Bitcoin Magazine has compiled this list to highlight the 21 companies and projects that we think did the most for Bitcoin in 2020. We admit that this grouping is far from perfect, but our team did its best to objectively curate those that made the biggest impact on the BTC ecosystem this year. Of course, this was a very difficult process and we decided to leave off some projects that may have had a massive impact on Bitcoin the past, but whose influence this year in particular did not rise to make the cut.
2020 may have been an incredibly trying year collectively for humans on planet earth, but it was also a historically productive year in the Bitcoin ecosystem. As the world continues to experience turmoil and tribulation, it’s clear that humanity will increasingly turn to the Bitcoin network. For that reason especially, we are honored to highlight these 21 incredible projects and companies for the massive impact that they made to the Bitcoin community this year — plus, we rounded out the list with nine honorable mentions. The following are listed alphabetically, along with some basic info about what they are bringing to the world of Bitcoin and why we wanted to highlight them.
Bitcoin Magazine could not be more excited about Bitcoin’s forward march and we are thrilled to be part of such a vibrant community!
This year, Bisq provided the most censorship-resistant on-ramp and off-ramp for Bitcoin. Bisq is designed to be the exchange of last resort and it has made some massive strides in 2020, including adding SegWit support.
Blue Wallet shipped like crazy in 2020 and served as the most full-featured iOS bitcoin wallet on the market. It was also one of the most cutting-edge mobile wallets in Bitcoin.
BTCPay’s status as an open-source payment processor for sovereign businesses and individuals was more necessary than ever in 2020, when deplatforming and financial censorship became commonplace.
Coinkite was the first major hardware manufacturer to prove that a Bitcoin-only business model could be successful while increasing the security guarantees expected from a hardware wallet.
Category: Sats Back
Fold has revolutionized the use of sats as a universal rewards point, all the while preserving privacy and using a respectful business model that drives results for partners. Fold has consistently shipped great updates and features, culminating in a sats-back debit card launched in 2020.
In 2020, Hodl Hodl maintained a continuous focus on providing KYC-free and non-custodial options amid a landscape with increasing regulations and KYC requirements. This type of consistency is much needed in the Bitcoin space.
The Human Rights Foundation
The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) launched the first 501(c)(3) Bitcoin development fund this year so that Bitcoiners and others can contribute to development in a tax-efficient manner and help build the ecosystem.
Lightning Labs spent 2020 building out open tools to help support independent Lightning node operators manage their nodes more effectively, like with Lightning Pool.
MicroStrategy made waves this year when it announced that it had adopted a Bitcoin standard for its corporate treasury, converting more than $450 million to BTC at an average price of $11,111. It has since made two more massive bitcoin buys while announcing intentions on offering Bitcoin blockchain data products in the future.
This year, myNode provided a user-friendly and accessible platform for Bitcoiners to deploy their own, 24/7 dedicated Bitcoin node and use it easily.
River is the only bitcoin brokerage focused on serving high-net-worth individuals, which has built out an extremely impressive, cutting-edge bitcoin financial services offering with deep liquidity for large orders, native hardware wallet support, Lightning and auto dollar-cost averaging (DCA) features.
Samourai provides a full-featured, privacy-focused software stack for Bitcoiners, including a full-node implementation, mobile wallet, best-in-class ZeroLink-coordinated CoinJoin implementation, coin control with labeling, stealth addresses and P2P CoinJoin and PayJoin — a full suite of offerings that proved critical to Bitcoin in 2020.
Slush Pool is the most innovative public mining pool in the space and in 2020, began championing a Stratum protocol improvement which should significantly improve the incentives between miners and pool operators.
Specter Desktop emerged as the easiest way to use your own bitcoin wallets directly with Bitcoin Core in 2020. This enabled a much more private and sovereign method than using hosted apps, while also providing much easier set up and use than previous Electrum-based alternatives.
Category: P2P Messaging
The first consumer-focused Lightning chap app, with an added focus on providing podcasters with the ability to broadcast their shows to audiences while receiving sats per minute, offers an end-to-end encrypted and open standard, routed natively through Bitcoin’s Lightning Network.
Under the direction of CEO Jack Dorsey, Square became the first legitimate fintech company to begin diving into the Bitcoin space. In 2020, bitcoin has become a major profit driver for Square and it has emerged as a leader in both bitcoin sales and Bitcoin development. Square Crypto has become a major player in sponsoring Bitcoin development, with over 19 grants given so far.
With a user experience on par with Venmo or Cash App, Strike is an incredibly easy-to-use, P2P payment app that is built on top of Bitcoin and the Lightning Network. Users can easily send dollars and withdraw bitcoin with Strike and it helped showcase the advances that Bitcoin has made as a payments technology this year.
Suredbits has emerged as the leaders in Discreet Log Contract (DLC) technology for Bitcoin in 2020. Throughout the year, the Suredbits team has pushed the envelope on Bitcoin-based oracle and Lightning initiatives.
In 2020, Swan Bitcoin established itself as a new and powerful player in the Bitcoin onramp and education space. Swan is a true Bitcoiners onramp that remained true to Bitcoin best practices throughout the year. Its talented team of builders and educators will continue to be a force evangelizing for “Why bitcoin?” and beyond.
Category: Financial Services
Unchained Capital is arguably the first Bitcoin-native financial services company. In 2020 it built on its fantastic 2019 momentum by shipping business infrastructure and features, as well as completely rebuilding its systems to support Coldcard and standardizing partially-signed bitcoin transaction (PSBT) multisig. Its blog also emerged as one of teh best educational resources available for Bitcoin.
ZK Snacks (Wasabi Wallet)
Wasabi Wallet has done an incredible amount of work to make better Bitcoin privacy more accessible in 2020. This includes easy CoinJoin, coin selecting and labeling, native Bitcoin Core integrative, native Tor integration and native hardware wallet support. Wasabi Wallet is also one of the best bitcoin desktop wallets out there. In 2020, the Wasabi team shipped a completely redesigned version of the wallet and CoinJoin architecture.
Category: Financial Services