Massachusetts-based Cambridge Blockchain has walked away with a £15,000 cash prize and the promise of future angel investment after winning a distributed ledger challenge organised by Santander InnoVentures in partnership with OneVest, CoFoundersLab and 1000 angels.
The startup, which looks to solve enterprise-level identity issues, was among five finalists, selected from more than 100 applications, to pitch directly to the judging panel at the Challenge final in New York.
The panel, headed by managing partner at Santander InnoVentures Mariano Belinky, included Santander executives Julio Faura and Juan Jimenez Zaballos, as well as DL and blockchain entrepreneurs James Smith (Elliptic), Greg Schvey (TradeBlock), Peter Smith (Blockchain), Chris Larsen (Ripple) and InnoVentures venture partner Pascal Bouvier.
The Cambridge Blockchain team will now be given access to market and technology experts at Santander, while Onevest will provide mentorship and guidance before presenting the winner to its 1000 Angels private investor community to pitch for ongoing funding.
“DL technology is a hugely exciting space in financial services currently - we’re thrilled to see so much innovation happening at startup level,” says Belinky. “The technology has great potential across various use cases, and we hope to ultimately adopt these to the benefit of Santander’s customers. We’re very excited to see how Cambridge Blockchain progresses and to offer guidance along the way.”
With a focus on identity management and regulatory compliance, the Cambridge Blockchain team have hit a sweet spot for the application of DL technology according to a new report from Deloitte, which argues that the acceptance and adoption of blockchain technology across multiple industry sectors is reaching tipping point. Success will depend on the creation of a trusted environment for blockchain based services, the study avers, particularly when it comes to ensuring robust and secure authentication and identification.
"By using technologies such as decentralised architecture, cryptography and digital signatures, blockchain has the potential to offer a high level of assurance, as well as adding some new and unique characteristics to identity management," states Deloitte.
Elsewhere in the world of fintech startup competitions, another blockchain outfit has emerged victorious in the StartmeupHK festival in Hong Kong. UK-based Everledger, which uses distributed ledger technology to track and verify diamonds, pocketed $10,000 in prize money after beating off 23 rivals to earn the Best in Show badge.