‘Blockchain’, ‘cryptocurrency’ and ‘Bitcoin’ are buzzwords which have attracted a lot of global attention over the past two years, but a lot of people remain unaware about the scope of blockchain technology beyond Bitcoin . However, Scotland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has recognized the wide application of blockchain across multiple industries and is laying strong foundations for harnessing the potential of the emergent technology, according to a PwC study. With this in mind, what’s your next move?
Steve Davies, Blockchain Leader at PwC, commented on Scotland’s role in developing blockchain technology;
“Scotland has good momentum in exploring blockchain. While there is always more to be done, we can already see collaboration between government, academic institutions, the private sector and the dynamic emerging tech sector overall, laying strong foundations for harnessing the potential of the technology.”
As Scotland continues to grow as a hub for fintech startups, so too does the growth of blockchain startups. A number of new businesses have specifically targeted blockchain technology and are making great progress in the area. Below is a list of young businesses in Scotland who are leading the way in the blockchain space and disrupting various sectors with the use of this groundbreaking technology.
Edinburgh based Data Analytics firm Spiritus Partners is a well-known name in the Scottish Blockchain sector. Former Wall Street banker Susan Ramonat, founder and CEO of Spiritus, is passionate about the application of blockchain-enabled technology to improve supply chain logistics across a range of industry sectors. This firm primarily focuses on using blockchain to manage chain of custody for medical equipment and provide a ‘middle ground’ where hospitals, device manufacturers and third-party service providers can share vital data and information in a timely, secure manner. In a progressive step in healthcare infrastructure, Spritus Partners in 2017, backed by funding from Data Lab, collaborated with the NHS and Edinburgh Napier University on a pilot project to track the chain of custody of connected medical devices throughout their lifecycle. The project aimed at laying the groundwork for safe, private and secure remote care for patients using wearables and other mobile-enabled devices. As the business expanded from the US to Scotland in 2017, Spiritus invested £3.4 million in a new Scottish programming and development centre focused on world-first medical safety innovation, with support from a Scottish Enterprise grant of £500,000 to enable the creation of 23 new jobs. With backing from The Data Lab and Scottish Enterprise, Spiritus is committed to ensuring that health and social care is accompanied by patient safety and cyber security. As a result of its efforts, Spiritus is already being considered as one of the top companies in the healthcare blockchain space and is on track to eventually become the market leader.
Fintech startup Wallet.Services started its operations out of Edinburgh’s CodeBase incubator. Its aim is to streamline, simplify and secure digital life by accelerating the use, and harnessing the benefits, of blockchain technology across society. Unprotected data on the internet and the violation of mutual consent and trust on digital platforms has motivated this firm to create a safer digital world with the help of blockchain technology. In 2017, Wallet.Services received funding in its seed round from big names in the tech sector including Waracle and Exception for their blockchain platform, Siccar. The Siccar prototype, which was created in collaboration with the Scottish Government’s CivTech unit, addresses the issue of applying for permits and licences by simplifying the process. This revolutionary product is a pioneering initiative for the delivery of public services through the use of distributed ledger technologies.
Peter Ferry, co-founder and commercial director of Wallet.Services, commented on completion of its seed funding round in the Scotsman;
“With this investment, we build on Wallet.Services’ role as an innovation partner in public services, grow our blockchain software development team in Edinburgh and establish a world-class advisory board.”
In 2017, Wallet.Services added another feather to its cap by partnering with Scottish residential property rental portal Citylets to offer what is thought to be the first blockchain-enabled private rented sector (PRS) worldwide database.
Blockchain Technology Partners
This Edinburgh based technology startup’s founding team has extensive industry experience, ranging from blockchain and the internet of things to fintech, cloud operations and automation. Its mission is to radically simplify the enterprise adoption of blockchain technologies and reduce the cost and complexity of doing business through decentralisation while ensuring trust, transparency and accountability in a distributed world. In a short span of time, BTP has managed to make a mark in the blockchain sector with its powerful blockchain management platform, Sextant. This platform focuses on making blockchain easier for businesses by providing enterprises with a platform they can build upon; it ensures they focus on business application development, not blockchain infrastructure. They the general availability of Sextant on Amazon Web Services (AWS) marketplace for containers at the AWS re:Invent 2018 in LasVegas. BTP has also been actively involved in the Global Hyperledger community and its team has spoken at many blockchain and tech events, such as the HyperLedger Member Summit 2018 in Montreal and the Open Source Summit 2018 in Edinburgh, along with sponsoring the Hyperledger Scotland Meetup in Edinburgh on 23rd October 2018. With the strides it has been making in the global blockchain space, this startup is definitely one to watch out for.
In 2017 Edinburgh based ethical ticketing startup Citizen Ticket launched BitTicket, a blockchain ticketing solution, to circumvent ticket-touts and counterfeit tickets. BitTicket is a ticket delivery service that ticketing providers, event organisers, venues, artists and individuals can use to secure their tickets with blockchain technology. In May 2017, the Scottish Street Food Awards was the first event to publicly use this blockchain technology. Since then it has been used by a number of event and ticketing platforms, including a partnership with TicketSellers in February 2018 making it the UK’s first large scale ticketing platform to implement real world blockchain technology to protect its customers and clients. The BitTicket team has done a fabulous job of transforming it into a System as a Service (SaaS), which affords ticketing providers the huge advantage of securing their own tickets on a Blockchain by using BitTicket (Baas) Blockchain. As of May 2018, CitizenTicket ws completing its second round of financing and has garnered interest from a lot of people willing to invest in its vision. It ws also one of the twenty finalists to pitch at this year’s Scottish Edge Finals. With big plans for the future and a phenomenal disruption of the UK’s ticketing industry through its blockchain technology BitTicket, we are excited to see CitizenTicket lead the way towards an ethical and secure blockchain ticketing industry.
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