By Doug Clinton of Loup Ventures
As part of our work on security tokens, we did an analysis to see how major companies are investing in the general blockchain space. The analysis consisted of a search on LinkedIn for how many individuals had listed “Blockchain” or “Cryptocurrency” in either their job title or description of work, whether in their current job or a previous job, across the top 247 S&P 500 companies. While these numbers may not be perfect representations of efforts that companies are making in these fields, as not all employees are on LinkedIn and some projects may be in stealth mode, the data paints a directional picture of efforts being made.
The results tell us that blockchain is still viewed as early a technology in its early days at the world’s largest companies. In the 247 companies that we looked at, we found 928 employees related to “blockchain” and 36 employees related to “cryptocurrency.”
Leading the charge by a wide margin is IBM, with 694 blockchain-related employees. While this number seems high compared to other companies, IBM has over 500,000 employees on LinkedIn. In other words, just over 0.1% of IBM’s employees are focused on blockchain technology. Additionally, IBM has arguably made the biggest push to sell blockchain products of any company and some of the employees in the study may be related to sales and operations, not purely engineers.
Another very high-level takeaway is that it appears Amazon is exploring cryptocurrency, perhaps more than most of its peers. This too makes sense given the importance of payment mechanisms to Amazon’s business.
Here are the results of the top 10 companies:
While the raw numbers of blockchain employees at major companies are lower than we would have expected, it’s clear that the world’s biggest companies are at least exploring the technology. We expect that exploration to grow over the next several years.
Disclaimer: We actively write about the themes in which we invest: virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and robotics. From time to time, we will write about companies that are in our portfolio. Content on this site including opinions on specific themes in technology, market estimates, and estimates and commentary regarding publicly traded or private companies is not intended for use in making investment decisions. We hold no obligation to update any of our projections. We express no warranties about any estimates or opinions we make.