Announcing the winners of Tearsheet’s 2022 Bankchain Awards
- In our inaugural Bankchain Awards, Tearsheet identified and acknowledged the top firms and products in the space.
- Awards included Best Crypto Rewards Offering, Best Marketing Campaign, Best Crypto Platform, and more.
As blockchain moves from the early adopters crowd and into the mainstream, financial institutions take up different strategies to incorporate cryptocurrency into their services, from trading to stablecoins to custody.
Tearsheet’s Bankchain Awards is the industry’s top awards program, recognizing and celebrating the best products, services, and partnerships between blockchain firms and the traditional banking system.
This year’s winners are a who’s who of important technology firms helping bridge the old world of TradFi with the new DeFi paradigm.
Best Marketing Campaign: Coinbase
How can we talk about marketing crypto without referencing Coinbase’s memorable Super Bowl campaign this year? The firm had two goals with this campaign: (1) introduce Coinbase to the masses while breaking through the clutter of the competition, and (2) get people to engage in a way that’s authentic to Coinbase’s crypto-native roots. In what became the breakthrough moment of the night, Coinbase’s ad opened and closed on an innocent, unbranded QR code bouncing from wall to wall in the style of the classic DVD screensaver, an internet icon with an almost cult-like following of its own. An arguably antithetical approach to advertising’s biggest stage, Coinbase gave 112 million people 60 seconds to engage with a little bouncing QR code.
Best Crypto Rewards Offering (Brand, FI or platform): The Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card
Upgrade Card launched in Q4 2019 and has already been named the only fintech company to ever break the top 50 U.S Credit Card issuers, according to the Nilson Report.
Upgrade decided to venture into a new reward option for its cardholders – giving them the option to receive rewards in bitcoin. This new product, Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card, launched in 2021 and was the first generally available credit card to offer bitcoin rewards to consumers. It pays unlimited 1.5% back rewards in bitcoin rather than cash. The Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card gives cardholders the opportunity to dip their toe into the crypto world. This card features low rates, no fees and the predictability of installment plans, with the additional benefit of earning rewards in bitcoin.
Best New Product: Tribal
Tribal is a leading payment and financing platform for SMBs in emerging markets. It is changing the way SMBs in Latin America think about crypto by incorporating the technology into the backend of its offerings, helping SMBs benefit from the advantages of blockchain technology without forcing them to become industry experts. This December, Tribal launched a low-cost, B2B cross border payments offering powered by Stellar and Bitso. By incorporating stablecoins in the backend of all cross-border transactions, Tribal enables faster and cheaper international payments from Mexico to the US, enabling Mexico-based businesses to harness the power of blockchain technology, without needing to become experts in the space. Now, as blockchain technology is becoming more widely understood across the LatAm region, Tribal is launching its own TRIBL token, which will serve as a rewards and governance token within Tribal’s existing payments services and forthcoming lending protocol.
Best Overall Bankchain Platform: Anchorage
A pioneer in digital asset custody, Anchorage Digital offers a secure, regulated platform for institutions to offer crypto products. Through innovative technology and an institutional approach to regulatory compliance, Anchorage has been able to meet increasing, fast-growing institutional demand for digital asset products.
Anchorage’s proprietary technology is helping to bridge the gaps between traditional finance and the blockchain
economy. Anchorage has launched partnerships and new
offerings with Visa, Neuberger Berman, and Finxact across the digital space, expanding access to crypto products and service.
Best Partnerships between Blockchain Firm and Traditional FI: Blockdaemon
Blockdaemon is a leading independent blockchain node infrastructure provider, connecting traditional finance companies to blockchains, enabling them to stake, scale, and deploy nodes. It supports 50+ protocols across both cloud and bare metal servers. Blockdaemon infrastructure is distributed globally, and backed up by institutional-grade security and monitoring. Its platforms are trusted by exchanges, custodians, financial institutions and developers, accelerating institutional adoption of blockchain technology. With the firm’s complete ‘node stack’ product suite and Open Source Ecosystem Initiative, institutional clients can access a wide range of blockchain services through one interface, like transaction nodes, institutional staking, custodial APIs and high availability clusters. OS Ecosystem Initiative focuses on improved blockchain node software, crypto libraries, public documentation, and tooling to increase resilience in these business critical public systems. Blockdaemon’s cutting-edge node stack also includes integrated liquidity solutions and an NFT API.
Innovation Award: Marqeta
Marqeta announced in 2021 that it had opened its application to cryptocurrency customers, including Coinbase, Fold, Baakt, and Shakepay, to build crypto card solutions on its open APIs. Customers can use Marqeta to launch cards that allow their users to spend fiat currency from their crypto wallet in real-time when the card is swiped. Users are also able to provide crypto-based rewards to their customers on their fiat spend using its real-time transaction data and webhooks. Through Marqeta’s partnership with Deserve, customers have underwriting abilities that show a user’s credit limit based on their crypto balances in real-time.
With Marqeta, Coinbase customers can monetize their cryptocurrency holdings and choose which cryptocurrency from their Coinbase wallet they want to use at the point of purchase. They also have the power to generate a virtual card through the Coinbase app to start spending immediately online. Coinbase can add a tokenized version of the Coinbase Card, using Marqeta’s tokenization technology, to their digital wallets for instant spending and contactless payments in-store. Marqeta also enables Coinbase with its Direct Deposit functionality. Users can direct their fiat-based paychecks to their Coinbase account and choose to have them converted by Coinbase into cryptocurrency.