If you are wondering why there is so much buzz around blockchain and what the banks are doing with it, then this is the right place. The financial services industry is at the cusp of a major transformation and the aim is to enable transparent, secure and efficient financial services at lower cost. It’s important to note that apart from startups, many banks have been exploring blockchain in some way or the other. They have set up teams, they are doing experiments, they are investing time and money and they don’t want to be left behind.
In the depths of the financial crisis in 2009, someone using the name Satoshi Nakamoto launched a digital currency called Bitcoin that he or she claimed could remove the need to rely on central or commercial banks. Six years later, financial institutions such as JP Morgan and Citigroup are taking on Nakamoto’s ideas – but ditching the parts of Bitcoin’s design intended to reduce their influence.
In the European ‘fintech’ landscape there is an increasing number of service providers that focus on improving specific parts of this traditional ‘universal banking model’ by using innovative technology. Fintech players focus on designing, building and executing specific parts of the banking value chain better, cheaper and faster than what is currently on offer at banks. With this strategy they are able to establish a market position for themselves in a specific niche.
Total investment in London-based fintech companies so far this year has already hit £357 million ($554 million), according to London & Partners, the organisation set up by the Mayor's office to encourage investment into the city.
That's already higher than 2014's total of £314 million ($487 million), according to figures London & Partners obtained from CB Insight.
London & Partners and BI have compiled a list of the 11 funding deals in the sector above £10 million — check them out.