Meet the CMA 2016 Finalists: Next Generation Ecosystem

NEXT GEN EcoIn this category we are looking at block chain ecosystems and use cases such as cryptocurrency platforms, supply chain or identity management. Cutting out ineffective banking intermediaries, these technologies could save billions for consumers and the financial services industry. And let’s face it – sometime, perhaps a lot sooner than some of us would care to admit – these next generation ecosystems aren’t going to be so next generation. The future is just around the corner!

Here are the four finalists;

  • EPIPHYTE – CHAIN REACTOR (USA)
  • LEDGER – LEDGER BLUE (FRANCE)
  • PLUTUS.IT – CONTACTLESS PAYMENTS POWERED BY THE BLOCKCHAIN (UK)
  • YOTI LTD. – YOTI DIGITAL IDENTITY SYSTEM (UK)

Epiphyte provides a blockchain powered SaaS service that delivers instant settlement and DVP (delivery versus payment) for financial trades. Their system is being used by some of the world’s largest financial institutions for FX, commodity, private equity trades and others. Epiphyte’s Chain Reactor takes care of security, AML and transaction routing over the blockchain. These services are provided over a powerful set of APIs, providing a single integration point to build products utilizing open distributed ledgers. Epiphyte’s first use-case is remittance payments where their solution has several benefits: real-time transactions, 85% cost reduction, the ability to link between banks and non banks (global coverage), built-in ability to support AML, auditing and fraud prevention. International bank transactions are riddled with complexity, cost and risk. The problem is particularly acute with high volume, low value transactions. Epiphyte has demonstrated its ability to solve this problem utilizing open blockchain networks. Unlike competitors, Epiphyte does not need to build out their own network – utilizing existing networks, they provide banks unprecedented flexibility, tracking and automation of payments.

Ledger designs trusted hardware solutions for decentralized applications such as Bitcoin and Blockchain. In the payment industry, the smartcard is the golden standard for security. However, it is not adapted to the needs of the Internet, where general purpose computers are vulnerable to malware. If you cannot trust your computer’s display, you need a second factor validation of all the transactions you are signing (otherwise a malware could switch the payment address before reaching the smartcard). Ledger’s latest product – the Ledger Blue – directly addresses this concern by adding a touch screen to the traditional smartcard. The user can validate all transactions on a trusted interface, mitigating all phishing and malware attacks. Featuring BLE/NFC/USB communications, the Blue can be interfaced to any modern computer or smartphone. The Blue has direct application for Bitcoin/Blockchain projects. The predecessor of the Blue, the Ledger Nano, has been sold to 10,000 units in more than 100 countries and is considered by industry experts as the leading solution in the field.

Plutus is a gateway that empowers you to pay with digital assets such as bitcoin at any existing contactless payment terminal in the world, fueled by a peer-to-peer trading network called the PlutusDEX, it runs as a smart contract on the immutable Ethereum blockchain. The proposal that Plutus offers customers is simple – send bitcoins to the address displayed on the app and they will be converted to a contactless payments balance on a multi-currency virtual debit card account that can be used worldwide. This is the most practical way to pay with digital assets, as the payments process consists only of holding a mobile device above the merchant’s NFC reader. As a result, digital currency payments are effectively accepted by proxy at over 32 million brick & mortar merchants in the world. This means that consumers don’t have to wait for merchant adoption, they can use Plutus.it instead. The Plutus app also awards you a rebate on the blockchain for in-store purchases. These are digital tokens called Plutons, they can be sent to friends or converted into a contactless balance which can instantly be used towards the next purchase (similar to the concept of cash back or air miles on a credit card).

Yoti is your ID, on your phone. It helps you prove who you are to companies and individuals, online and in person. Once the free app is downloaded, it takes minutes to create your digital identity: take a selfie, add your mobile number, scan your photo ID with your phone, and enter a 5 digit PIN. With Yoti, you can securely log into websites using your face (no password or username needed), instantly confirm who you’re talking to online (with remote peer to peer info sharing) and prove your age with your phone (nightclubs, cinemas etc). Yoti lets businesses quickly confirm customer identities, and provides the option of replacing usernames and passwords with a unique, controlled, biometric login. The biometric login can also be used to control building access. Both individuals and companies benefit from an audit trail of all interactions, and a mobile SDK and API is available for companies. Yoti enables secure authorization, anonymity and data minimisation, placing the user in control of their details – who has them, and how much detail they have. The ecosystem has been built in such a way that even Yoti cannot see personal user data. Yoti arrives in Summer 2016.

You can find out who the lucky winner for the category will be by attending the awards ceremony that will be held on the 26th April in London. Tickets are still available and can be found by following the link here – but don’t delay as places are limited.

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Categories: Contactless & Mobile Awards, Other

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