What will be the next fintech breakthrough? On June 23, 16 startups from around the world gathered at the British Museum in London to pitch on the WIRED Money Startup Stage.
These pitches are all focused on using blockchain in new and unusual ways.
Nivaura, says CEO Avtar Sehra, is an intelligent digital platform to issue and manage smart financial assets. The startup uses the blockchain to automate everything from documentation to distribution, clearing settlement and servicing.
Sehra says there’s a $2 trillion market for small to medium value financial securities, an area where large investment banks struggle to compete. Nivaura’s digital platform layer is designed to work within existing infrastructures, providing a cost-effective solution for managing financial products.
Most people will associate the blockchain with bitcoin –Everledger is using it to guarantee the provenance of luxury goods. From diamonds to watches and fine art, proof of purchase is currently little more than a slip of paper. It’s a system that’s easy to abuse and rife with fraud and theft.
Everledger tracks and protects items of value by creating a digital ‘thumbprint’ that is held on the blockchain. 980,000 diamonds have already been registered on the platform, which also works with banks and insurers to add extra layers of trust. The technology could soon be used to help guarantee ethical sourcing and tackle extinction.
“Blockchain is here to stay,” says Tramonex CEO Amine Berraoui. But to succeed it needs to be safer, stronger and available to more people. His startup provides FCA-regulated international payments to the SME sector using digital wallets. The system works by putting ‘mirror’ national currencies on the Ethereum blockchain with the real currency used as collateral.
According to Berraoui, this setup helps to stabilise value and allows a blockchain company to exist entirely within existingfinancial systems. The startup has also secured £250,000 of funding from the UK government to further develop blockchain-based cross currency payments.
New York-based Tradle is using the blockchain to build a ‘know your customer’ network to secure both intrabank and external transfers. Current technology has moved little beyond pen and paper, according to CEO and co-founder Gene Vayngrib, but the blockchain can provide a secure digital infrastructure.
Tradle’s system, the company says, ensures the transfer of data is verifiable. It’s about transferring trust, not assets, says Vayngrib. The startup makes money on interchange rates and has already worked with Dutch banking and financial services company Rabobank on three projects.