It seems that blockchain firms are showing few signs of decline. KPMG’s rankings tell a story of resilience.
Blockchain firms holding strong?
KPMG has released its annual Fintech100 report for 2019, which comprises a ‘Top 50’ and ‘Emerging 50’ lists (unranked) and highlights those companies globally that are taking advantage of technology and driving disruption within the financial services industry.
While payments and transactions firms still reign supreme, their influence has been relenting, giving way to an increase in wealth, insurance and multi-sector companies.
Blockchain and crypto related firms, on the other hand, had a strong showing, even if some of them dropped a few ranks. Some of the highest ranking firms, mostly Chinese ones, have identified the importance of blockchain in the future of finance, and have incorporated it into their offerings accordingly.
One of these firms is JD Digits, which landed in 3rd place on the list, utilizes cutting-edge technologies and expertise in big data, AI, IoT and blockchain using a B2B2C business model.
Some of the blockchain firms that made the list saw a decline in ranking: Robinhood, which was previously ranked 8th, fell to 14th this year; OneConnect went from 11th to 18th and Revolut from 13th to 26th. However, others surged in ranking, such as Coinbase, which went from 59th last year to 34th this year, and Bankera went from 65th to 42nd.
MenaPay, which was the only UAE-headquartered company to make the list (as part of the Emerging 50), is another fintech offering services on the blockchain, except this one is based in the Middle East.
MenaPay’s approach replaces cash and traditional banking tools used for transactions. The company focuses on building one of the biggest cashless societies in the world with the vision of supporting digital transformation of the MENA region blockchain based payment gateway.
China pushes forward with fintech – soon in blockchain too?
While China seems to be at the front of the pack in terms of fintech innovation, the country has also begun showing more faith in crypto- and blockchain-based businesses. While the government initially held shaky trust in the technology, Chinese President Xi Jinping showed his approval for the tech in a speech last month, saying that China should “seize the opportunity” offered by blockchain technology. China realizes that if it were to put its full weight behind the technology, they could become leaders in the field, offering the country a massive new revenue stream. After all, the largest volume of Bitcoin mining takes place in China, so there is certainly an appetite for the tech there.
After President Xi made the aforementioned speech, Bitcoin saw a price hike to $10,332 following a general few months of decline. The market understands what a true presence of China in the blockchain would mean. Today, China’s central bank is even working on launching its own digital currency.
So while China is taking its early steps in the field of crypto and blockchain, it could stand to have an unrivalled presence in coming years as it puts more state support behind development.