The media outlet Fortune, which publishes the highly regarded Fortune 500 ranking, has chosen to take a look at the crypto ecosystem. The “Fortune Crypto 40” attempts to list the best protocols and companies of the moment, which could conceivably be here to stay. Who are the winners?
The Fortune Crypto 40 winners
Fortune’s rankings take into account various metrics and characteristics, and industry pundits were also interviewed. The result is 8 categories (centralized finance, traditional finance, venture capital, NFTs, data, infrastructure, decentralized finance and protocols), with 5 winners per category.
Exchange platforms and centralized finance
In the “centralized finance” category, which includes centralized exchange platforms (CEX), Coinbase comes in first, followed by Binance. The latter does not win the first place, Fortune considering that its recent setbacks and lack of transparency advantage its competitor:
Exchange platform Kraken comes in third, followed by investment manager Galaxy Digital, and finally Circle, the issuer of stablecoin USDT. This confirms the general feeling that since the fall of FTX, it is Coinbase, Binance and Kraken that are considered the three “heavyweights” of exchange platforms.
Protocols and blockchains
In the “protocols” category are the largest blockchains and networks. According to Fortune, Ethereum (ETH) is dethroning Bitcoin (BTC) at this point. The publication believes that Ethereum’s programmability, and the decentralized applications that come with it, make it a major player. Especially since the protocol has successfully made the transition to proof of stake.
Beyond Ethereum and Bitcoin, Polygon Labs (MATIC), the Solana Foundation (SOL) and Offchain Labs, known for offering the second layer solution Arbitrum, are present in the ranking.
Infrastructure and mining
The “Infrastructure” category is broader, and brings together players and companies that support crucial parts of the industry. Here we find the French unicorn Ledger in the first position, thanks to its considerable influence on the hardware wallet market:
In second place is the mining company Genesis Digital Assets, followed by its competitor Bitmain. Fourth place in the ranking goes to development platform Alchemy, and fifth place goes to payment manager Moonpay. Beyond the list of companies, this ranking reflects the diversity of services needed to support a very diverse ecosystem.
Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
On the DeFi side, the big winner is Uniswap Labs according to the Fortune Crypto 40 ranking. The decentralized exchange platform (DEX) is considered the biggest player of the moment in a crypto field that remains in turmoil. It is followed by Lido, the Ethereum-related staking service, which has exploded since last year:
In third place is a crypto “old hand”, MakerDAO, which continues to show its relevance to the ecosystem. The DAI issuer is followed by the lending and borrowing protocol Aave. Then decentralized exchange platform Curve closes this ranking.
Data and rankings
The blockchain being a very “data-heavy” sector, it necessarily relies on players who are able to organize and present data in a reliable way. In this category, it is Chainalysis that is doing the best, according to Fortune. The company indeed publishes many recurring reports, which are now seen as references for the ecosystem:
Its competitor Coin Metrics is second in the ranking, followed by The Graph, Dune and Messari. The Graph offers different services from its colleagues, since it is an indexing protocol that is partially based on a cryptocurrency, The Graph (GRT).
Traditional finance, venture capital and NFTs
To complete these rankings, we can note that Fortune also took into account traditional finance players, at least those who offered services related to cryptocurrencies. In this category, it is PayPal that comes out on top:
The payments giant has successfully made the shift to blockchain according to Fortune… So has Robinhood, which comes in second place. These two major players are followed by major banking institution JPMorgan, then asset manager Fidelity, and finally payments giant Visa.
Also worth mentioning are two other categories: venture capital funds, where Polychain Capital is considered the largest, followed by Animoca Brands, Andressen Horowitz, Pantera Capital and Blockchain Capital. In the NFTs sector, it is unsurprisingly the giant OpenSea that continues to dominate, followed by the sprawling Yuga Labs, which offers the Bored Ape Yacht Club collections as well as Cryptopunks, among others. Sky Mavis, Art Blocks and RTFKT, which was acquired by Nike in 2021.
If Fortune’s ranking is not set in stone, it gives a good idea of where the ecosystem stands, at a time when the bear market has been prolonged, and where doubts reign for many players.