Build, Invest, Transact: Blockchain4Finance at the CV Competition

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Annual thematic Blockchain competitions are a staple at the CryptoValley Summit. Last year, it was Blockchain for Insurance and this year Blockchain for Finance. The next theme is Blockchain for Real Estate.

CryptoValley Labs are growing not only in size but more importantly in connecting with the broader innovation ecosystem through partnerships. From various tech accelerators, angel networks, and incubators to corporates. They have rebranded to CV VC to include more of their activities: The summit, the competition, the new VC recently launched, the co-working space, the incubator, and ecosystem research.

Blockchain4Finance: the 2nd CV Competition

Native and non-native cryptocurrencies are already being treated as investments. Some argue that they are solely speculative and others (consciously or not) are into the new Boglism[1] that is now called HODLism.

Blockstate, ShufflUp and BlockKeeper are Blockchain4Finance finalists that are focused on Digital assets as investments. Orion Vault is close to this subcategory, as they are effectively opening up the digital art market and creating a new investable asset class.

The European Parliament this summer asserted that cryptocurrencies can be used as an alternative to money. Ambrpay, the winner of the Blockchain4Finance competition at the CV Summit, Wala and Pigzbe; are focused on crypto and payments.

Capexmove, EnigioTime, and MyBit are B2B tech companies providing tools to Build.

The ten finalists in brief

Ambrpay, the winner, came out of F10 accelerator and is solving the problem of subscription and recurring payments with crypto via smart contracts. Ambray is a decentralized payment gateway. Merchants will not have to deal with crypto (if they don’t want to) and can choose their currency of payment.

Capexmove came out of Level39 in 2017 and this year was accepted at the FCA sandbox. The focus is on business lending by using a blockchain-based debt management and automated loan payment service. From digitizing mortgages, to Bills of lading, and Wills etc.

EnigioTime out of Sweden is aiming to solve parts of the complex problem of data monopolies by using DLT technology. Starting with a Digital Notary service, a solution of archiving and managing digital data in a decentralized and safe way, to proof of ownership and authentication.

Blockstate is another Swiss company offering a Smart infrastructure stack that covers the financial product lifecycle. They are issuing Exchange Traded Notes that are fully compliant with Swiss and EU regulation. The first product on the Blockstate stack, called CTF15, is a passive ETN for institutional investors with the largest 15 crypto assets.

ShufflUp out of India has a crypto investment focus. They have started with a retail actively managed product that allows people to invest in a strategy that takes advantage of arbitrage opportunities in cryptocurrencies. They are also developing two other strategies.

BlockKeeper out of Germany, is an open source protocol with an app that can be used to track all blockchain based digital assets and transactions. It is an account aggregator dashboard with very strong customization features.

Orion Vault is a Swiss venture launched by ex-Google engineers, utilizing DLT for digital art, starting with photos. They aim to bring trust, transparency and liquidity to this market with a specific focus on Digital Art as a store of value. They use Ether for transacting. Later they aim to grow into the music and IP segments.

MyBit is another Swiss venture that enables developers to build, test and deploy wealth management apps efficiently (3 weeks!). Their SDK is open source. Some of the apps available are, wallets, automating token/stocks option distribution, decentralized bill splitting, Wills for distributing assets etc.

Pigzbe is out of Chiasso, Switzerland and currently at Kickstarter accelerator. It is an app to educate children about money by using a digital currency called Wollo. Parents can provide incentives to their children and they, in turn, earn rewards.

Wala out of Africa, is a zero-fee money app using the Dala digital currency. Operating already in 7 African countries. Listen to my interview with Tricia Martinez, CEO of Wala , No more fee-driven business models for the unbanked .

[1] Boglism is a derivative word that I’ve coined. Bogle is the founder of Vanguard that has built an empire on the premise of passive investing. Listen to my standup comedy at Cryptomountains Rock side event on this topic (from minute 7:30+)

Efi Pylarinou is the founder of Efi Pylarinou Advisory and a Fintech/Blockchain influencer.

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