Barclays Trials Bitcoin Tech With Pilot Program

Barclays has signed off on a proof-of-concept to trial bitcoin technology in an agreement with bitcoin exchange Safello.

AccessTimeIconJun 22, 2015 at 2:32 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 11:44 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Barclays has signed off on a proof-of-concept to trial bitcoin technology.

Following an agreement with bitcoin exchange Safello, the UK bank says it will explore how blockchain technologies could bolster the financial services sector.

Speaking to CoinDesk, Safello CEO Frank Schuil said Barclays' decision reflected a wider change in traditional finance:

"If a Tier I bank signing a proof-of-concept with a bitcoin company isn't a sign of the times then I don't know what is ... their attitude is changing and it is changing fast."

The announcement, made at the Barclays Accelerator demo session in London today, comes as an increasing number of banks are trialling distributed ledgers such as Ripple.

Safello was one of 10 FinTech startups taking part in Barclays' 13-week accelerator programme, which began last year. Housed in London's Mile End, companies in the scheme receive mentoring and tools from Barclays, alongside £20,000 seed funding from partner TechStars.

Schuil described the programme as a "mutual learning experience" for Barclays and Safello. While exact details of the pair's proof-of-concept are currently under wraps, he indicated Safello's bitcoin spending platform could reach an important demographic for the bank.

"Our target group are the millennials that banks find hard to reach, and we are doing it with a technology that they need to understand," he said, adding: "In that way and in other ways we are building a bridge between the traditional financial world and bitcoin."

Six other startups at the event, including blockchain-diamond-tracker Everledger, are reported to be "exploring opportunities" with Barclays.

Barclays image via chrisdorney /


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.