Forbes announced the world’s leading 50 companies investing in blockchain technology. This list has been published traditionally for three years. The list include the companies that employing distributed ledger technology and have revenue or a valuation of at least $1 billion.

This year, 21 new companies entered the list. the world’s largest bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and four others from Asia—make their debut. They take the spots of such U.S. companies as Facebook, Google, Amazon and Ripple, all of whom are still active in blockchain but kept lower profiles in the space over the past 12 months. 

We share the details of some of these companies below.


Cayman Islands 

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange lists 184 tokenized assets and supports almost a hundred blockchains. Total trading volume reached $2 trillion last year. In July, Binance rolled out a Visa debit card that automatically converts users’ crypto assets to local currency and will be accepted at 70 million merchants worldwide. 

Blockchain platforms: Bitcoin, Binance Chain and dozens of others 

Key leader: CZ (Changpeng Zhao), CEO; Yi He, co-founder and CMO


Chicago, Illinois 

Its HorizonX venture arm has contributed funds to the development of SkyGrid, a blockchain-enabled air traffic control system to track and communicate with drones. Already approved by the FAA to provide drone pilots with low-altitude authorization and available as a free iPad app, Skygrid creates a permanent record of data—important for package delivery, industrial inspections and especially (someday) autonomous flying taxis. 

Blockchain platforms: Go Direct, Hyperledger Fabric 

Key leader: Amir Husain, CEO of SkyGrid


Massy, France 

The French supermarket chain is tracking more than 30 product lines on the blockchain, including farm-raised eggs, Norwegian salmon and Rocamadour cheese. These products are tagged with a QR code that customers can scan to find out more about where their food comes from. Carrefour says the feature has boosted sales and aims to expand it to 100 product lines by the end of next year. 

Blockchain platforms: IBM Blockchain, Hyperledger Fabric 

Key leader: Emmanuel Delerm, global head of blockchain, merchandising and B2B supply chain platforms


Stuttgart, Germany 

The maker of luxury Mercedes-Benz vehicles is using blockchain to streamline everything from production to a recent fundraising. 

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Indy, Hyperledger Fabric, Corda, Ocean Protocol, Ethereum, MoveX

Key leader: Jonas von Malottki, CEO of Daimler Protics GmbH


Charlotte, North Carolina 

The industrial conglomerate has transferred more than 2 million aviation quality documents to a blockchain ledger, making them fully accessible to its customer base. It also operates blockchain-based marketplace GoDirect Trade, which lists $4 billion in used aviation parts and has attracted more than 10,000 users. 

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Fabric, GoDirect Trade 

Key leader: Lisa Butters, general manager of GoDirect Trade 


London, England 

The British bank is using blockchain to increase the efficiency of foreign-exchange flows among its global branches. Since 2018, 1.9 million trades with a nominal value of $1.7 trillion have been settled on its ledger. 

Blockchain platforms: Quorum, Corda, Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, OneConnect 

Key leaders: Vinay Mendonca, global head of product and proposition management, global trade and receivables finance; Mark Williamson, global head of FX Everywhere

IBM Corporation 

Armonk, New York 

Among the first enterprises to invest seriously in blockchain, IBM’s new Digital Health Pass application lets organizations verify an individual’s Covid-19 test and temperature results; customers such as stadium operators can choose their own criteria, including whether a person was vaccinated. 

Blockchain platforms: IBM Blockchain, Hyperledger Fabric 

Key leader: Alistair Rennie, general manager, IBM Blockchain

JPMorgan Chase 

New York, NEW YORK 

Has signed up 425 banks, including Deutsche Bank and Mexico’s Banorte, to use its Liink blockchain network to speed up interbank transactions. The technology will eventually help banks issue fewer paper checks and move more transactions online. 

Blockchain platforms: Quorum, Ethereum

Key leader: Umar Farooq, CEO of Onyx


Redmond, Washington 

One of its blockchain applications, developed with EY, manages content rights and royalties. Game publishers Xbox and Ubisoft were the first to use the new system, which makes royalty payments automatically, compared to a traditional processing time that can stretch to 45 days or more. 

Blockchain platforms: Quorum, Ethereum 

Key leader: Jagannathan Venkatesan, principal group software engineering manager


Austin, Texas 

The database giant launched its proprietary blockchain in 2018. Its most mature project is Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN), a maritime shipping consortium that now has 300 customers, including container-shipping giants and port operators. 

Blockchain platforms: Oracle Blockchain Platform, Hyperledger Fabric 

Key leader: Frank Xiong, group vice president, blockchain product development

Samsung Group 

Seoul, South Korea 

The conglomerate’s IT arm, Samsung SDS, has built a number of blockchain projects for local governments, hospitals and air-ports. That includes a one-stop medical claims processing service allowing patients to submit claims at a hospital reception center, a kiosk or via a mobile phone. 

Blockchain platforms: Nexledger 

Key leader: Jeanie Hong, head of blockchain center


Foster City, California 

Visa’s golden goose is its vast network of access points—some 70 million merchant locations. Now that central banks are starting to mint digital currencies, Visa is doing extensive R&D so digital money can flow safely (out of fraudsters’ reach) over its rails. It has applied for 159 blockchain-related patents for uses such as making transactions more secure and using biometrics to verify someone’s identity. In December, it announced an integration with the cryptocurrency “stable coin” USDC, or U.S. dollar coin, to speed up international business-to-business payments. 

Blockchain Platforms: Bitcoin, Ethereum 

Key leader: Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto


Bentonville, Arkansas 

Its Food Traceability Initiative, which helps Walmart detect contamination and other food safety issues, now tracks nearly 500 items like fresh leafy greens, coffee, seafood and meat. Last year, it assisted the FDA with six investigations into food safety and was able to provide detailed information on the original source of potential contamination within an hour. This year, Walmart will conduct a pilot with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to track imported foods. 

Blockchain platform: Hyperledger Fabric

Key leader: Tejas Bhatt, senior director, global food safety innovation; Archana Sristy, senior director, blockchain platforms, Walmart Global Tech


Basel, Switzerland 

The drugmaker is a leading member of PharmaLedger, a blockchain consortium in the EU that is targeting incorrect or outdated information on prescription inserts—a top reason for recalls. Along with Merck and the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Novartis built an app that scans drug packages and makes real-time requests to manufacturers for up-to-date information, to be accessed by patients via scan codes. PharmaLedger is also using the technology to combat counterfeit and black-market medicines. 

Blockchain platforms: Ethereum, Sovrin, Hyperledger Fabric, Corda, DAML, Quorum 

Key leader: Liz Theophille, chief technology transformation officer

Forbes Blockchain 50 2021

Edited by Michael del Castillo, Janet Novack and Matt Schifrin

Reported by Nina Bambysheva, Lauren Debter, Michael del Castillo, Steven Ehrlich, Eliza Haverstock, Chris Helman, Katie Jennings, Jeff Kauflin, Jon Ponciano and Hank Tucker