European history is long, complex, and full of contrasts. On the one hand, the European stage has seen two world wars and countless other limited conflicts. But that is not all, throughout the ages, deadly epidemics have swept through the land, killing millions.
But on the other hand, Europe has also sparked historic art and cultural movements that have endured down the ages: Romanticism, the Renaissance, and so many others. Europe has been a hotbed for creativity for centuries.
Europe has also led the way in terms of technological advancements. Great Britain became the cradle of the Industrial Revolution back in the 18th century, for example. And so the history of the old continent continues to flourish and craft significant technological projects for the greater good of European society and businesses.
The latest round of innovative entrepreneurship involves blockchain, a relatively nascent technology built on principles of decentralization and transparency.
There currently are many ongoing projects leveraging blockchain technology across Europe. From marketplaces to identity provisioning, supply chain, and payment solutions, blockchain is slowly permeating all aspects of industry and business.
This piece features seven businesses that use blockchain technology to power their innovative drive. This list is neither exhaustive nor is it in any way ranked. It is intended as a sample of how entrepreneurs and established companies can benefit from blockchain initiatives.
The magnificent blockchain seven
John Sturges’ classic western. The Magnificent Seven became a huge international hit back in 1960. Based on Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, the film had a stellar cast led by screen legends Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen.
Let us draw a parallelism between John Sturges’ classic film and the crypto world. Think of these start-ups as the seven gunslingers upholding the rights of blockchain to exist and thrive against unequal odds.
These companies represent a variety of industries. From Multiven’s marketplace to Tykn’s ‘social impact platform’, or Neufund’s blockchain equity initiative, the key concept here is to showcase the sheer diversity of businesses on offer. And of course, all these companies are based in Europe.
And so the seven young blockchain guns are:
Neufund is a Berlin-based start-up founded in 2016. It offers an asset tokenization and equity investment platform that establishes a legally-enforceable link between an on-chain token and real-world equity. The platform’s versatility enables any company to conduct a public offering on the blockchain.
Founded in 2016, Neufund is now working with several high-profile clients such as Black One Entertainment, and has received the backing of over 11,000 investors from 111 countries.
The e-Commerce industry has been dominated by Amazon for far too long, and such domination has created an unfair virtual monopoly.
Multiven challenges Amazon’s supremacy with its flagship product, Multiven Open Marketplace (MOM). MOM creates a Peer-to-peer market environment for the IT industry and luxury goods, powered by blockchain.
MOM is the world’s first blockchain-based marketplace.
The fantasy sports industry moves a lot of money every year, and pulls in a very large number of players. An estimated 6m people play fantasy sports in the UK alone, for example.
Sorare offers a fantasy football game where users play with official blockchain cards and earn prizes every week. The platform is backed by giant media firm Ubisoft, and has the support of over 40 European football clubs.
Founded in 2013, Elliptic provides crypto-asset risk management solutions for businesses and financial institutions worldwide
From its London HQ, the company has raised €21 million in investments and assessed risks on transactions worth several trillion dollars, uncovering a raft of illicit activities in the process
Apart from its London base, Elliptic also has offices in New York, Singapore, and Tokyo.
Compliance has always been an important topic for enterprises, but with the introduction of GDPR and various other regulations, compliance has become even more important than it already was.
Europechain is set to target the EU enterprise blockchain market and offers both public and private blockchains along with a range of other services. They are using the newest and fastest blockchain technology, while also ensuring compliance with EU regulations.
Open Payments is a Stockholm-based, PSD2-compliant open banking platform.
The Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) is a framework specifically designed for European markets that ends the bank’s monopoly on user data.
The Open Payments solution enables third-party applications to integrate their services with banks throughout Europe through a single API.
Identity is a contentious issue, as lacking the ability to conclusively prove who one is can prevent access to banking, housing, and many other life necessities.
Tykn addresses this problem through a blockchain-based digital identity management platform whose goal is to ‘verify the identities of the invisible people worldwide.’
The company was founded in 2016, and has so far received €1.2M in backing from a Dutch entrepreneur.
All these start-ups, and many others across the European business playing field, offer a glimpse into the potential that blockchain brings to so many industry sectors.
This is but the visible tip of the blockchain iceberg. There is much more out there, and much more to come from this outstanding technology.