Since the beginning August, thirteen major firms in the financial services sector are investing for the first time in bitcoin and blockchain technology.
Although deal activity dropped for the second consecutive quarter in the third quarter of 2015 to $87M, all five of the largest financing deals to blockchain and bitcoin startups in 2015 year-to-date included a corporate strategic investor.
CB Insights, a data research firm, has analyzed data to plot first-time activity from major corporate players since August 2015. The following chart illustrates the trend of major players investing in blockchain technology.
This chart does not include the 22 international banks that are collaborating with R3 CEV to develop advance ledger solutions and standards that meet banking requirements.
Some of the new financial sector investors in the blockchain are insurance providers such as TransAmerica, New York Life, and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group (MSIG), payments giants Visa, MasterCard, and American Express; and banks Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), Citi, Santander, and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).
Only a small number of startups have captured the large majority of financial sector investments in the bitcoin and blockchain space. They include Coinbase, Chain, Digital Currency Group, and Ripple, who account for 14 first investments by financial services firms in blockchain technology. See below chart from CBInsights identifying major startups in the sector.