Miami-based investment company Bittrex is ramping up its focus on blockchain technology, investing in companies developing blockchain-based financial products.
The company is among several companies looking to capitalize on the digital currency craze and investing in projects that aim to make blockchain-enabled products easier to use.
The company is a member of the Blockchain Industry Association (BIA), a consortium of the largest publicly listed companies in the industry.
Its first big blockchain-focused investment is a $10-million investment in blockchain startup Bittron, a technology incubator for blockchain startups.
Bittrex also invested in an incubator called Fintech Lab in London.
The fund will invest $20-million in blockchain-centric projects in 2018.
Brett McArthur, chief executive of Bittreex, said the company has “a strong track record of bringing innovative technology to our customers.”
He said Bittrx will partner with blockchain companies in areas like payments, financial inclusion and security.
“Blockchain technology has proven itself to be a very viable, versatile and resilient platform for facilitating real-time transactions, enabling digital transactions across a variety of industries, and is a potential platform for delivering real-world value,” McArthur said.
“We believe the blockchain ecosystem is poised to become a game changer for the financial services industry.”
BittrX is investing in blockchain startups including Coinbase, Blockchain, Bitsquare and Blockchain.io.
McArthur says BittraX is also in the process of securing an investment from a startup called Bittorrent, a new company that aims to create the first peer-to-peer file sharing platform that’s based on blockchain.
The companies are also looking at ways to use blockchain to enable more seamless, frictionless transactions.
McArthur says the company is also working on a blockchain platform for mobile payments, which it hopes to launch in 2019.
Bitter words and big promises.
Read moreThe Bittres are also exploring how they can use blockchain for things like payment processing, financial accounting and real-estate.
Bitsquare, which McArthur co-founded with Adam Gossett, said it is developing a blockchain-powered online platform that will allow users to pay for goods and services without needing to log into a bank account.
It is also looking into a blockchain application to allow consumers to transfer money across the world with just a few clicks.
Bettrex said it hopes its investment will help it make its blockchain products more accessible.
“Blockchain can bring new solutions and new ways to interact with financial services and finance,” McArthurs said.
BittRx will also work with Bittrent, the startup behind BitSqar, a blockchain solution for transferring money and data between companies and organizations.
It plans to roll out a beta version of BitSqlar in 2018, McArthur added.
The startup will be working on integrating BitSquar with its existing payment processor, Paymetrix, and plans to use BitSqtar’s platform to launch its own payment solutions.
BittRX said it will also use BitRx to facilitate the transfer of virtual currencies.
Bittex, the largest online platform for buying and selling physical real estate, has partnered with BitRX to bring real estate listings directly to the platform.
It says its software will allow the buyer to select the property from a listing, then pay for it with BitPay.
The deal was signed over the summer and was announced on Wednesday, the company said.
The BistreX team says it is also developing its own technology to enable “smart contracts” to be built on top of blockchain.
This is the technology that will underpin the Ethereum blockchain, the first-ever cryptocurrency to be developed by a company outside of a central bank.
The deal comes as the U.S. government is preparing to approve the blockchain-backed bitcoin payment system BitPay for use in the federal government’s health care system.
The government is also considering a similar deal for the government’s national lottery system.