The Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) has been holding several programs lately to promote investments in the City of Tokyo. Since January, TMG has been holding its third business camp, an accelerator program called “Blockchain Business Camp Tokyo”, managed by Nomura Research Institute (NRI). The aim of the program is to generate ground-breaking innovation to improve convenience for Tokyo’s residents and re-energize the city’s economy.
Eight international FinTech & Blockchain companies had been selected for this accelerator program, and presented their business plans at a public event on Friday, March 16. A brief profile and summary of these startup companies follows.
Factom is a leading blockchain technology company, creating products that transform the way organizations secure and share their data. Their products safeguard the most critical government, commercial, and non-profit systems.
Their headquarter is located in Austin, TX, USA, and they also have team members in Asia and Europe to meet global customer needs.
Factom is entering into the USD 1.4 trillion US mortgages market by creating an asset platform using blockchain technology. A market with over 10 million mortgage originations per year. Their product “Harmony” converts dcoument management solutions into a blockchain-based document platform that eliminates lost documents, reduces audit time, and prevents costly disputes.
Headquartered in Hong Kong, Gatecoin operates a cryptocurrency and blockchain token exchange that is used by individuals and institutions around the world. Gatecoin enforces strict know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance policies in accordance with the Hong Kong Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance (AMLO).
Thanks to an international payments network, Gatecoin clients can fund their accounts through a wide range of local fiat currencies. Leveraging their client base, Gatecoin supports many innovative blockchain projects with their fundraising goals through their AML-compliant Initial Coin Offering (ICO) pre-sale participation platform. So far, more than 40 ICO token pre-sales have been supported, helping these projects to raise more than USD 60 million from Gatecoin clients.
IOTA was created by a team with a proven track record in the blockchain/distributed ledger technology (DLT) space to solve the problem of machine-to-machine payments and data exchange for the smart decentralization age (where machines talk to each other without a central cloud).
IOTA implemented the first protocol for a directed acyclic graph (DAG)-based DLT, called the “Tangle”, which offers fee-less micro transactions without any miners, thus decreasing the barrier to entry, lowering energy usasge, and bringing higher scalability than traditional blockchains.
The IOTA Foundation consists of a distributed team of approximately 50 people across five continents. Possible use cases for the Tangle include Industry 4.0, OTA updates, Smart Mobility & Transportation, Data Integrity/Audit Logs, M2M Payments, and Big Data Monetization.
Lykke is a movement started to democratize financial services. By leverating the power of blockchain technology, Lykke seeks to provide solutions in the fastest, cheapest, and most secure way. Lykke has successfully created a digital assets marketplace, allowing retail and institutional investors alike to trade digital assets such as cryptocurrencies. Lykke’s current business model yields a revenue split across transaction fees (40%), data sale (25%), listing fees (20%) and project income (15%). It is noteworthy that the Lykke token had been setup as equity in the company from the very start.
Lykke aims to establish a Tokyo branch by October 2018. In order to obtain a virtual currency license from the FSA, Lykke are looking for the right financial services partner, and is currently in discussions with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and Soramitsu. Lykke also targets an average daily volume of USD 100 million by the beginning of 2019.
Platin makes cryptocurrencies so real, you can see it, touch it, mine it, find it and keep it, finally bringing the promise of real adoption of decentralized cryptocurrencies to the masses. Platin achieves this by combining a fork of the Ethereum blockchain with spatiotemporal logic, zero-knowledge proofs and peer-to-peer opportunistic networks to offer a breakthrough Proof-of-Location (PoL).
Truly secure location protocols provide new ways for businesses, consumers, and anyone with even the cheapest of smartphones to interact with digital money. Platin is a lightweight, secure and verifiable PoL based on three primary technological pillars:
- Location Oracle — locations around the world are continuously scanned by nodes for diverse signals detectable by a smartphone, verifying and updating the oracle’s canonical data;
- Behavior over Time — mobile nodes’ signal history is sampled periodically and applied to increase their node’s trust score; and
- Peer Proximity — peers exchange data, analyzing and mutually comparing it to vote on honest nodes and thwart sybil attacks; using gossip protocols and zero knowledge proofs, trust flows from high to low enabling even new peers to participate in consensus and earn Platin currency (PTN) via PoL mining.
These three pillars, which are currently in joint development with the Technion Israel, provide an extremely robust and secure PoL while directly incentivizing trustworthy nodes.
PopulStay develops the decentralized and smart property management community using blockchain technology. Property information is transparent and could not be tampered with by anyone, which is different from existing centralized platforms such as AirBnB. In this trusted community, the owners and guests can exchange value without extra fees. To achieve autonomous property management, it has to be executed through smart contracts from inquiry, check-in/out, through to maintenance of the property. PopulStay will provide third-party management services such as cleaning, washing, intelligent door lock, interior design and smart pricing services, thus generating add-on fees.
Tempo had an outstanding accelerator program, please see below for the results achieved over the last two months:
Tempo is an EU-licensed, electronic payment services provider, headquartered in Paris, France. It provides cash and online remittance services. The company has a history of three years of successful operations focusing on small value — average EUR 500 — international payments to nearly 100 destination countries.
Tempo is the leading company on the Stellar blockchain network; this partnership permits inexpensive and fast transactions. Stellar’s founder, Jed McCaleb, formerly founder at Ripple, is a Tempo board member and investor. Tempo generates revenues through transaction fees (around EUR 3 per transaction) and FX spreads (about 1%).
XAIN originated from an Oxford University project spin-off and provides industry solutions based on blockchain intelligence as a combination of blockchain technology and machine learning. It allows its clients to build privacy-friendly and highly secure environments while keeping the blockchain network energy efficient. The enterprise-ready, robust and adaptable infrastructure offered by XAIN is in particularly applied to industrial sectors such as automotive, supply chain and manufacturing, as well as financial accounting. In summer 2017, XAIN won the 1st Porsche Innovation Contest and is currently developing various projects with customers such as Porsche and DHL.