Canada’s fintech and blockchain space has been growing rapidly over the past few years, and now one of North America’s most recognizable lists is recognizing how pivotal of a role the country is playing in the global fintech industry.
Fortune has unveiled their first-ever Ledger 40 Under 40 list, “a supplementary honor roll of the most impressive, young superstars who are transforming business at the leading edge of finance and technology.” Included on the list are notable Canadian entrepreneurs who have helped shape what finance and technology can do together.
Coming in at number two on the list is Vitalik Buterin, the 24-year-old creator of ethereum, the second-most valuable cryptocurrency on the planet with a market cap closing in on $50 billion USD. Buterin is a leading voice in the cryptocurrency world as he continues to travel the world speaking and engaging with leading minds in the industry, and rumour had it that Google attempted to try and get him to lead their burgeoning cryptocurrency projects. Buterin is also number 22 on Fortune’s overall 40 Under 40 list, the youngest person included in a group that includes names like Mark Zuckerberg, Donald Glover, Logan Greene and John Zimmer.
Ted Livingston, CEO and founder of Waterloo’s Kik, is number 25 on Fortune’s Ledger 40 Under 40. Kik is most famous for its messaging app, but over the past little while Livingston and co. have made waves in the cryptocurrency world with their Kin token. Despite not even being able to be sold in its home country, Kin totaled close to $100 million in sales when it launched late last year as a way for Kik users to be rewarded for frequently using the app. Kik has since decided to dive further into the industry with plans to launch their own blockchain through the Kin Ecosystem Foundation.
Axiom Zen’s founder and CEO Roham Gharegozlou lands on the Ledger 40 Under 40 at number 39. Although the Vancouver-based Axiom Zen is successful in several different kinds of industries, the inclusion on this list is due to Gharegozlou’s gift of CryptoKitties to the world. CryptoKitties is a blockchain-based game that runs on the ethereum network, allowing players to buy, sell and breed digital cats. The most expensive kitties have sold for over $100,000 worth of ethereum, and CryptoKitties has launched partnerships with famous athletes like Steph Curry. Since Axiom Zen launched CryptoKitties, it has separated to become its own entity, raising $12 million earlier this year to continue its expansion.
The inclusion of three notable Canadians in Fortune’s first-ever Ledger 40 Under 40 is not a surprise, especially when all three are involved in the blockchain space. Canada’s cryptocurrency industry has been growing quickly over the past year with new mining companies and blockchain networks setting up shop in the country, so it was only a matter of time before they were formally recognized.