Blockchain shines in LinkedIn 50 most sought-after US startups listicle

ConsenSys, Coinbase and Robinhood are among the companies highlighted for their “explosive growth and world changing work”

LinkedIn has announced its top 50 US startups in 2018. And crypto and blockchain ventures make a very strong showing.

These include:

ConsenSys, an incubator for projects and businesses based on the Ethereum blockchain, works with some 50 different companies and projects, including Amazon Web Services, GlaxoSmithKline and the World Wildlife Fund. To keep up with the demand, the four-year-old startup grew headcount by 729% over the last two years, according to LinkedIn Premium Insights. | Global headcount: 965 | Headquarters: Brooklyn, N.Y. | Globetrotters wanted: ConsenSys is hiring enterprise solutions architects, operations leads, technical trainers and more in cities such as Dubai, London and Sydney.

Axoni is seeking to transform the infrastructure of financial markets and institutions with its distributed ledger software. | Global headcount: 50 | Headquarters: New York City | Finance titans: Last month, the three-year-old startup raised $32 million in Series B funding led by Goldman Sachs and Nyca Partners.

The Bitcoin frenzy catapulted Coinbase, the six-year-old digital wallet and cryptocurrency exchange, to spectacular growth. It now has more than 20 million accounts, about double the number of Charles Schwab. Despite its rapid expansion, Coinbase is “absolutely not a run-fast-and-break-things culture,” the company tells LinkedIn; nearly 20% of employees work in compliance. | Global headcount: 500 | Headquarters: San Francisco | Coinbase education: “People come to Coinbase to earn their ‘MBA’ in crypto,” it says. The startup plans to double its headcount by year’s end.

Investment app Robinhood spooked big brokerage firms, vaulted to Unicorn status and attracted five million accounts — surpassing competitor E-Trade earlier this year — by offering commission-free stock trades. The four-year-old startup, founded by Stanford roommates, has since expanded to cryptocurrencies and options, with ambitions to mimic every service found in a traditional bank, at lower costs. | Global headcount: 250 | Headquarters: Menlo Park, Calif. | Fresh ideas: Robinhood comes up with new products, in part, by studying what users search — yet fail to find — in its app, its co-CEO explained.

Sending money between banks, across borders, remains stubbornly antiquated. Ripple uses blockchain technology to transform what had been a multi-day process into one completed in seconds. The six-year-old startup now has more than 100 customers, including banks such as Santander and Standard Chartered; it added two new customers a week last quarter. | Global headcount: 250 | Headquarters: San Francisco | Ripple effect: While some blockchain companies are still “playing in the sandbox,” as Ripple tells LinkedIn, it’s focused on growth — it plans to hire another 75 people by year’s end.

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