As the world descends into another recession, and the crypto markets go into freefall, some are celebrating in private—thanks to Forbes’ announcement of the top players in the fintech (finance and technology) field. Of the top 50 industry experts, a record nine crypto projects made it onto the prized list. Collectively, the crypto leaders raised a whopping $6.5 billion in venture capital, with the great majority of those funds being collected in the past four quarters.
The most successful of the bunch is billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried and his exchange, FTX. Which alone has raised more than $1.5 billion in the year 2021, catapulting its initial valuation of just $1.2 billion to a jaw-dropping $32 billion. With this latest round of funding, FTX is now the third most valuable fintech company in the United States. A feat and laurel for the currently embattled crypto community, and an example of what can be achieved in the finance and technology industry by blockchain companies.
Standing alongside FTX at the Forbes podium of top fintech leaders are partners Devin Finxer and Alex Atallah—the very first NFT billionaires and creators of the NFT marketplace, Opeansea. Its valuation is currently well over $13.3 billion and growing with more art and fashion houses joining the NFT craze.
Let’s take a look at the remaining fintech leaders who are now newly minted crypto billionaires and a source of inspiration for what is to come for the crypto community and those who believe in its efficacy.
Hailing from the coastal city of San Francisco and Dubbed the Amazon Web Services of the crypto community, Alchemy comes in as one of the strongest players on Forbes Fintech 50. The blockchain data company got its start on the OpenSea platform where thousands of NFTs are sold daily across the world.
During its time with OpenSea (they are still in partnership together as of the time of writing), Alchemy developed the technology that displayed information on a specific NFT. Information such as the identity of the original creator of a piece of artwork and the information regarding the ownership of an NFT.
This means Alchemy gathers the blockchain data surrounding ownership and the timeline behind that ownership so that who owned a specific piece of artwork can be easily viewed from OpenSea.
Since their fateful partnership with Opeansea, Alchemy has gone on to partner with some of the biggest names in technology, such as Adobe, Shopify, and Draftkings.
Valuation: $10.2 Billion
Founders: Chief Executive Officer Nikil Viswanathan, and Chief Technology Officer Joseph Lau.
Funding: Lightspeed Venture Partners, $413 million
With the crash of Terra/Luna still fresh on the minds of retail investors in the crypto community, Circle is being lauded as the savior of the stablecoin. Earning its way to the top of the Forbes list for the best fintech companies in the world, Circle has created nothing short of amazing through their USDC Coin. The second-largest dollar-pegged stablecoin in the world. As of the time of writing. Currently available on more than 8 different blockchains, USDC is the gold standard now that Terra/Luna is gone.
USDC is now even accepted at the premier auction house, Sotheby’s, and since the start of the year has been integrated into the Visa global payments network.
Circle primarily derives its earnings by generating interest on its cash deposits and treasuries. Which is 2021, brought in 85$ million alone.
Valuation: $9 Billion
Founders: Jeremy Allaire, Chief Executive & Chairman, and Sean Neville
Funding: $1.5 billion from Marshall Wace, Fidelity
When a professor of computer science at Cornell University, Emin Gun Sirer met now COO Kevin Sekniqu, something special was formed. And the two jumped on their chemistry to create Ava Labs together in the hopes of utilizing the current blockchain wave that was hitting New York City in 2019. Since then, the genius duo has gone on to create Avalanche, the primary competitor to the mega-chain Ethereum.
Where Ethereum can process roughly 14 transactions per second, Avalanche can process more than 4,500 per second. Putting to the test whether Ethereum is operating at its most efficient, and whether or not it will even survive the test of time.
With over 500 decentralized apps currently built on the Avalanche network and more being added every fiscal quarter, Avalanche is a crypto force to be reckoned with.
Valuation: $5.2 Billion
Founders: CEO Emin Gün Sirer, COO Kevin Sekniqi
Funding: $230 million Polychain and Three Arrows Capital