With 2016 marking four years since the last halving, dropping to 12.5 bitcoins every ten minutes, what FinTech companies should we look out for in the years ahead?

The birth of Blockchain technology is quickly becoming the main component of the FinTech revolution and is quite possibly considered the most innovative concept in the FinTech industry.

Most people naturally associate the Blockchain to Bitcoin as that’s where its roots originate. However, Blockchain is fast expanding beyond Bitcoin with banks, financial institutions, and individuals slowly understanding the benefits that it can produce.

Not only that, but with more people finding it easier to invest in the digital currency with financial institutions such as American Express, Nasdaq, and Visa investing in blockchain startups, the world surrounding blockchain is experiencing an attitude change.

1. Adyen

Amsterdam-based, Adyen is a leading e-commerce payments company globally across six continents for companies such as Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, Netflix, and Spotify.

At the beginning of 2016, the Bitcoin-accepting company announced that they had doubled its annual revenue in 2015 and were, subsequently, expanding its next generation point of sale solutions to the U.S. market.

In 2015 Adyen’s yearly transaction volume reached $50 billion while its revenue surged, amounting to $350 million in the same year.

2. Bitnation

Run by Susan Tempelhof, Bitnation is the world’s first Digital Nation providing governance services on its platform, Pangea, with the help of the blockchain technology, where it aims to create a nation where state governments become irrelevant.

Tempelhof said to Cointelegraph that when Bitnation started, no one had ever attempted to create a Blockchain-powered Digital Nation. Since then, they have done the first ever marriage, world citizenship, birth certificate, land titles, issued refugees IDs, public notary in partnership with Estonia and a constitution on the blockchain.

Susan Tempelhof, Bitnation

Tempelhof says:

“Now, the idea has a worldwide following, a community of thousands of citizens and activists, embassies, partners and allies on all continents, extensive mainstream media coverage, and is being replicated by others.”

For Bitnation, however, the real test will be to gain significant market adoption for the Pangea software. The company hopes to have a test version ready by the end of the year with its first public release in 2017.

3. Braintree

San Francisco-based Braintree is an online payments processor that powers one-click payments for consumer apps.

After acquiring the Venmo app in 2012, Braintree was bought by PayPal in 2013 for $800 million, helping PayPal to acquire technology for back-end payment processing from Uber to Airbnb.

With 500 employees present around the world, Braintree’s growth is expanding in its overall payment volume, which amounted to $50 million in 2015 alone, making Braintree a big part of PayPal’s future success.

4. Chain

Founded in 2014, blockchain startup Chain works with leading financial institutions to build blockchain networks. By working with the likes of Visa, Citi, Nasdaq, Capital One, First Data, MUFG, Orange, State Street, Fidelity, and Fiserv, Chain's goal is to transform the financial services industry by enabling firms to digitize financial instruments.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, chief marketing officer, Fleur Sohtz said that Chain’s software facilitates the issuance, transfer, and settlement of assets on a Blockchain network. The company believes that this will fundamentally improve the infrastructure of the financial services industry by allowing real-time asset movement with added security and clarity.

Sohtz says:

“When trusted institutions can issue digital assets on a secure blockchain network, financial services will be less expensive, more secure, work better together, and be accessible to customers globally.”

It aims to do this through the development of enterprise level software that is designed to improve the core infrastructure that the financial system relies on.

Together with their partners they aim to enable any asset to move quickly and intelligently as data, thus reducing costs and providing an improved platform for products to be built on.

5. Ripple

Founded by Chris Larsen, co-founder of Prosper and E-Loan, Ripple is a distributed financial technology that enables banks around the globe to transfer funds directly in real time.

Recently, the company announced a milestone, that it had added seven financial institutions to its network enabling banks to improve their cross-border payments through Ripple. These are Santander, UniCredit, UBS, ReiseBank, CIBC, National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), and ATB Financial.

CEO Chris Larsen said in a Ripple blog post that a tipping point had been reached where financial institutions are moving beyond blockchain experimentation and projects to real world applications that are driving significant bank-to-bank volume.

He added:

“This is a major step forward for the global financial system, and as the Ripple network grows, together we are paving the way for new connected commerce opportunities and growing demands for real-time, high volume, low value global payments.”

Since the founding of Ripple, one of the company’s greatest achievements earlier this year was the acquirement of its first New York BitLicense, enabling it to sell and protect XRP, a native digital asset to the Ripple Consensus Ledger, for institutional investors and institutions in New York.