The British banking and financial giant, Barclays has been closely involved with startups working on latest and emerging technologies with fintech applications. The banking giant is following a hands on approach with these startups whose products can potentially give Barclays a competitive edge over other banks and financial institutions across the world.
With the same intention in mind, Barclays is also involved in nurturing fintech startups through its startup accelerator program. Barclays Accelerator is a fintech accelerator powered by TechStars. The Accelerator program is held in four different places across the world namely, New York, USA; London, UK; Cape Town, South Africa; and Tel Aviv, Israel. Selected startups will be subjected to a 13 week intensive program, helping them build/improve their product offering to meet current industry needs and also shape the future of fintech.
Having successfully accelerated a couple of batches of startups, Barclays has now signed contracts with few of them (8 of them) with an intention of working with them to improve is systems and services. Out of these 8 companies accelerated by Barclays’ New York Accelerator two of them – Chainalysis and Wave are from digital currency sector. Chainalysis is a blockchain investigation and monitoring platform which will be working with Barclay’s financial crime and security division whereas Wave offers blockchain powered paperless shipping records service. Apart from these 8 startups, Barclays’ may soon sign up 7 more startups from a different batch which includes Safello, another bitcoin based startup. Safello is already working with Barclays on blockchain technology.
The traditional banking and financial companies across the world have realized the importance of Blockchain technology – the underlying technology in bitcoin and other digital currencies. Blockchain technology involves a distributed secure ledger system that verifies and keeps a record of all the bitcoin transactions happening over the huge bitcoin network. Blockchain technology is what made functional digital currencies a reality. Otherwise, decades old research and development into digital currency would have stayed where it was 7 years ago.
Many multinational banks have already invested in developing blockchain powered interbanking network which connects major banks across the world. Banks are working both individually and as a consortium to create and evaluate potential blockchain products which might help them execute both domestic and cross border money transfers at virtually no cost compared to present day rates. The consortium includes 30 banks who are working alongside R3, a financial innovation company to develop blockchain based technology for global financial markets. Barclays is also part of the consortium.