Best plays in crypto: 5 startups making waves in 2024


We analyzed some of the top cryptocurrency startups of 2024 and their achievements.

In 2023, the crypto market saw a notable turnaround, with its market cap increasing by 109%. This surge was largely driven by the first and fourth quarters of the year, buoyed by the anticipation of Bitcoin ETF approvals and the upcoming Bitcoin halving.


Amid this, the global economic environment, characterized by decent GDP growth and moderate inflation rates, further fostered a positive atmosphere for crypto investments. 

Web3 cryptocurrency startups gathered significant attention, attracting 1173 investments of $9 billion. Among these, infrastructure projects received a lion’s share of the investments, evidencing the sector’s robust development.

Moreover, the resurgence of gaming activity and the rebound of the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) market in the last quarter of 2023 were other key highlights.

The NFT market, in particular, showed remarkable recovery, with Dec. 2023 volumes reaching $1.7 billion. Bitcoin NFTs emerged as a significant growth driver within this segment.

Decentralized finance (defi) also demonstrated strong growth, with its total value locked (TVL) rising by 38.9% year-on-year by the end of 2023. This growth is attributed to the rise of liquid staking tokens (LSTs) and LSTfi.


Best plays in crypto: 5 startups making waves in 2024 - 2

With this backdrop, let’s delve deeper and discover a few cryptocurrency startup companies that are making their mark in the industry.

List of crypto startups making strides in 2024

Alchemy

Alchemy has become one of the biggest blockchain startups in 2024. 

In February 2022, Alchemy announced a $200 million equity investment, increasing its valuation to a staggering $10.2 billion. 

This investment round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Silver Lake, with significant contributions from renowned investors like a16z, Coatue, Addition, Pantera, and DFJ.

Founded in 2017 and headquartered in San Francisco, Alchemy’s platform partnered with leading organizations such as OpenSea and Adobe.

According to Joe Lau, CTO and co-founder of Alchemy, the project’s mission is to make “web3 accessible to everyone” by supporting innovative developers in realizing their blockchain-based ideas. 

Alchemy, like many new crypto startups, faces the challenges of maintaining its expansion in the evolving web3 landscape despite rapid growth.

Chainalysis

Chainalysis, a New York-based blockchain data platform company, is one of the biggest crypto startups as of 2024. 

The company raised a $170 million funding round, reaching a valuation of $8.6 billion. This funding round, led by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, included contributions from notable investors like Blackstone and Bank of New York Mellon.

Founded in 2014, Chainalysis specializes in blockchain data analysis, playing an important role in transforming finance towards cryptocurrency. 

Its services are in high demand for risk management and business intelligence, serving an expanding market that includes exchanges, defi platforms, and financial institutions entering the crypto space.

Chainalysis’s growth is fueled by the increasing recognition of the importance of blockchain data and the rising demand for its services amid growing crypto adoption and regulatory scrutiny.

Fireblocks

Fireblocks, an institutional crypto custody provider, could also be labeled as one of the best blockchain startups in 2024.

Fireblocks raised $550 million in a Series E funding round in Jan. 2022, bringing their total funding to over $1 billion. This funding elevated their valuation to $8 billion.

Founded in 2018, Fireblocks provides an all-in-one platform that includes a range of crypto services such as custody, access to defi, staking, and tokenization.

The company boasts of having $45 billion in assets under custody and has securely transferred over $2 trillion in crypto assets through its platform.

Its clients include Bank of New York Mellon, Revolut, and Galaxy Digital, and its investors include prominent names like Sequoia Capital.

According to the company, Fireblocks works with over 1,300 institutional clients, showcasing their capability to cater to diverse clients with varying needs in the digital asset space.

Mysten Labs

Another standout among cryptocurrency startups in 2024 is Mysten Labs. 

Founded in 2021, Mysten Labs, the developer of the Sui layer-1 blockchain, has emerged as a key player in the blockchain space, focusing on enhancing the security, safety, and usability of web3 applications. 

Mysten Labs secured a Series B funding of $300 million in 2022, taking its valuation to $2 billion. The investment was led by Andreessen Horowitz, indicating strong confidence from one of the most reputable venture capital firms in the tech and crypto space.

The startup’s mission is to address the critical risks in areas like private keys, smart contract bugs, and the complexities of multi-chain operations.

Mysten Labs aims to tackle the technical roadblocks to the mass adoption of blockchain technology by developing institutional-grade developer tools, auditing services, and decentralized identity protocols.

The pros of Mysten Labs include its strong focus on security and usability, which are crucial for the wider acceptance and growth of web3 technologies. 

On the downside, Mysten Labs is challenged to keep pace with technological advancements and the changing web3 and blockchain trends.

Aleo

Aleo, known for its contributions to web3 security and enabling users to develop privacy-focused applications, is one of the cryptocurrency startup companies achieving notable progress in 2024.

Founded in 2019 and based in Reno, Nevada, Aleo secured a substantial Series B funding of $200 million in Feb. 2022, taking its valuation to $1.45 billion. The investors backing Aleo include renowned entities such as SoftBank Vision Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, and Tiger Global Management.

The Aleo development team focuses on safeguarding user data through zero-knowledge cryptography and decentralized systems. It is used in various areas of the crypto world, including defi, AI, blockchain games, and other sectors where privacy plays a crucial role.

The pros of Aleo include its strong investor backing, its focus on a critical and growing area of web3 security, and the ease of use it offers developers in creating private applications.

On the con side, as with many emerging technologies, there could be challenges related to widespread adoption and the complexity of integrating new security technologies into existing systems.

These features position Aleo as a major player among the top blockchain startups in 2024​.

Evolution and challenges ahead

The road ahead for the cryptocurrency market and blockchain startups looks both exciting and challenging. 

As we move into 2024 and beyond, the sector is expected to evolve, driven by technological advancements, increasing regulatory clarity, and wider mainstream adoption.

The growth seen in areas like defi, web3 applications, and NFTs could likely accelerate, with new innovations and applications emerging. 

However, this growth comes with challenges, including scalability issues, cybersecurity threats, and the need for improved user experiences.

Blockchain startups like Alchemy, Chainalysis, Fireblocks, Mysten Labs, and Aleo, which have already demonstrated strong potential and growth, could be at the forefront of addressing these challenges. 

Moreover, as the crypto market matures, we may see a greater emphasis on sustainability and ethical considerations in blockchain technology, paving the way for new crypto startups.

Overall, the road ahead for crypto and blockchain is filled with opportunities for growth, innovation, and the potential to profoundly impact various sectors, from finance to digital art and beyond.





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