In an unprecedented surge, the number of cryptocurrency, blockchain, and web3 initiatives launched by Fortune 100 companies has skyrocketed by 39% year-over-year, reaching a record high in Q1 2024. This remarkable growth, highlighted in research for Coinbase by The Block, is a clear indicator of the increasing importance and integration of blockchain technology in the financial landscape.

A recent survey of Fortune 500 executives reveals that 56% of these corporate giants are actively developing onchain projects, including consumer-facing payment applications. This burgeoning activity underscores the urgent need for clear regulatory frameworks to retain crypto talent in the U.S., realize crypto's promise of enhanced access, and solidify America's leadership in the global crypto arena.

Finance's Trusted Names Lead the Blockchain Charge

The most esteemed names in finance are not merely dabbling but leading the charge in blockchain innovation, creating pathways for widespread adoption:

  • Spot Bitcoin ETFs: The launch of spot bitcoin ETFs has met significant pent-up demand, with assets under management soaring to over $63 billion. Following this success, the SEC approved exchange applications to list and trade spot ether ETFs, pending S-1 approval, further enhancing access to spot crypto.

  • Onchain Government Securities: High interest rates have fueled demand for safe, high-yielding onchain T-bills, pushing the value of tokenized U.S. Treasury products up over 1,000% since early 2023, now totaling $1.29 billion. BlackRock’s tokenized US Treasury fund BUIDL, valued at $382 million, has recently overtaken Franklin Templeton’s fund to become the largest, with crypto hedge funds and market makers leveraging BUIDL as collateral for trading.

  • Tokenized Asset Market: Expected to hit $16 trillion by 2030, this market's size is comparable to the current GDP of the EU, marking a significant milestone in asset tokenization.

Innovations in Stablecoins

Global payment giants are simplifying the use of stablecoins, making them more accessible and practical:

  • Stripe and Circle: Merchants on Stripe can now accept payments in USDC across Ethereum, Solana, and Polygon, with automatic fiat conversion.
  • PayPal**: Offering cross-border transfers for stablecoin users in approximately 160 countries without transaction fees, a stark contrast to the average charges of 4.45% to 6.39% in the global remittance market. The annual settlement volume of stablecoins reached $10 trillion in 2023, exceeding global remittance volumes by over tenfold.

Small Businesses and Crypto

The grassroots adoption of crypto is also noteworthy, with small businesses—the most trusted institution in the U.S.—increasingly turning to crypto solutions. A significant 68% believe crypto can address key financial challenges, notably transaction fees and processing times.

The Talent and Regulatory Imperative

Coinbase highlights the critical need to cultivate and retain crypto talent domestically. The U.S. has seen a 14-point decline in developer share over the past five years, with only 26% of crypto developers based in the country. Fortune 500 executives now cite the availability of trusted talent as a top barrier to adoption, surpassing regulatory concerns. For small businesses, half indicate a likelihood of seeking candidates with crypto expertise for future finance, legal, or IT/tech roles.

Clear regulations are essential to keeping developers in the U.S. and ensuring that the country remains at the forefront of technological innovation. Moreover, crypto's potential to enhance financial access is significant, with 48% of Fortune 500 executives recognizing its ability to increase financial system access and wealth creation for the underbanked and unbanked.

U.S. Leadership in the Crypto Space

Maintaining U.S. leadership in crypto is crucial. A significant 79% of Fortune 500 executives express a desire to collaborate on initiatives with U.S. partners, up from 73% last year. Furthermore, 72% agree that a USD-backed digital currency is essential for keeping the U.S. economy competitive globally.

Conclusion: The Future of Money

Crypto represents the future of money, and this latest research report from Coinbase—our fourth since June 2023—provides a comprehensive year-over-year analysis of corporate adoption. This report is a part of Coinbase's ongoing campaign to educate the public on the transformative role of crypto, blockchain, and other web3 technologies in modernizing the global financial system for the benefit of both corporations and consumers.