Swedish bank bets on blockchain

There’s more signs of traditional financial institutions placing bets on blockchain as Swedish banking giant SEB invests in the space.

Danish blockchain firm Coinify has raised $4m in funding for its blockchain payments platform from Nordic backers including return investor Seed Capital and Swedish bank SEB’s venture capital arm.

The Copenhagen-based business aims to bridge the gap between traditional and established financial industries and blockchain technology, says co-founder and CEO Mark Højgaard. In a statement, he says the participation of SEB, with its roots in the 19th century is a promising sign for the blockchain community.

The firm will use its Series A round to build on its position in Europe and expand into Asia.

Coinify’s pitch is that through blockchain, its payment technologies can bring down the costs and risk of payments as well as speeding up the process for consumers and businesses. The firm enables businesses and individuals to access to blockchain currencies including bitcoin and ripple through fiat money exchange.

We believe that digital currencies and the blockchain technology have the potential to spawn decades of disruptive innovation in financial services,” says Lars Andersen, General Partner in SEED Capital Denmark.

News of the funding comes as the momentum continues to build behind blockchain and distributed ledgers, both inside and outside the world of finance.

In the UK this week, Credits was picked by the UK government to supply its blockchain-as-a-service to the public sector.

That’s expected to include organisations across central and local government as well as devolved administrations, health, education, emergency services, defence and not-for-profits.

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