Santander Innoventures, the UK-based FinTech-focused venture arm of Spain’s largest bank, is running a blockchain competition.
The global blockchain challenge targets startups interested in developing distributed ledger applications for the financial services industry. The bank identified mortgage processing, trade finance and asset leasing as areas ripe for innovation.
The winner of the competition will receive $15,000 and the promise of an angel investment.
Bitcoin’s blockchain and analogous distributed ledger systems inspired by it are envisioned to reshape the way money, securities and other assets are settled, potentially saving billions in annual costs.
In a report several months ago, Santander assessed that the adoption of such networks is only a matter of time and that they can reduce costs related to cross-border payments, securities trading and regulatory compliance by $15-20 billion annually by 2022.
“Distributed ledger technologies will create huge value for customers, banks and entrepreneurs who create new businesses around it. The Challenge will spark and accelerate that process for fintech startups,” commented Mariano Belinky, managing partner of Santander InnoVentures.
Last year, the bank ran another challenge, via open innovation platform Yegii, to analyze the impact of Bitcoin on banks and devise a strategic course of action.
Santander Innoventures recently invested $4 million in Ripple, whose distributed ledger protocol is under consideration by numerous banks for cross-border transfers.