DigitalForest Blog

Top 7 fintech blockchain companies

Overview of the most successful blockchain projects in the financial industry
Kristina Novikova
Research Analyst at DigitalForest
In a large number of cases, blockchain technology is able to modernize almost any industry: insurance, healthcare, logistics and others. In particular, blockchain is greatly applicable for the financial sphere.

A good indicator of quick and successful implementation of the technology in this area is not only the number of existing projects, but also their activity level and success. Several companies from our list have already entered a list of the 50 best fintech companies according to Forbes.

Blockchain technology integration allows to re-examine the existing bank structure. Blockchain solutions accelerate transactions execution, reduce their cost and increase the transparency of all processes.
Learn how to apply blockchain to finance industry
In the article, we will talk about the most active and successful projects in the financial sector, contributing to a widespread distribution of blockchain and cryptocurrencies:

The we.trade platform was developed by IBM alongside with 12 major European banks: CaixaBank, Deutsche Bank, Erste Group, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Nordea, Rabobank, Santander, Société Générale, UBS and UniCredit. The goal of the platform is to create a transparent, safe and simplified trading environment for enterprises and banks.

We.trade enables companies of all sizes to easily and safely trade internationally, which helps to stimulate global economic growth.
We.trade workflow
Companies gain access to the platform via their bank. It allows them to get rid of risks, which appear when attracting third parties. Blockchain technology serves as a single database that is not controlled by any specific authority. All entries in the database are protected, which gives users an additional level of security. Two main advantages of we.trade are a distributed ledger and smart contracts. The distributed ledger ensures that all counterparties have access to the same information regarding trade transactions, and that none of the parties can control this data. And the use of smart contracts helps to avoid risks of delayed obligations fulfillment of the counterparties, such as late payments. They guarantee that if one of the transaction participants fulfills the necessary requirements, as previously agreed and recorded on the blockchain, the payment process will be performed automatically. The fact that the contracts are integrated into the platform's code eliminates the need for involving any legal system or enforcement mechanism.

The platform is developed with the IBM Blockchain Platform and Hyperledger Fabric.

The we.trade platform has been fully engaged in real transactions since July 2018 and operates in 13 countries. Now the platform is used by more than 400 companies.
Circle became one of the blockchain companies included in the list of the most innovative fintech companies of 2019 according to Forbes.

Circle is developing a P2P payment technology. One of the company's major products is the Circle Pay platform, which allows users to store, send and receive traditional currency.
Circle Pay has developed both Android and iOS apps.
Currently, Circle Pay is available in 29 countries.

Previously, Circle Pay users had access to Bitcoin transfers, but now all cryptocurrency transactions are available only in the Circle Invest application.

Circle Invest allows users to easily invest in such cryptocurrencies as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin cash, Ethereum classic, Litecoin, Zcash, Monero, Stellar, 0x, Qtum, EOS and BAT.
Circle Invest application is available for both Android and iOS platforms.
Another Circle ecosystem product is Circle Trade, an over-the-counter platform for trading such cryptocurrencies as BTC, ETH, BCH and other digital assets. The platform can be used by organizations and large investors. In 2018, the trading volume on the platform was around $24 billion.

Also, at the beginning of 2018, Circle acquired Poloniex, an American cryptocurrency exchange.
The Robinhood company also entered the Forbes list as one of the most innovative fintech companies of 2019.

Robinhood has been operating since 2013. The company developed a mobile application that gives users the opportunity to invest in stocks, stock funds, options and cryptocurrencies with no fee.

The company makes its income on interest earned on client's cash balances and margin lending, as well as from getting payments for order flows.

The Robinhood Crypto platform, released in early 2018, allows users to buy and sell such digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Bitcoin Cash and Dogecoin. Right after the app was launched, more than 1 million users joined it instantly. At the moment, the application works only in 37 US states, but it is used by around 4 million investors.
The Robinhood application interface
Extreme app popularity can be explained by a commission free trading policy, low entry level and the fact that many users are already familiar with other company's investment tools.

The company's value is estimated at $5.6 billion.
Veem has become one of the most successful fintech companies of 2019, alongside with Circle and Robinhood. Veem uses blockchain technology to execute payments.

Veem is a P2P payment platform designed for small businesses. The company's goal is to simplify cross-border transfers and payments to suppliers and contractors. Transfers are executed in three ways: treasury, SWIFT and blockchain. Treasury, in this case, implies that money, which are being transferred between bank accounts, are controlled by Veem.

Companies turn to Veem to avoid complex processes that go along with bank services. Clients can quickly make payments through the Veem website, and the system decides, which transfer method to use. And in the end, a client will never know, if he is using a blockchain or another method.
In addition, Veem can be easily integrated with accounting software such as Quickbooks, Xero, Netsuite, etc.
Currently, Veem users can send money to 98 countries. The platform is already used by over 100 000 entrepreneurs.
Ripple is a cryptocurrency platform for payment systems. This global solution allows you to instantly transfer almost any currency to any place in the world.

The system uses platform's internal currency — XRP. It allows users to quickly convert any other currency on the platform. The platform is based on the Proof of Correctness algorithm and uses RPCA (Ripple Protocol consensus algorithm) in a P2P network of independent nodes.One of the main advantages of the network is the fact that it takes only 4 seconds to process a transaction. Also the system is very scalable and can process over 1500 transactions per second.

RippleNet customers can use XRP to be provided with on-demand liquidity, while all payments are sent and received in a local currency.
Ripple workflow
Foremost, the platform was designed specifically for a banking sphere to facilitate and accelerate transaction processing all over the world.

To execute transactions, Ripple uses its own blockchain network — RippleNet. At present, more than 200 banks and financial institutions, including Union Credit, UBS, Merrill Lynch, Santander, SED, have already joined the network.
Stellar payment platform was created based on technological principles of the Ripple project.

When experts started to criticize the Ripple platform and the XRP cryptocurrency and expressed their suspicions about its centralization, Ripple developers released Stellar, which is basically an improved Ripple platform clone.

Same as in the Ripple project, Stellar users can make instant cross-border money transfers in any currency. It takes only 2-5 seconds to process a transaction, and a very low commission cost makes the platform a great tool for micropayments.
Схема работы Stellar
The benefits that prevail on the Stellar platform are:

  • Stellar is a non-profit organization and the project is committed to provide maximum transparency.
  • The project operates via Stellar Development Foundation, which reveals all information about its work to the public.
  • There are no privileged participants on the platform.
  • Most of the platform cryptocurrency, XLM, is distributed for free.
  • There is a special limitary agreement according to which parties with large amounts of XLM cannot sell them for 5 years
Stellar operates on its own blockchain network. Such organizations as Stripe, IBM, Deloitte, Praekelt, Tempo Money Transfers and others collaborate with the project.
BitPay is a bitcoin payments service, which enables entrepreneurs accept bitcoin payments from customers. The company's goal is to widespread cryptocurrencies and increase their availability.

At the moment, BitPay is the largest processing company working with Bitcoin payments.
How BitPay works
BitPay offers several types of services for regular users and entrepreneurs. These are a wallet, a business-grade payment systems, and even a Visa bank card, issued together with the VISA company.

The BitPay wallet is available for Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

With the help of BitPay, online sellers, shop or restaurant owners, and other small business owners can sell their products and services for Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. BitPay takes a fixed 1% fee for each transaction.

When a payment is made via the Internet, an application or using a Visa card, BitPay accepts bitcoins as a payment processor and sells them to a partner exchange. Having received a traditional currency from the exchange, BitPay transfers them to a seller's bank account. The whole process is quick and automated, so that the participants don't get involved.

Currently, there are more than 1,500 sellers working with the system. In total, BitPay has already processed a huge number of transactions with a total value of about $2.8 billion.
The prospects of blockchain technology integration are quite optimistic, we can already see some positive results. This technology already greatly simplifies a lot of financial institutions processes. For example, one of the largest banks in the world, J.P. Morgan has recently announced its own cryptocurrency development and implementation of instant payment transfers between institutional accounts.

The blockchain technology has every chance to drastically transform the banking sector, making payment transactions faster, cheaper and more reliable.

Sources

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