Hong Kong-based remittance platform Bitspark has joined Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific 2015 as the only bitcoin and blockchain startup in the lineup.
The three-month programme, launched by Accenture – a multinational technology services and consulting company – in collaboration with traditional finance institutions including Bank of America Merill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and UBS will provide mentoring, coaching, networking and investment opportunities to the seven startups accepted on to the accelerator.
“There is a clear trend in the banking industry in 2015 that they are ready to engage in the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.”
He continued: “We are happy to be introducing our world leading blockchain-powered remittance platform to the financial services industry who can not only assist us to accelerate our business but also provide us with support, mentorship and the contacts to ensure we can bring our technology to the market in the best way possible.”
Bitspark, which is expected to present its decentralised blockchain remittance platform to potential investors and the end of the 12-week accelerator, is joined by Sparro, a payment network built on the Ripple protocol which aims to ease cross-border payments.
Interest in crypto
Accenture’s involvement in the crypto space may not come as a surprise, given the company’s response to the UK Treasury’s s call for information on digital currencies obtained by CoinDesk last month.
In its response, Accenture said the UK government should regulate bitcoin wallets in the same way it does bank accounts.
UBS and Goldman Sach’s involvement with the accelerator also follows the banks’ recent ventures in the space.
Swiss investment bank UBS is exploring the application of blockchain technology in the wider financial sector at its London-based research lab.
Hong Kong harbour image via Shutterstock.