Fortune debuts ‘Crypto 40’; Ethereum takes top honors for protocol category

Fortune debuts ‘Crypto 40’; Ethereum takes top honors for protocol category

In what it’s calling an industry first, Fortune released the “Fortune Crypto 40” on April 10. This analysis-based list highlights five cryptocurrency companies in each of eight categories and relies on a combination of analysis and executive polling to determine the winners.

Per an article announcing the index, Fortune claims the Crypto 40 is a “definitive list of the most important crypto companies.” An accompanying link describing the methodology goes on to state that the Crypto 40 was designed to highlight the organizations and their technology — as opposed to the popularity of the individuals and teams driving them.

“Currently, there are no such rankings for the crypto industry,” writes the Fortune staff, “While there are plenty of lists, nearly all of them reflect the subjective preference of a handful of editors, and most focus on personalities rather than companies.”

The Fortune Crypto 40 is divided into eight distinct categories: TradFi, CeFi, NFTs, Venture Capital, Data and Analytics Companies, Infrastructure Firms, Blockchain Protocol Firms and DeFi.

While the usual suspects are all there, with Coinbase, Binance and Kraken taking top spots in CeFi, PayPal leading TradFi, and OpenSea claiming number one in the NFT rankings, there are also some surprises among the list.

Surprisingly, Bitcoin took a backseat to Ethereum in the protocol rankings, with Polygon edging out Solana for third place. Elsewhere, Bitmain took third in the infrastructure race, with Ledger and Genesis Digital Assets taking first and second, respectively.

The Blockchain Protocol Firms category wasn’t the only win for Ethereum, as all five of the winners in the DeFi category are companies whose technology runs on the Ethereum blockchain: Uniswap Labs, Lido, MakerDAO, Aave and Curve.

Related: The Cointelegraph 100

While it’s clear that the biggest, most successful companies take up the majority of the list, Fortune said it would pay more attention to upstart crypto companies in subsequent editions as they “disrupt and grab the crowns of complacent incumbents.”