The Crypto Valley is growing, despite, or maybe even because of the pandemic. The number of blockchain & crypto companies has increased, and so has their valuation.
COVID has not stopped the momentum in Crypto Valley. Despite the pandemic, the CV VC (Crypto Valley Venture Capital) Top 50 Report shows the crypto scene in Switzerland and Liechtenstein was growing in 2020.
The Crypto Valley is now home to 960 blockchain and cryptocurrency companies as of March 2021. In the second half of 2020, the number of crypto companies increased 4.4% from 919 to 960, and the number of people employed by the industry grew from 4,784 to 5,164.
Five new unicorns
The CV VC Top-50 report looks at the largest blockchain and cryptocurrency companies in the Crypto Valley by market value. At the moment, these 50 companies together are valued at a combined $254.9 billion. 11 of those are unicorns, meaning they are valued at more than $1 billion. Whereas in H1 2020, there were 6 unicorns, the five new unicorns are Aave, Cosmos, Solana, Near, and Nexo.
By far the largest crypto entity in the Crypto Valley is Ethereum, with a valuation of $152,2 billion. Considering that Ethereum represents more than 60% of the total CV blockchain sector, the price of Ethereum has had a significant impact on the total valuation growth in H2 2020. Second to Ethereum is Cardano with $40.6 billion and Polkadot with $29.3 billion.
Apart from the unicorns, other names have made the new list as well. Among those is Bitcoin Suisse, a regulated crypto brokerage valued at an estimated $302 million. Facebook’s renamed Libra project, now called Diem, is also on the list, and so are Sygnum, a digital asset bank, and Crypto finance, which is catering to institutional crypto investors.
Of the Top-50 companies, 24 focus on blockchain technology. They provide services related to data and analytics, hardware, infrastructure, platforms, and protocols. Another 22 apply blockchain in financial use cases, for example asset management, crypto banking, and payment services. The remaining 4 use the technology in other areas such as art, media, and supply chain.
It’s no surprise that especially DeFi (Decentralized Finance) projects have recently gotten tailwinds. With the price of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies soaring, the demand for financial applications using cryptocurrencies has increased. One example is crypto lending that allows investors to earn interest by lending their cryptocurrencies to platforms that lend them to institutional investors. Nexo and Aave are two examples of firms in the crypto valley that are active in the crypto lending space.
Other DeFi projects in the crypto valley include Curve.fi, Enzyme, and Oxygen which were added to the Crypto Valley Top 50 list, as they experienced booming demand for their services.
Location-wise, Zug is still the leading blockchain hub in Crypto Valley, where more than 400 companies are located; that’s 45% of all companies in the Crypto Valley. After Zug follow Zurich (178), Liechtenstein (83), Geneva (57) and Ticino (49).
So, it’s safe to say that the Crypto Valley has not only survived COVID but prospered. The one theme during the pandemic, which is accelerating digitalization, has also left its mark on the Crypto Valley.