Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: Bit2Me from Spain

You don’t always hear good things about Bitcoins these days; and the one or other negative headline can be read in the media. But there are always two sides of the same coin. Our Applied FinTech finalist Bit2Me says about their business model: “Buying and selling Bitcoins was never that easy.” In our interview, CEO Leif Ferreira tells us how exactly his startup does that and does away with prejudices.

What is Bit2Me all about? How did you come up with the idea?

bit2me_logoLeif: Bit2Me is a company based in Spain. The company was founded in 2015 and is focused on Blockchain technology. We have two of the best Blockchain programmers of Europe, who have won the Visa Fintech Americas world championship in October 2015. Also one of the largest banks in the world, CaixaBank has awarded us as the best 2015 startup in Spain. One year ago, our internal question was, can we do banking with locals, rather than traditional banks? Can a bank be a tool and not a service? There are countries where it’s more expensive to maintain a bank account yearly than a smartphone with internet. So in this line we detected how to do banking without banks, without middlemen companies with the user in the centre. We call this the natural evolution of banking. It’s a different perspective of design.

“Digital Disruption“ – that’s the motto of this year’s CODE_n CONTEST. What makes your solution innovative, what makes it disruptive?

Leif: Hive is a mobile application that provides a disruptive way to decentralize the financial market. It builds a social and open banking ecosystem that never touches people’s money. It allows them to organize themselves in order to create a peer to peer financial human network. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: Everledger from the UK

everledger_logo

Our CODE_n CONTEST finalist Everledger is a leader in the real world application of blockchain technology. The FinTech startup develops and deploys innovative technological solutions to markets where provenance matters by creating an immutable digital footprint of items. Once items are registered on the blockchain, the records are permanent. This provides a clear audit trail for different parties to use throughout the supply chain in order to prove authenticity and reduce the risk of fraud. CEO and Founder Leanne Kemp told us more about her company:

What is Everledger all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Leanne: Everledger is a global, digital ledger that tracks and protects valuable items over their lifetime journey. By digitally certifying assets we can provide a clear audit trail to be used by various stakeholders throughout the supply chain process to guarantee transparency and protect against fraud, theft, crime and counterfeit activities.

Everledger is all about transparency. When blockchain first became available industry’s main focus was on the financial implications of the technology – international payments. But for me, given my background was not from banking or payments, it was clear that valuable items would be better protected on a digital platform where records were permanent and could not be altered like paper.

Ultimately we’re working to protect an object that relies on provenance to prove ownership, identity and authenticity. Provenance is key to ensuring goods are sourced ethically because, for instance, blood diamonds and counterfeits goods help fund terrorist activities globally. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: Blockchain Helix from Germany

It’s time for the next FinTech finalist in our blog series: let’s meet Blockchain Helix! With their innovative solution, the German startup overcomes the problem of anonymous vs. legally secure transactions. Oliver Naegele, Founder & CEO, told us more!

Blockchain_Helix_LogoWhat is Blockchain Helix all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Oliver: Blockchain Helix is a Blockchain architecture that overcomes the problem of anonymous vs. legally secure transactions. We do this, by introducing an Identity management that handles privacy. We can streamline any KYC process and manage the user accounts with our technology.

We are driven by the fact, that Web 2.0 has data leakages and loss of data self-determination. Internet nowadays is not suitable for an internet of values and transactions. That´s why we need an approach to give back trust and our long work with blockchain and portal-solutions leads to this.

“Digital Disruption“ – that’s the motto of this year’s CODE_n CONTEST. What makes your solution innovative, what makes it disruptive?

Oliver: We are working on a technology that we call Trusted Web“ or Web x.0“. Our Helix technology gives us the capabilities to have privacy and security by design. Blockchain is a true gamechanger and the way we want to introduce it for everyday and everybody use and hide the disturbing wallet-usage is disruptive.

You’re one of the 13 finalists in the Applied FinTech contest cluster. Which challenges do you think young companies have to face in this sector? How do you handle these challenges?

Oliver: FinTech Startups more than any other sector (besides biotech) have to be more serious in business and has to deal with a very slow moving industry. This is a challenge as well as an advantage. Our very special challenge is that we are exploring the capabilities on a very early stage. Every Blockchain Technology like Hyperledger, Ethereum is public beta and evolving fast. This leads to higher development demands and workarounds. To overcome the fear of a new technology we do Blockchain events at our office and run the BlockchainLAB as an open dialogue platform. More…