2016 Will See the Emergence of Five Blockchain Unicorns ($1 Billion Evaluation) Says Magister Advisors

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Next year will see the emergence of at least five Bitcoin and Blockchain businesses with a valuation of more than USD$1 billion. The difference is that these businesses will be able to justify their valuations. This is one of the findings of Magister Advisors‘ survey of the views of the World’s leading Bitcoin and Blockchain businesses, carried out in Q4 2015.

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Unicorn refers to startups reaching a $1 billion valuation while still privately held, which not long ago was a rarity.  

Jeremy Millar, partner at Magister Advisors, M&A advisors to the technology industry, who led the research said:

“Globally, financial services companies spend close to half a trillion dollars on IT. This is the territory of thoroughbreds and workhorses, not Unicorns. We will see multiple companies raising $100m+ rounds and $1bn+ valuations in 2016. These valuations will be built on the opportunity of selling products and services into the largest and most profitable industry in the world, not on subsidising consumer services to drive adoption or building audiences to monetise with advertising. These new companies will have real lasting value; they’re not creatures from a fairy tale that will fade away when their valuations, which are based, appropriately enough, on leaps of the imagination, drop.’

Millar added:

“Goldman Sachs have put their mighty weight and considerable market influence to work with SETLcoin. This is an interesting development, as to date the announcements from large financial institutions have been focused on collaboration with technology providers and consortiums. It’s not surprising to see Goldmans push for leadership – it is really modus operandi for the firm.”

“We also expect to see an array of new blockchain-based platforms, creating the underlying technology to address a set of specific issues in financial services that a ripe for profitable improvement.”

Leon Pick writes from Finance Magnates:

Bitcoin wallet and merchant services provider Coinbase was envisioned by some to become the crypto industry’s first unicorn. It has secured $106.7 million in funding to date, the second highest in the industry. However, one may question if its revenue model is strong enough to warrant such a valuation. Coinbase’s total revenues from its bitcoin brokerage and merchant services are miniscule.

Coinbase’s exchange, launched earlier this year, may be a better source of revenue. It is currently supporting volumes of about 250,000 BTC per month. Assuming an average bitcoin price of $350 and a 0.25% commission for market takers, this translates into annual revenues of roughly $2.6 million, which does not warrant a $1 billion valuation.

The revenue models for several other crypto startups, including big names like Xapo and Circle, can also be called into question, and the coming year or two may be game changers.

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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