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Coinbase corporate crypto report conflates crypto, enterprise blockchain

Coinbase crypto blockchain

Yesterday Coinbase released a report on the corporate adoption of crypto. It found that 52% of the Fortune 100 have pursued crypto, blockchain or web3 initiatives since 2020. A separate survey found that 83% have initiatives or are planning them. However, that figure is based on executives that are already crypto or blockchain savvy, so there’s an element of self-selection. Coinbase is upfront about that. 

A light analysis reveals a more nuanced take on the 52%. Our quick review indicated 80% of the top 20 in the Fortune 100 have adopted blockchain. The split was 65% enterprise blockchain, 15% web3 and crypto. That 15% are active in both.

The Coinbase report’s title is “The state of crypto: corporate adoption” despite the fact it covers crypto, web3 and blockchain. More accurately it is “The state of corporate adoption of blockchain.”

It highlights five use cases, one of which mentions Goldman Sachs, Microsoft and Deloitte on the Canton Network which is a permissioned blockchain solution. When Ledger Insights asked Digital Asset whether the Canton Network planned to integrate with permissionless blockchains the answer was ‘no’.

Understates corporate blockchain activity

With a broad timeframe, we’re pretty sure the 52% figure is an underestimate when it comes to blockchain, but the use cases are mainly enterprise rather than crypto oriented.

There are certainly several large firms actively engaged in crypto initiatives such as VisaMastercard and PayPal. This last week alone has seen BlackRock submit a Bitcoin ETF application and Citadel Securities, Charles Schwab and Fidelity partner for the launch of the EDX Markets crypto exchange. 

None of the above mentioned firms are part of the Fortune 100.

We spent five minutes having a quick look at the Fortune 100. Out of the top 20, only three have some kind of involvement in crypto: Amazon, Alphabet and Microsoft. In all cases, the involvement relates to hosting, although of late Alphabet is engaging more deeply. Microsoft has long been crypto friendly as one of the first corporates to launch NFTs long before it was fashionable. And Amazon is rumored to have an NFT initiative in the works.

Four other top 20 firms have no involvement to our knowledge: Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, Valero Energy and Costco, although the latter has flirted with the technology.

The other 13 companies are all involved in enterprise blockchain applications. Most of them target intercompany workflows and sometimes sensitive data.

What’s our point? We’re interested in how businesses use blockchain. Sometimes permissionless blockchains fit the bill, other times permissioned makes sense. If there’s more focus on providing business utility rather than framing a narrative to pump crypto prices, the future of both blockchain and crypto will be more promising.

Top 20 in Fortune 100:

1 Walmartenterprise blockchain
2 Amazonhosting
3 Exxon Mobilenterprise blockchain
4 Applen/a
5 UnitedHealth Groupenterprise blockchain
6 CVS Healthenterprise blockchain, DID
7 Berkshire Hathawayn/a
8 Alphabethosting, validator, data
9 McKessonenterprise blockchain
10 Chevronenterprise blockchain
11 AmerisourceBergenenterprise blockchain
12 Costco Wholesalen/a
13 Microsofthosting, web3, DID
14 Cardinal Healthenterprise blockchain
15 Cignaenterprise blockchain
16 Marathon Petroleumenterprise blockchain
17 Phillips 66enterprise blockchain
18 Valero Energyn/a
19 Ford Motorenterprise blockchain
20 Home Depotenterprise blockchain

Image Copyright: Coinbase