Fortune, a leading business publication, has released its inaugural Fortune Crypto 40 list, which recognizes the top players in eight categories within the crypto industry. The benchmark ranking, which appears in the April/May 2023 issue of the magazine, acknowledges that the crypto industry has expanded beyond trading to encompass a diverse range of businesses that have built major enterprises around blockchain technology. The list, developed by economist and crypto journalist Rob Stevens, is based on a combination of empirical metrics and surveys of over 200 financial executives conducted by Researchscape.

The Eight Categories Recognized by Fortune Crypto 40

The categories recognized by the Fortune Crypto 40 are CeFi (centralized finance), TradFi (traditional finance), VC, NFTs, Data, Infrastructure, DeFi (decentralized finance), and Protocols. The list aims to provide better comparisons among similar entities, such as venture capital firms and centralized crypto companies.

The Winners of Each Category

The winners of each category of the Fortune Crypto 40 are Coinbase for CeFi, PayPal for TradFi, Polycain Capital for VC, OpenSea for NFTs, Chainalysis for Data, Ledger for Infrastructure, Uniswap Labs for DeFi, and Ethereum Foundation for Protocols. The list is designed to recognize companies, DAOs, and nonprofits that have displayed a commitment to transparency and good governance.

The First-of-Its-Kind Crypto Ranking

The Fortune Crypto 40 is the first ranking of its kind in the crypto industry, developed to highlight the organizations and their technology instead of the personalities behind them. The list aims to distinguish itself from subjective lists dominated by editors’ preferences, which focus more on individuals than on companies. The methodology considers public data offered by blockchains and rewards entities committed to transparency and good governance.

Surprises Among the List

Although the biggest, most successful companies dominate the Fortune Crypto 40, the list offers some surprises. Bitcoin took a backseat to Ethereum in the protocol rankings, while Bitmain took third place in the infrastructure category, with Ledger and Genesis Digital Assets taking first and second, respectively. All five of the winners in the DeFi category run their technology on the Ethereum blockchain: Uniswap Labs, Lido, MakerDAO, Aave, and Curve.

Upstart Crypto Companies to Watch

Fortune said that subsequent editions of the Crypto 40 would pay more attention to upstart crypto companies that disrupt and grab the crowns of complacent incumbents. The list aims to highlight crypto firms (and DAOs) built to last and identify the most important companies in the crypto space.