6 Bitcoin Startups Leading The Digital Transformation of Financial Services

If you’re reading this, then I don’t need to tell you what Bitcoin is, why it’s cool, or even why the cryptocurrency is disruptive.

Instead, the focus today is on the Bitcoin startups making waves in the Financial Services industry.

Who are they, what do they do, and what makes them special?

In a recent post titled, “The ‘Second Era’ of Fintech Investment: A List of Things to Know,” I mentioned the following innovative companies:

  1. Bitpay
  2. Bitstamp
  3. Blockchain
  4. Blockstream
  5. Coinbase
  6. 21Inc

1. Bitpay

“Want to get up and running with bitcoin? BitPay has partnered with some of the most popular e-commerce platforms and point-of-sale systems to make reliable, ready-to deploy integrations.”

Bitpay is building an fintech infrastructure for the future of payments, developing Bitcoin’s open-source ecosystem, and bringing Bitcoin to the world. Founded in 2011, BitPay was started because “we wanted to make it easy for businesses to accept bitcoin payments.” Bitpay is currently the largest bitcoin payment processor in the world, having created a “seamless, secure bitcoin payment experience” used daily by hundreds of thousands of bitcoin users. If payment processing was Bitpay’s first contribution to the Bitcoin cause, it was certainly not Bitpay’s last: Bitpay has enhanced the user experience with the BitPay secure bitcoin wallet and the BitPay Card, which gives bitcoin users a fast way to convert bitcoin into dollars and spend their funds anywhere Visa® is accepted. In addition, Bitpay has moved beyond payment processing with Bitcore, an open source platform built to power the next applications of Bitcoin.

“Bitcoin’s future looks very bright, and we plan on remaining on the forefront of this technology, creating more tools and services for everyone to use in innovative new ways.”

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2. Bitstamp

“The way to trade Bitcoin. Safe. Simple. Licensed.”

Over 700,000 traders around the world use Bitstamp’s trading tools, making Bitstamp the world’s second largest Bitcoin exchange by volume (as of 2016). Based in Luxembourg and started in 2011, the Bitstamp mission is “to be the safest and most reliable digital currency exchange on the market.” In continuing its strategy of Bitcoin UX Innovation, Bitstamp recently announced new digital currency trading pairs: “Litecoin has now emerged as the next candidate, with LTC/BTC, LTC/EUR and LTC/USD trading pairs to be launched in early June 2017. As you would expect, the news that SegWit is likely to be activated for Litecoin was one of the key factors in our decision. We are also encouraged by Ethereum’s (ETH) potential, which will be made available shortly after, and we will continue to consider other digital currencies for inclusion on an ongoing basis.”

“We believe bitcoin is here to stay. Our goal is to provide reliable easy to use service for companies and individuals to exchange bitcoins.” — Nejc Kodrič, Bitstamp CEO

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3. Blockchain

“We are on a mission to build a more open, accessible, and fair financial future, one piece of software at a time. Our technology is revolutionizing the financial services industry by empowering millions across the globe to authenticate and transact immediately and without costly intermediaries.”

Blockchain is the world’s leading software platform for digital assets. Offering the largest production block chain platform in the world, they are using new technology to build a radically different financial system. “Our software has powered over 100M transactions and empowered users in 140 countries across the globe to transact quickly and without costly intermediaries. We also offer tools for developers and real time transaction data for users to analyze the burgeoning digital economy.” According to their website, Blockchain serves over 14 million Bitcoin wallets, 160,ooo+ daily transactions, and has attracted VC interest to the tune of $30 million. “Blockchain is the early leader… They are actually making the entire ecosystem.” -The New York Times

“The work we do is driven by a collective desire to offer financial empowerment to everyone and anyone in the world. There’s nothing else we’d rather be doing.”

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4. Blockstream

“Rethink Trust. Blockstream solves problems that undermine trust in today’s financial systems.”

Blockstream is the leading provider of blockchain technologies, on the forefront of work in cryptography and distributed systems. The venture-backed firm is best known for iterating on top of the open-source bitcoin protocol with projects such as the Lightning Network and sidechains, the latter of which aims to allow users to send assets back and forth between blockchains ‘pegged’ to bitcoin. Blockstream provides a range of software and hardware solutions and expert professional services to companies deploying new blockchain-based networks. “Elements, our core software platform, was released as part of the open source Elements Project; it’s currently one of the most mature protocols for blockchain developers. Together with PwC and a growing network of partners, we combine our technical depth with world-class domain expertise to deliver solutions that cross industries and use cases.” Blockstream’s primary area of innovation is in sidechains, a technology invented to extend the capabilities of Bitcoin’s blockchain. Sidechains create the opportunity for new models of trust, extending and improving upon the properties of Bitcoin. “Making the world around you a more seamless experience means making sure that all of today’s systems are well-integrated. To make systems work well together, we’ll need interoperable protocols. Sidechains allow digital assets to be moved from one blockchain to another. In concert with other systems, sidechains can be used to link disparate markets together to provide liquidity through a shared protocol.”

“The promise of cryptofinance is one of trustworthy financial systems. Building these kinds of systems requires new models of trust, and sidechains are the platform for building them.”

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5. Coinbase

“BUY AND SELL DIGITAL CURRENCY.”

Coinbase is a digital asset exchange company headquartered in San Francisco, California. It operates exchanges of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and other digital assets with fiat currencies in 32 countries. According to its website, Coinbase serves 7.5 million users, 24.3 million cryptocurrency wallets, and has been backed by $117 million in VC money.

“We make Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin easy to use, strive to be the trusted brand in the space, and have built the world’s leading platform for digital currency integration.”

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6. 21 Inc

“We’ve made it possible to use digital currency to send and receive targeted, paid microtasks. Come join us.”

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Thanks for reading!

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