, an annual award show dedicated to rewarding and recognising Europe's hottest tech startups, will feature a "Best Virtual Currency Startup" category for the first time this year.
The event was founded by TechCrunch editor-at-large Mike Butcher, and includes more than 20 categories.
Speaking to CoinDesk, Butcher explained that the addition of a digital currency category to The Europas is indicative of the rise of the Bitcoin protocol and other virtual methods of payment.
Founded in 2009, the event also includes categories such as "Best E-Commerce Startup", "Best Founder(s)" and "Fastest Rising Startup." The event is known for having a special focus on Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Digital currency startups rise in prominence
Butcher told CoinDesk that there are a few key characteristics that define a quality digital currency startup.
This includes a clear message to the market, a robust technology platform and a sign that founders are committed to putting the product first.
As for the future of digital currency startups, Butcher remarked that a challenging marketplace like the one facing today's businesses is actually good for development.
This year's judges
Judges for the event include investors, journalists, entrepreneurs and developers from across the tech industry.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.