by Joseph Young
British multinational banking and financial services company Barclays has signed two blockchain focused startups, Chainalysis and Wave, during the demo day of Barclay’s first-ever New York City-based Fintech accelerator.
As a part of the deal, Chainalysis, a Swiss blockchain startup founded by Jonathan Levin, will work together with Barclays’ security and financial crime teams to help the bank settle bitcoin transactions with companies on the blockchain network.
The Chainalysis team will temporarily relocate to the newly launched “Rise fintech laboratory,” which recently hosted 470 attendees of Barclays’ fintech event, before relocating to New York City permanently. The bitcoin startup will work side by side with other fintech startups and the Barclays’ team to further improve their software and to search for efficient methods to implement their technologies onto the bank’s platform.
“The announcement of Chainalysis and Wave today is fundamentally a game-changer for us,” Barclays chief design and innovation officer Derek White stated.
Wave, another blockchain startup that has secured a deal with Barclays, is building an electronic shipping records service on the blockchain, with an aim to create a transparent yet robust storage of data that is easy to access.
Barclays signed eight startups in total, each startup from a different sector in the fintech space. Two of the startups include LikeOak Technologies, which received a five-year contract for its digital signature-based security systems and video-conferencing, and Syndicated Loan, which is currently working with the Barclays security team to transform syndicated loan information into financial data.
According to New York City-based Syndicated Loan CEO Shaheen Malik, all eight startups have been working together to create different systems and technologies applicable to traditional banking and financial platforms.
“All of us that have built these companies have been through somewhat similar journeys on our way here. There’s the same resilience, the same passion, the same need to see something new and different and have a lot of courage,” Malik said after her demo on stage. “We understand each other very deeply.”
Since June, Barclays has displayed growing interest in blockchain technology by signing deals with blockchain and bitcoin startups like Safello to explore possible applications.
The bank is especially keen on utilizing blockchain technology to optimize traditional banking systems and to serve its existing customers.
To further investigate possible applications of both blockchain technology and fintech systems, Barclays has recently expanded its Barclays Accelerator program to Israel and South Africa.
The bank has chosen Tel Aviv and Cape Town as the financial location for their new fintech accelerator due to the increasing number of entrepreneurs and individuals trying to enter the Israeli financial sector. Furthermore, the bank operates a fintech research and development center for internal development, which is involved with Techstars, the hosts of the Barclays fintech program.