Alphabet leads all public companies in investments in crypto startups with $1.56 billion

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(Kitco News) – At a time when much of the public conversation about blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies revolves around cost and recent government regulations, some of the world’s largest companies are investing billions of dollars to develop future use cases.

Data published in a recent report by blockchain intelligence firm Blockdata shows that 40 corporations invested in blockchain-related companies between September 2021 and June 2022.

Google’s parent company Alphabet topped the list in terms of amount invested, with $1.56 billion invested in blockchain companies during the time period. BlackRock and Morgan Stanley round out the top three with $1.17 billion and $1.1 million respectively invested.

Public companies that are most active in investing in blockchain companies. Source: Blockdata

Samsung was the most active investor during the period, investing $979 million in a total of 13 companies, followed by UOB with seven investments totaling $204 million. Financial giant Citigroup invested in six blockchain-related companies, while Goldman Sachs took a stake in five.

Overall, the top 40 publicly traded companies invested a total of $6 billion in 61 blockchain/crypto startups in 71 investment rounds between September 2021 and June 2022.

Notably absent from the above list is MasterCard, which was among the top three active investors based on the number of deals they participated in prior to September 2021. Since then, the company has “primarily run incubator and accelerator programs for four blockchain startups,” according to Blockdata, along with acquiring crypto intelligence company CipherTrace in September 2021 as a way to strengthen its cybersecurity solutions.

Areas of interest for investments

There were more than 20 industries and 65 use cases represented by the blockchain startups covered in this report.

Non-fungible token (NFT) solutions were the most prominent, with a total of 19 companies from this sector represented, and many of these projects belonging to the areas of gaming, arts and entertainment, and distributed ledger technology (DLT).

Twelve of the companies are marketplaces, some of which support the buying and selling of NFTs, and 11 of the organizations provide gaming services. According to Blockdata, “there is significant overlap between use cases for companies that offer NFT solutions, markets and games.”

“The popularity of NFTs can be seen mainly as an opportunistic move by corporations looking to take advantage of trends to meet where their customers transact. Startups raising capital enable trading in decentralized worlds by developing platforms where users can buy and sell NFTs, including virtual land, clothing and other branded items,” said Blockdata.

Some of the other prominent use cases that are popular investments include blockchain services, infrastructure, development platforms, scaling solutions, and custody solutions.

Custody solutions were some of the most profitable startups. Fireblocks signed a $550 million deal involving Alphabet, while Circle raised $550 million in an investment round with participation from BlackRock, and Anchorage Digital raised $350 million in a deal involving PayPal and BlackRock.

Samsung demonstrated the most comprehensive investment strategy, investing in a total of 15 different use cases in some of the most popular sectors, including blockchain services, development platforms, NFTs and social networks.

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