Brexit Forces Fintech to Berlin
Several startups in Berlin told Reuters that the German Capital is booming as a hub for financial technology. Berlin is currently home to over 70 fintech companies, while there’s less than half that number in the financial centre of Frankfurt.
The companies say that Frankfurt is usually the attractive region for financial services, but lately, Berlin has been bringing in all the fintech business. Talented specialists are lured in by affordable living and a great number of English-speaking residents. German fintech company builder FinLeap has promoted nine financial technology startups over the past two years, and says that it gets hundreds of applications a month. Ramin Niroumand, co-founder and managing partner at FinLeap, told Reuters:
We’ve had more than 50 senior applications coming from London in the past six weeks.
SAP Is Putting the Blockchain Into Everything
Among the fintech businesses transforming the German industry are blockchain-related projects that are appearing in the region. Legacy banks and tech firms within the country are keen on studying innovative technology, such as Bitcoin’s distributed ledger (blockchain) technology.
The World Economic Forum has recently called Blockchain technology one of six Internet and computer “megatrends.” In 2015, this trend affected Germany, with people involved with fintech and blockchain applications in Berlin numbering roughly 13,000, according to Ernst and Young.
Meanwhile, multinational software firm SAP, headquartered in Walldorf, Baden-Württemberg, is also working on distributed ledger technology. SAP recently announced a partnership with Ripple Labs, ATB Financial in Canada, and ReiseBank. The teams built a platform that was used to send payments between the two banks. The firms stated they were able to make payments in twenty seconds, as opposed to traditional settlements that usually take a week to clear.
Bloomberg reports that roughly 50,000 businesses use SAP’s financial software. According to the publication, the firm is creating unique software for customers involved with media, farming, banking, energy and healthcare all connected to blockchains tethered to the company’s Hana Cloud Platform. SAP says that it has been testing multiple technologies including Bitcoin and the Ethereum protocol. The company has also written numerous essays on the potential of Bitcoin and blockchain technology.
Blockchain Is Blossoming in the German Capital
Back in May, Bitcoin.com reported on the GTEC Awards, which awarded €50,000 to innovative technology startups. The contest, held in Berlin, exclaimed “Blockchains are eating the world,” and judged over 100 applicants from distributed ledger startups from all around the world. The shortened list of twelve startups pitched their projects to eight judges at the former GDR State Council Building in central Berlin.
The projects that won the competition were Arcade City winning the gold prize, Cargochain taking second place, and Clipperz coming in at third for their IP registration project. Influential industry executives judged the German competition, such as Thomas Birr, Inken Braunschmidt and Carsten Stöcker from RWE, as well as Jens Hewald and Thomas Hessler from Globumbus.
Germany — particularly its up-and-coming fintech hub, Berlin — is continuing to make waves in this industry. With a steadfast approach to blockchain technology that could transform the financial sector within the country, Germans seem to be optimistic when it comes to the future of the nascent fintech industry.
What do you think about the fintech and blockchain influence in Germany? Let us know in the comments below.