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Hurun Report: 11 Blockchain Unicorns, Bitmain the Biggest Loser

The number of blockchain unicorns this year seems to fail to swell higher from last year as most industry watchers expect, according to the Hurun Global Unicorn Index 2020.

Research firm Hurun published its second-year list of global unicorns for 2020 on Tuesday August 4, ranking the world’s billion-dollar tech startups founded in the 2000s and not yet listed on a public exchange.

The report found a total of 586 unicorns globally this year, up 92 from last year’s 494 billion-dollar companies, 11 of which belong to the blockchain sector, unchanged in number from last year. These blockchain unicorns contribute 2% of the entire value of all 586 unicorns.


Behemoth exchanges including Coinbase and Binance make into the list, as well as blockchain payments firm Ripple and Circle Internet Financial.

It is notable that Chinese cryptocurrency mining hardware firm Bitmain which topped the list in 2019 led the way with the biggest drop in valuation.

“The valuation drop in Bitmain is mainly a result of the mediocre post-IPO performance of its rival Canaan,” said Hurun Report Chairman and Chief Researcher Rupert Hoogewerf, known as Hurun in China.

The mining giant is now valued at $4 billion, seeing an astonishing $8 billion shaved off its valuation from last year’s $12 billion. In August 2018, Bitmain was valued at $18 billion and set to be one of the world’s largest IPOs in history back then. Then the bear market began to take hold and the demand for its mining hardware decreased. The company’s valuation dropped to $12bn in 2019 and now $4bln.

Bitmain rivals Canaan and Ebang, both having gone public but presenting dismal performance, are replaced this year by two new faces – crypto exchange Kraken ($4 billion) and blockchain lending startup Figure Technologies ($1.2 billion).

Of all the unicorns, China and the U.S. account for 79%. The U.S., with 233, takes the lead this year, beating China’s 227 by a whisker. Six of the top 10 unicorns on the list 2020 derive from China. China’s Ant Group, a FinTech startup, once again topped the list with a valuation of $150 billion.

In terms of industries producing the most billion-dollar unicorns in the business world, e-commerce leads the way, followed by Artificial Intelligence and FinTech.

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