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Bitcoin Firm Signs Compliance Deal With Banking Giant Barclays

(@pete_rizzo_) | Published on October 13, 2015 at 22:42 BST
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UK banking giant Barclays signed contracts with eight graduates of its New York-based FinTech accelerator program today, two of which will partner with the company on applications using blockchain technology.

Co-hosted by TechStars, the 11 startups graduating the 13-week program included bitcoin compliance firm Chainalysis and accounting startup Wave, which will embark on the initiatives.

Speaking to New York Business Journal, Barclays chief design and innovation officer Derek White called the deals with Chainalysis and Wave a "game-changer" for the bank.

Barclays indicated it would partner with Chainalysis to allow its financial crime and transaction monitoring teams to obtain the necessary information to transact with bitcoin companies.

Chainalysis co-founder Jonathan Levin said this would position Barclays as one of the first mainstream financial institutions to provide services to bitcoin firms, many of whom struggle with access to basic banking.

Levin told CoinDesk:

"This is the first time a top-tier bank has integrated a compliance solution that would enable them to bank bitcoin and blockchain companies."

Wave, in turn, is working with Barclays' Corporate Bank on a project that finds it using its solution for titles during shipping processes.

As part of the program, Barclays provides non-monetary support to startups, while startup incubator TechStars takes 6% equity in each member of its cohort.

The announcement follows the news that Barclays would collaborate on a bitcoin proof of concept with bitcoin services provider Safello, a graduate of its London-based accelerator. The trial was later revealed as a means to help charities accept bitcoin as a form of payment.

Compliance visualization via Shutterstock

BankingBarclaysBarclays AcceleratorChainalysisCompliance

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