO to fully comply with KYC/AML requirements, paved the way for many Swiss blockchain companies. Unfortunately, it was ahead of its time and ceased operations.