LONDON, March 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Barclays London Accelerator powered by Techstars—part of the world’s leading global technology-acceleration network—announced last week that it had selected Crowdz—The Blockchain-Commerce Company™ as a participant in 2018 FinTech (financial technology) Accelerator Program.
Crowdz—a Top 10 company on Crunchbase’s global index of blockchain-technology startups—was one of only 10 startups from a field of more than 500 applicants to be invited to participate in the world’s most exclusive FinTech-acceleration program.
“We are deeply honored to be chosen for such an exclusive and high-powered accelerator,” said Payson E. Johnston, CEO of Crowdz, upon receiving the official invitation. “The ability to interact with and learn from scores of truly distinguished mentors from a vast array of finance and technology disciplines will do more than anything to help Crowdz prepare for the public launch of our blockchain-based business-commerce application later this spring.
Smart Transaction Networks
Blockchain—one of the most acclaimed emerging digital technologies of the past few years—is a distributed-computing network that records and stores financial and other critical data in an inherently secure, tamper-proof format. So profound are blockchain’s potential benefits that PC Magazine has labeled it “the invisible technology that’s changing the world.”
Jeremy Wilson, Vice Chairman of Corporate Banking for Barclays, has sounded a similar theme, predicting that blockchain “will change not just finance, but the lives of almost everyone… [I]t looks as if it has the makings of a new operating system for the planet.”
Blockchain has already been deployed in a wide number of uses in many industries, primarily for payments record-keeping, trade finance, data security, validation of the authenticity & provenance of goods, and logistics tracking. But Crowdz is the first company to use the blockchain as the foundation of comprehensive business-to-business transaction networks, which Crowdz terms “Smart Transaction Networks™.”
“The overwhelming majority of business transactions today flow through slow and costly transaction gateways like EDI [electronic data interchange], which is a technology that first emerged in the 1950s, long before the public Internet even existed,” explained Johnston, who served for 20 years as worldwide supply-chain senior manager for the global networking giant Cisco.
“Such antiquated systems,” he said, “can impose delays of hours, weeks, or even months on completing business transactions, especially within international supply chains. As a result of these delays and other related factors, companies worldwide experience an annual cash drain of some US$4 trillion due to added costs and lost sales opportunities.”
Business Commerce Accelerated
The primary goal of Crowdz’s blockchain-based Smart Transaction Networks is to use the blockchain, along with the associated technologies of artificial intelligence, self-executing smart contracts, and IoT (Internet-of-Things) sensing, to accelerate business-commerce transactions within the $25 trillion global business-to-business commerce market from the current weeks or months to literally milliseconds.
“Taken together, technologies like these can accelerate business supply chains of all types to digital lightspeed,” Kevin Hopkins, Crowdz’s Chief Strategy Officer and a former U.S. White House economist emphasized. “Within a few years, fully automated, largely self-executing supply chains could become the new normal, squeezing cash-draining inefficiencies almost completely out of business transactions.”
To this end, Crowdz will spend the next 13 weeks exploring possible areas of collaboration with Barclays. Areas of interest include blockchain-based transactions, EDI replacement, supply-chain finance, and blockchain-enabled ecommerce marketplaces.
“We’re very pleased to be working with Crowdz,” said Chris Adelsbach, Managing Director of the Barclays/Techstars FinTech Accelerator in London. “Not only does Crowdz offer a solid finance & technology solution, but Crowdz’s vision for the intertwined future of blockchain and business commerce is one of the most innovative and exciting I’ve seen.”