Since bitcoin hit the mainstream, most people have understood it only as a new currency, some sort of a “digital gold”. But for those who took the time to understand the fundamentals of blockchain technologies, they saw a whole new system to create trust in a trustless system. Put another way, what the internet did for sharing information, blockchains can do for sharing value. To see the full list of 725 companies in our Bitcoin category, contact us using the form on www.venturescanner.com.
We’re finally at the point where existing blockchain-focused startups are beginning to gain traction, and new startups are appearing with announced funding rounds by serious investors. These are the players whose stated goals are to move bitcoin beyond currency, into a system of distributed financial systems, social tools, and contracts.
Check out the below, where we’ve updated our bitcoin sector map to better emphasize this category of startup companies.
Here’s a quick description of some of the more interesting players in the space:
- Ripple Labs: One of the older companies in this space, Ripple Labs, has been focused on creating an alternative financial transaction system, replacing things like ACH and SWIFT with a more modern approach. The company has established partnerships with banks throughout the the world, and has an impressive list of investors and advisors. Their announced funding is currently $34M from investors such as Andreessen Horowitz.
- Blockstream: The key focus area of Blockstream is on the concept of “sidechains”, which is a way for different blockchains to communicate and transact with one another. This would allow for others to create blockchains suited to a particular use-case, but still be able to share value across them all. Their funding is currently at $21M from investors such as Khosla Ventures and Ribbit Capital.
- Hedgy: One of the more recent entrants into the category, Hedgy is looking to use blockchains to re-invest the financial world. Their current focus is on bitcoin price future contracts, allowing bitcoin miners and investors to hedge their bets. They raised $1.2M from investors such as Tim Draper and Marc Benioff.
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