The year 2015 has been quite an interesting one for Bitcoin enthusiasts all around the world. Not only are major banks embracing the blockchain technology that powers the Bitcoin network, but there is also the BBVA Open Talent Competition. The name BBVA may be familiar, as this is one of Spain’s largest multinational banking groups.
Safello, Everledger, and Vaultoro Reach European Finals
The BBVA Open Talent Competition finals will be completed across three regions: Europe, South America, and North America. In the European region finals, three major Bitcoin startups are represented. There is Safello, the Swedish Bitcoin exchange, Vaultoro, a platform that lets users trade between gold and Bitcoin, and Everledger, a company using blockchain technology to fight diamond theft.
It is important to note that these are not the only three finalists to compete, yet it is good to see multiple Bitcoin businesses represented. BBVA showed great interest in blockchain technology earlier this year, which is part of why their Open Talent Competition attracted multiple digital currency businesses from around the world.
Two winners will be picked from the European Finals, each of which will receive a 30,000 EUR prize plus the opportunity to join a two-week networking program. There is one notable name on the list of European finalists, and that is Safello, who are having quite a good year so far. Earlier this year, the Swedish Bitcoin exchange was selected to join Barclays’ accelerator program. Barclays is a major UK bank, which has also shown great interest in blockchain technology.
Additionally, Spanish bank BBVA was one of the major investors in the latest funding round for Bitcoin exchange Coinbase. During the round of funding, a total amount of US$75m was raised, which will be put towards further compliance requirements in the US and on an international basis.
Six More Crypto Startups In Other Finals
In total, there are 9 different Bitcoin-related startup companies which have made it to the finals of the BBVA open Talent Competition. Bitnexo and Bitso will be representing Bitcoin in the South American finals, whereas Bitwage, Voatz, Coinalytics and SnapCard will defend the honor of Bitcoin in the North American finals.
Overall, there seems to be a wide variety of different types of Bitcoin companies represented. Granted, Bitcoin exchange platforms will always have a better chance of making it to the finals compared to other services. But it is also heartwarming to see a service like BitWage, which lets you receive [part of] your wage in Bitcoin, being represented.
“Interacting with innovation ecosystems has always been a priority for BBVA, but on this occasion we want BBVA Open Talent to focus on companies and products that can really be applied to the financial services business or those that are related to pioneering products in the development of the Group’s new digital services.” – BBVA Director of Innovation Centers and Open Innovation Gustavo Vinacua told the media.
Source: Press Release via email
Images courtesy of Business Insider, BBVA