Bitcoin mining giant BitFury is opening an office in Level39, the prominent FinTech accelerator in London’s Canary Wharf district, to develop blockchain technology for financial institutions.
The company, one of the best capitalized in the industry with $60 million in venture investment to date, also partnered with Innovate Finance, a nonprofit organization promoting FinTech. Innovate Finance recently announced its partnering with Hartree Centre, a high performance computing and data analytics research facility, to open a blockchain lab in London.
Innovate Finance CEO Laurence Wintermeyer had warm words for BitFury, commenting: “BitFury’s proven track record of enterprise-grade deployment and continued technological innovation will add great value to Innovate Finance’s ecosystem and the blockchain lab.”
Bitcoin’s blockchain, and analogous distributed ledger systems inspired by it, are envisioned to potentially revolutionize the way money, securities and other assets are transferred and settled.
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The announcement continues a trend of many crypto firms, until now strictly engaged in bitcoin-as-a-currency, gradually shifting over to join the blockchain technology race. BitFury hinted at its blockchain ambitions when it hosted a secret blockchain summit in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last month, as well as in its most recent funding round.
The list of companies expanding their horizons includes Bitcoin blockchain analytics and data providers (e.g. Chain), and even bitcoin exchanges and their technology providers (itBit, AlphaPoint).
The introduction of miners to the list is understandable. Frankly, there are only so many bitcoins left to mine i.e. the days of mining as a revenue-generating enterprise are numbered. The next halving of the reward level is fast approaching. So the present is an opportune time for well-capitalized firms like BitFury to make strategic transitions into tomorrow’s technology.
In addition, there are potential synergies between mining, the lifeblood of a Bitcoin-based blockchain network, and the innovations to be built on top of it. The press release noted that the program will leverage BitFury’s infrastructure and “transaction processing platform.”