The 2018 LendIT Awards- PART 1 of 3

We are excited to be sponsoring LendIT 2018 in San Francisco (kiosk #4). Besides seeing many of our friends and colleagues within FinTech, one of our favorite parts of the conference is the awards ceremony.

There are 22 total awards categories this year, making for a busy and exciting night. The best companies, innovators, and leaders will be recognized for their contributions to the FinTech ecosystem. The LendIT Awards are the Academy Awards for FinTech, although instead of celebrating celebrities in film, we’ll be celebrating the intersection of tech and finance.

We will be focused on these 3 awards categories:

  1. Blockchain Innovator of the Year
  2. Executive of the Year
  3. FinTech Innovator of the Year

In this post, we will be covering our analysis of the Blockchain Innovator of the Year Nominees, and our prediction for the winner.

We liken these awards to the Oscars and are particularly interested in the Blockchain Innovator award because we believe Blockchain is the next major technology breakthrough and pushing the limits on original ideas. This aligns nicely to creative and exciting ideas which push the boundaries of our imaginations within film, in particular, the award for “Best Original Screenplay”. The latter boasts creative and game-changing films, such as “Pulp Fiction”, “The Usual Suspects” and most recently, “Get Out”

Introducing the nominees for the Blockchain Innovator of the Year!

Blockchain LendIt Nominees

Alpha Point

This is an exciting early-stage company, which has raised $1.6 million in funding and has a growing team based in New York. Alpha Point’s Distributed Ledger Platform (ADLP) is the market leading blockchain digitization and trading platform. ADLP enables firms to digitize financial instruments, create trading venues for those instruments, and manage pre-trade and post-trade workflows in concert with existing tooling and infrastructure. They were a recent overall winner of the Benzinga Awards as the best use of blockchain/bitcoin.

AxiomZen

Another exciting early-stage company, with a seed investment round. Their scrappy team working out of Vancouver has punched above their weight class, and delivered some big numbers. The startup was a big reason for the success of CryptoKitties, which achieved the following metrics within two weeks of launch:

  • 150,000+ registered users
  • $15 million in transactions
  • ~25% of the Ethereum network traffic
Consensys

Consensys is venture backed and builds, consults, and launches decentralized applications using Ethereum. They have raised over $6 million and boast a team of approx 50 working from Brooklyn. They are pushing the limits with an industry-wide initiative to promote token-powered economic growth and consumer protection. They are helping to educate the community on areas such as legal issues, risks, and investments around token projects through their spearheading of the Brooklyn Project.

Deloitte

By a significant margin, Deloitte is the largest firm of the nominees. Known worldwide for their tax, audit, and technology practice, the company reported revenues of $38 billion dollars in 2016 and is recognized as the 6th largest privately held firm in the U.S. Despite its size, Deloitte has managed to stay nimble and has been one of the first movers in blockchain. They were the first advisory firm to help its client perform a real-life banking transaction using blockchain technology in India.

Digital Asset

The 5th nominee is a venture-backed series b stage fintech company with over $100 million in funding and a strong team of industry veterans based in New York. The company leverages blockchain to provide a secure and modern infrastructure to power the future of financial applications. The technology provides a flexible infrastructure for regulated financial institutions to share processes and data securely, on a need-to-know basis, without the need for reconciliation. It combines a permissioned Distributed Ledger with a powerful financial modeling language to ensure that each institution operates from a single source of truth. They also provide solutions for equity settlements.

Tradeix

Our last but certainly not least nominee comes from across the pond in London. They are a small, and powerful team of technologists, focused on rewiring trade finance. Their platform is the first in the world to provide an open platform for trade finance. Powered by distributed ledger technology, our secure and connected API-driven platform facilitates the movement of assets and credit around the world. They are no strangers to awards, having won the supply chain finance innovation award in 2017.

And our prediction goes to…

Digital Asset!

We see a tremendous opportunity for them to push the boundaries on financial trade, especially with the reduction in siloed reconciliation, leveraging their blockchain application. Financial Markets are highly regulated and often times it can slow innovation due to the red tape. The Digital Assets platform has been structured to comply with the strictest regulations around the world. The platform holds automation at its core. They have taken care to ensure the platform is confidential, auditable, secure, and built around common workflows. This level of detail, combined with their deep partnerships with companies such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citi, and IBM should enable them to have significant success in the months and years ahead.

In Part 2, we will be assessing and predicting the nominations for Executive of the Year.