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Blockchain Companies Take Center Stage: Week in Review for April 17

Reading Time: 3 minutes by on April 17, 2016 News, News Digest
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Once again, this week we saw the growing impact of blockchain companies in the fintech environment. Companies were recognized for their potential by awards of funding or by awards of prestige. On the flipside, though, the specter of legislation that will undermine encryption took a step forward. 

Compiled from contributions by Diana Ngo, Nuno Menezes, James Ryan Moreau, and Joseph Young

French Blockchain Startup KeeeX Raises €100,000

KeeeX, a French blockchain startup specializing in document storage and sharing, has raised €100,000 (US$112,000) from undisclosed private investors, the company announced earlier this week.

The new funding brings Keeex’s total capital raised to €500,000. Other investors and shareholders in the company include SATT Sud-Est, BPI France and Région PACA.

Founded in 2014, KeeeX is a Marseille-based company that has developed a platform combining a professional instant messenger service, fully private file-sharing capability, versioning, chaining, tagging, commenting, approving, signing and time-stamping. The funding comes shortly after the release of KeeeX v3.0. Also called Tigon, the new version provides additional features including one-click timestamping over the Bitcoin blockchain of any contract, document, picture, invention, creation, proof or copyright.

Proposed Bill Will Require That Devices Can Supply “Intelligible” Data

In the wake of recent controversy over access to encrypted data, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has released the Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016. This compliance draft legislation is set to reinforce the obligation for all entities to comply with court orders designed to “protect Americans against criminals and terrorists.”

Covered entities include device manufacturers, software manufacturers, electronic communication services, remote communication services, providers of wire or electronic communication services, providers of remote communication services, or any person who provides a product or method to facilitate a communication or to process or store data.

The bill does not create any new collection authorities for the government to obtain communications; however, it does require that covered entities ensure that the government’s lawfully-obtained evidence is readable. 

Bitwala CEO: “Banking was the past, Bitcoin is the future.”

Bitwala is a German startup that is using bitcoin to make payments and transactions from around the world easier than ever before. 

Currently, Bitwala is working in the European market but it is planning to expand internationally. Last week, the company secured its first funding round where it was able to collect about €800k. Now, it has announced that it has passed the 2 million mark in transaction volume; to celebrate, Bitwala is offering zero fees on SEPA transactions until April 25, 2016.

To learn more about Bitwala and the future of international transactions, BTCMANAGER corresponded with Jörg von Minckwitz, one of the company co-founders and CEO.

Tokenly for Crowdfunding Aims to Unify Fundraising Experience

Founder and CEO of Tokenly Adam B. Levine has been a long-standing podcaster at Let’s Talk Bitcoin. He developed the LTBCOIN Rewards Program and its  “proof-of-participation” model to reward people who are involved in the LTB network.  These early experiences led him to create Tokenly. After two years of working on Tokenly, Levine saw a distinct need in the market for a crowdfunding solution that no one was doing well enough or fast enough.

Tokenly for Crowdfunding will be an integrated layer for any existing platform to work with to enhance their customers crowdfunding experience using crypto-tokens, with the ability to extend the value of the campaign itself beyond the actual closing date.

Enter the Exahash Era: Demand for Bitcoin Miners Surges, one of the largest bitcoin miner manufacturers in the world today,  recently announced that its first batch of 14nm miners has sold out, with pre-orders already coming in for the company’s June (summer season) delivery.

The 14nm chips, commonly known as the B11 chips, provide substantially high levels of miner hash power compared to other products available in the market, ranging from 3 TH/s to 10TH/s. Since the end of January, when the bitcoin mining industry first entered the Exahash era, the demand for high performance mining hardware and chips like the BW B11 chips have been surging at an incredible rate.

Most of’s clientele is composed of established and reputable mining firms and because of it, the team often receives large volume orders of bitcoin mining gear that is difficult to keep up with. However, with the company’s hash investment products, the team has been trying to meet most of the large volume pre-sale and purchase requests.

FinTech50: Blockchain and Bitcoin Businesses “Reaching a New Level”

This year’s FinTech50 list includes nine blockchain and Bitcoin related companies, reflecting the fact that many influential financial executives across the world have declared an interest in blockchain technology’s application.

BTCMANAGER spoke with four of these companies about the significance of their inclusion in this list, including Monteas, Setl, Ethereum and XNotes Alliance.

“The growing number of cryptofinance technology companies in this group just reflects the game-changing impact of FinTech development reaching a new level,” said Vitus Ammann of Monetas.

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