The Hurun Institute, based in Shanghai, China released its Global Unicorn list 2019 on October 21. This is a ranking of billion-dollar startups less than 10 years that are yet to be listed on a public exchange. Of the 494 total unicorns identified, 11 were blockchain companies.
At the top of the list is the world’s largest bitcoin mining manufacturer, Bitmain. Ripple, the San Francisco-based startup behind XRP digital currency, came in third in the rankings. In addition, Ripple is continuing its efforts to get regulatory clarity on cryptocurrencies by joining the Blockchain Association and opening a new office in the heart of the United States – Washington, D.C.
Ripple Makes A Splash On The Global Unicorn List
There are at least 500 unicorns in the tech sector. China has the largest number of unicorns (206), followed by the United States (203). Undeniably a nascent-but-booming industry, blockchain companies were among the youngest companies that researchers at Hurun identified. Of all the existing unicorns, blockchain companies take up 2%, which is roughly $41 billion.
Bitmain, based in China, is valued at $12 billion. Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange platform based in the United States has a valuation of $8 billion. Ripple ranks as the third-largest unicorn, with a valuation of $5 billion. Moreover, since its founding in 2012, Ripple’s technology has been adopted by banks such as Santander and UBS and payment processors like MoneyGram.
Ripple Opens Office In Washington, D.C And Expands Regulatory Team
Regulators and crypto projects have long been butting heads. However, to create conducive environments for digital asset trading, these two need to settle their differences.
Ripple has made a huge effort towards advocating for cryptocurrencies and also blockchain by opening a new office in Washington DC. Ripple becomes the first major blockchain company to have a presence in Washington, D.C. Per Ripple, Washington was chosen specifically because of its closeness to the White House and the US government as a whole. This development is part of Ripple’s grand plan to spread the good word of crypto to regulators.
The Washington DC office will be led by the Global Head of Government Relations at Ripple, Michelle Bond, and will provide first-hand knowledge about the blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies to Washington policymakers and regulators.
Craig Philips, a former counsel to the Secretary at the U.S Treasury Department has also joined Ripple’s board of directors. Philip will be tasked with the role of giving counsel to the firm’s leadership team in addition to providing advice on strategic regulatory opportunities. Other new members to the Ripple team include Ron Hammond as Ripple’s manager of government relations and Susan Friedman as international policy counsel.
Speaking about this move to Washington, D.C, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse had this to say:
“Every federal regulator is looking at this space and trying to figure out how to regulate it, and having a DC presence is essential to smart and effective regulation. We’re focused on maintaining a dialogue with Washington regulators and policy makers and being a resource to the Hill allows us to be easily accessible at all times.”
Ripple Joins The Blockchain Association
In addition to opening the Washington, D.C office, Ripple has joined the Blockchain Association with Michelle Bond as one of the board members in the association. The Blockchain Association is an organization that advocates for crypto assets and blockchain technology. It also provides the government with valuable knowledge regarding blockchain technology besides acting as a bridge between regulators and blockchain companies.
In September 2018, Ripple formed a lobbying group dubbed Security America’s Internet of Value Coalition (SAIV) with other participants like Coil, Hard Yaka, PolySign, and RippleWorks Foundation. Together, these companies hope to influence government regulators and policymakers.
According to Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, this SAIV Coalition will merge into the Blockchain Association to “present a unified voice to policymakers”.
XRP Market Analysis
XRP is exchanging hands at $0.276660 at press time after shedding over 6% on the day. With a market cap of $11.99 billion, XRP is the third-largest cryptocurrency.
In general, all the top 20 cryptocurrencies are in a sea of red. The total market cap has dropped by more than $10 billion dollars. The news of Ripple being the third-largest unicorn, expanding to Washington D.C and joining the blockchain association has not had any major effect on the price of XRP.