A bitcoin-based blockchain wallet application developed by LHV Bank and industry startup ChromaWay has won the Estonian Banking Association’s 2016 Innovation Award.

The app was selected over of entries by Nordic banks SEB and Swedbank and cross-border money transfer startup Transferwise due to what judge and CEO of Rate Solutions Andrei Korobeinik said in statements was its uniqueness among entrants.

While Korobeinik acknowledged the app might not have yet proved a commercial success, he praised it for working “out of the box” and said that LHV Bank showed courage in embracing blockchain innovation at an early stage.

The wallet was introduced last spring, making LHV Bank one of the first major global banks to announce it was working actively to understand the potential of bitcoin and blockchain technology. The app allows users to exchange digital currencies pegged at a one-to-one rate with the euro.

Other judges included technology journalist Henrik Roonemaa; Tallinn University of Technology’s Tea Varrak; and the managing director of Estonian professional network EstBAN, Heidi Kakko.

Founded in 1992, the Estonian Banking Association is a union of 13 commercial banks representing 98% of the banking sector’s assets according to its marketing materials.

Estonian currency image via Shutterstock

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