November 30, 2015
[Updated] Blockchain has been one of the most awe-inspiring FinTech innovations since the Internet came into existence. Startups are coming up with amazing use cases for blockchain technology and many startups are building their businesses around the same. There are several segments of the FinTech Industry like lending and remittance that are already putting blockchain technology to advanced practice. We have also included bitcoin companies (technically Blockchain based) in the following list:
Abra: Founded in 2014, Abra provides person-to-person money transfers through an app. The app lets users store digital cash (valued in any currency) directly on their mobile device by using a debit card or through an Abra Teller. The user is not required to have a bank account to use the service. The user can send funds instantly to anyone with a smartphone. The recipient can withdraw cash from the app via a teller as well. Bitcoin is used as back-end infrastructure by the company, but funds are denominated in US dollars that pass through the system.
Align Commerce: Align Commerce is a payment service provider (PSP) which enables businesses and payment platforms to send and receive payments in local currency via a simple, frictionless methodology, using the blockchain as a new settlement rail.
Romit (earlier known as Robocoin): Came up with Romit remittance software. The product uses blockchain technology to facilitate cheap, instant transfers of cash without making customers deal with bitcoin themselves.
TransferB: The remittance startup uses bitcoin’s payment network to send cheaper and faster payments around the world. The company was founded by two university students: Claire Kelleher and Peter Nagle, and hopes to offer a flat 2% fee and complete transfers within 24 hours. The company aims to leverage bitcoin and blockchain technology to reduce the cost of remittance for international transfers which will greatly benefit students.
Hellobit: The company provides a bitcoin-based remittance service to disrupt international remittance especially in the emerging markets. Hellobit’s aim was to reduce the remittance fees paid by consumers – which can be upwards of 12% – by utilizing new digital currency technologies. Hellobit also plans to grow quickly in a unique model that lets anyone with a mobile phone sign up as an exchanger or delivery agent. Here’s how the service works: once a person signs up, their background is checked, and they can then earn bitcoin by delivering local currency to the recipients of the sent funds. Using the bitcoin network, a customer can directly send money to anyone worldwide and Hellobit notifies the receiver via a text message.
BitLendingClub (now known as Loanbase): Loanbase is a Chicago-based global lending marketplace which uses blockchain technology. The platform provides small businesses in emerging markets with access to capital at affordable rates from lenders across the globe. Loanbase leverages blockchain technology in order to bring financial innovation to small businesses in emerging markets.
BTCjam: Founded in late 2012, BTCjam is a marketplace where people from around the world connect to borrow and lend using bitcoin. In October 2013, BTCjam was accepted into the 500 Startups accelerator program and secured seed financing from Ribbit Capital, 500 Startups, FundersClub and Bitcoin Investment Trust. BTCjam moved from Mountain View to San Francisco in February 2014 and began expanding the company. By the end of 2014, BTCjam had facilitated bitcoin loans in excess of $10 million dollars in value with more than 100,000 users in over 200 countries. The company raised its latest funding in January 2015 which was led by Foundation Capital (investors in Netflix and Lending Club), Ribbit Capital, 500 Startups, FundersClub, Bitcoin Investment Trust and Pantera Capital.
Filament: The company came up with their sensor device TAP which enables the deployment of a secure, all-range wireless network in seconds. The device can talk directly to another TAP device at distances of up to 10 miles, and can also connect to it directly with a phone, tablet or computer. The company is leveraging operations on its blockchain-based technology stack. Blockchain technology enables Filament devices to independently process payments and enable smart contracts ensuring the trust in transactions. Founded in 2012, the company recently raised $5M in Series A funding which was led by Bullpen Capital, Verizon Ventures and Samsung Ventures.
Tilepay: The company has developed a micropayments platform. Tilepay is a decentralized payment system that is based on the bitcoin blockchain and can be downloaded to a user’s personal computer, laptop or mobile phone. Every IoT device will have a unique token that can accept payments via blockchain technology.
Symbiont: Symbiont is a FinTech company focused on coupling traditional financial markets and the cryptographic technology that powers the bitcoin currency. Its efforts will be centered on the creation of smart securities using blockchain technology
Mirror: Mirror is a peer-to-peer trading platform based in San Francisco. They leverage cryptography and blockchain technology to allow financial institutions create and exchange "smart" financial contracts.
Xapo: Xapo is a bitcoin wallet & vault. It has of a team of financial and security experts with a proven track record of building trusted financial products, including their last venture – Lemont Wallet. By offering both a bitcoin wallet and vault in one secure place, Xapo is marrying the ease-of-use bitcoin users want for everyday needs with the security they require for confident bitcoin savings.
Coinprism: Coinprism is a blockchain technology company. They provide an infrastructure as a service platform for companies to easily, quickly and inexpensively create and manage digital assets on the blockchain.
BitPay :BitPay is an electronic payment processing system for bitcoin currency. Currently based in Atlanta, Georgia, BitPay was founded in May 2011 by Antonio Gallippi and Stephen Pair. Once integrated into their respective systems, BitPay users can accept bitcoin payments. From there, they can choose to have the bitcoins deposited to a compatible account, or have BitPay handle the conversion process to over 150 currencies.
Coinbase :Founded in June of 2012, Coinbase is a bitcoin wallet and platform where merchants and consumers can transact with bitcoin. The company is based in San Francisco, California. As per the company’s website, the company has 4,200,000 consumer wallet accounts currently. The company also boasts of a merchant base of 41,000 users. Coinbase has also collaborated with companies such as Braintree and Stripe for payments integration.
Circle :Boston-based Circle Internet Financial is a bitcoin-based consumer finance company. It offers users worldwide to make payments instant, secure and free with the help of digital currency technology. The company’s aim is to make digital currency newcomers familiar with bitcoin. In April 2015, the company raised $50 million in venture funding from investors that include Goldman Sachs and IDG Capital Partners of China.
Note: This article was updated after publishing. The title was also updated.