The worldwide fintech sector is booming as we speak. More and more startups are trying to compete as a way to gain traction in a specific industry. According to CB Insights, the blockchain industry has quite some interesting players. Some of the names will certainly surprise a lot of people; that much is certain. It is also one of the smaller fintech areas to date, which is rather remarkable.
Blockchain is a Small Part of Fintech
It has to be said that revolutionizing financial technology can be done in many ways. This also explains why the CB Insights Fintech 250 startup list only counts 13 blockchain companies right now. Indeed, blockchain is one of the smaller industries for the time being, which will come as a big surprise to a lot of people. Then again, there are so many different market opportunities, it is only normal there would be some areas which are more popular than others.
As you’d expect, the usual suspects have more startups being tracked right now. Processing and payments infrastructure together with capital markets and trading are the two main areas of focus right now in the fintech industry. Wealth management, mobile banking, business lending, and merchant services are also in the top six. All of these industries have several dozen startups which are of great interest, at least where CB Insights is concerned right now.
Looking over the blockchain industry, things are a lot narrower for the time being. Some of the companies in the Fintech 250 make a lot of sense, though. Ripple, Blockstream, Xapo, Blockstack, and Chain are all well-respected entities. Coinbase, Brave, bitFlyer, Digital Asset, and Factom are trying to make things happen which other companies have not focused on as of yet. For its part, Polybius is one of the main investors in blockchain startups right now.
This doesn’t mean the blockchain industry is not evolving by any means. It just shows fintech is about a lot more than just blockchain, even though all other areas can certainly benefit from distributed ledgers in one way or another. It is somewhat surprising to see no blockchain provider listed on the financial services & infrastructure list right now, even though one would expect there to be. This situation may change over time, though; that much is evident.
At the same time, one has to agree the importance of blockchain has been milked out a bit over the past few years as well. More specifically, blockchain has been a key buzzword in the financial sector for quite some time now. At one point, there was even talk of “blockchain fatigue” simply because it was what people kept talking about whenever the topic turned to innovation. It is certainly possible the term blockchain has lost its meaning as well as its appeal to a lot of fintech companies as of late. It’s an interesting thought to keep in mind at all times, although it remains to be seen how things will play out.
In the end, it is good to see some cryptocurrency and blockchain-related companies mentioned in the Fintech 250 right now. Ripple is a particularly interesting listing in this regard, as the company is taking a different approach compared to other service providers. Blockstream is getting a lot of heat for allegedly stifling Bitcoin innovation these days. However, all of these companies are trying to do things very differently in their own ways and seeing varying degrees of success so far.