In assembling the inaugural CoinDesk 50, we cast the net wide. We wanted a final list that encompasses the entire industry, from bitcoin to conglomerates adopting blockchain technology.

We started by gathering a “long list” of more than 200 contenders based on submissions from CoinDesk staff around the world. Then we sampled some outside experts for more names. Then we divided the list into categories (for example, “DeFi” or “enterprise”) and picked companies and organizations that are best-in-class.

Our criteria included:

  • Innovation: How innovative is this company or project, judged against the industry as a whole, and against its immediate peers?
  • Viability: Given its funding, leadership team and demand, how likely is "X" to succeed in the next five years? 
  • Buzz: How much traction does "X" have among venture funders, the media, and on Crypto Twitter?

This isn’t an exact science, obviously. Inevitably we left out worthy companies and included some people may not like. If you have concerns or complaints, please get in touch and we will attempt to explain our decision-making. (Please note: this is a list or selection, not a ranking.)

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The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.