In this article, we will discuss the top 10 blockchain technology companies in the world.
‘Blockchain, not Bitcoin,’ is a phrase that most people in the FinTech industry have heard at least once. Blockchain is the underlying technology behind Bitcoin.
What it does is, it stores ‘blocks’ of data and information in a public or private database in the form of a ‘chain’ or series. Before adding onto the chain, the blocks are verified and hashed. Moreover, most blockchains are designed to be immutable.
Bitcoin is the first successful application of blockchain that has proven itself for over 11 years now. Nevertheless, apart from the initial design on a blockchain, there something else called ‘distributed consensus’, i.e. different parties verify and store the same thing that powers the verification. Currently, Bitcoin forms the largest and the most secure public network based on distributed consensus network.
Not all applications of Blockchain require distributed consensus. Essentially, Blockchain is a new way for storing and securing data – a database. It is different from other database structures in that it can be stored and updated in a decentralized manner. Furthermore, the data is immutable, or records every change made publicly, hence can be made trust-less.
The last 10 years has seen tremendous increase in the adoption of Blockchain applications. A few notable among them are,
Blockchain Patents and Country-wise Progress
Government agencies and multinationals all over the world are exploring with, and implementing the technology. The number of patents filed in the last few years are proof of this.
The race for building on blockchain began after the cryptocurrency bubble of 2017, which created mass crowdfunding hysteria for decentralized applications built to run autonomously. The crypto markets have been highly volatile in terms of price and gradual progress has been made with decentralized networks.
Nonetheless, the technology is gathering extreme interest from tech giants looking to capitalize early. Alibaba, IBM, Bank of America, the Government of China and Singapore, Visa Inc., Baidu, Wal-mart, Accenture etc. have all filed multiple patent applications based on the technology.
The countries which are currently leading the charge are China, US, South Korea, the European Union and Japan. China has over 10,000 patents (pending and approved), while the US, the second in the race has about 1/3rd of their number. The International Patent Office along with the European patent office has 1270 and 537 patents, respectively.
There are some Blockchain service or development companies that outsource the development of blockchain applications for other firms. For e.g. IBM along with cargo shipping giant Maersk have developed ‘Tradelens,’. It is a supply chain solution with a focus on containerized freight and logistics, to keep track of items and back-tracking for records. It is currently being used by a number of institutions including the Standard Chartered Bank.
Apart from these some of the other leading firms in the space are:
Founded by the Co-creator of Ethereum, Consensys is one of the leading Blockchain development firms which also acts as a kick-starter for many other start-ups looking to build to Blockchain. It was founded in October 2014; it currently has three offices in the US – Brooklyn, Washington DC and San Francisco.
ConsenSys is a blockchain company that helps entities to take advantage of ‘shared IT infrastructure, and utilize modern cryptographic methods to safeguard private user data.’ The company primarily builds on Ethereum and is working towards development of infrastructure for decentralized application or Web3 applications.
Hyperledger is an open-source organization governed by The Linux Foundation that focuses on building enterprise-grade Blockchain solutions. The Hyperledger Project was incorporated in 2015 by the foundation in California. Since, the organization has grown to include members like IBM, Intel, Consensys, Daimler, JP Morgan and many more.
At present, Hyperledger is running 15 projects under its umbrella, e.g. Hyperledger Fabric and Hyperledger Urus. Fabric is built for services such as consensus and membership services, to be plug-and-play. The IBM Food Trust protocol is built on Hyperledger Fabric which enables accountability and visibility in food-supply chains.
3. R3 with Corda Platform
R3 helps in the development of enterprise-grade blockchain applications on Corda, an open-source blockchain platform and the code is accessible on GitHub. Corda Enterprise a commercial version which provides software solutions for large scale enterprises.
R3 was founded by David E. Rutter in 2014. In the initial phase, the firm was working with Ripple to provide FinTech solutions to the world using XRP. However, eventually it developed Corda which is now aimed at providing efficient software solutions to a wide array of small, medium and large scale industries which includes health care, trade finance, telecommunications, digital identity and so on.
4. Ant Financial (Alibaba)
Ant Financial is a leading FinTech firm from China, formally known as Alipay. It is an affiliate of the e-commerce giant, Alibaba, which has the largest number of patents on Blockchain tech in the world by a single organisation.
Recently, in November 2019, it announced initiation of the Ant Blockchain Open Alliance, which is aimed at providing software and network solution to small and medium scale businesses.
Ripple Inc. is one of the most famous FinTech firms in the space, primarily because of its XRP holdings. Nevertheless, RippleNet from Ripple is now offering blockchain solutions to over 300+ financial institutions to streamline global payments.
Since 2016, Ripple Inc. with its blockchain based payment system is seen as the biggest threat to Swift based payments.
CoinPlug is a Blockchain Technology company based out of South Korea found in October 2014. It provides development of core blockchain technologies and solutions for governments and enterprises. The company has over 148 active and pending international patent applications.
The team has already partnered with the postal agency in the country along with financial support from major Korean Banks. It is currently working with applications in digital identity, payment, password protection and other decentralized applications.
Based out of London, UK, Nchain is a privately held tech firm that provides blockchain solutions. It was founded by the infamous, self-proclaimed Bitcoin inventor, Craig Wright in 2015.
Apart from working with private institutions, the company is also looking to work around increasing the capabilities of Bitcoin.The firm is looking to leverage Bitcoin in the building and innovation of other blockchain applications.
According to its site, one of it’s projects involve a blockchain-enabled unified overview of national medical prescription data in the US. This would help in better understanding and betterment of the pharmaceutical scene in the country.
Solulab is another leading Blockchain solutions provider with the upper hand in blockchain, AI, IoT, mobile app and web development. SoluLabs was founded in 2014 by Chintan Thakkar, former Vice President of Goldman Sachs in NY.
At present, Solulabs have offices in New York and Woodland Hills in the US, and an outsourced center in Ahmedabad, India. It caters blockchain tech services from entrepreneurs to small and mid size companies.
Kaleido, a start-up initiated under Consensys offers full-stack capabilities via it’s Blockchain Business Cloud. It operates on a Software as a service (SaaS) business model providing solutions for implementing Blockchain technology.
Kaleido is a cloud based blockchain platform with production ready environments for businesses and enterprises. It also provides low-cost blockchain abilities for individual or small entities.
Based out of Bulgaria and offices in the UK, Limechain is a FinTech consultancy firm that supports development of Blockchain projects.
Nick Todorov is the Founder & CEO of LimeChain. The company focuses around development of various blockchain platforms like Hyperledger, Ethereum and other independent DLT projects.
The Future of Internet
Leading technology firms in the US (Microsoft, IBM) and China (Alibaba, Baidu) have been actively engaging themselves with the technology in order to gain early advantage. While the imprint on financial applications has been the strongest, it finds use in almost all flow and record-keeping operations. This includes Artificial Intelligence (AI), Iot (Internet of Things), and decentralized web applications or Web3.
Moreover, a number of these firms are looking to develop around blockchain without the actual use of a cryptocurrency. This eliminates the suspicion around scams and unnecessary crowdfunding and marketing for building applications.
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