Finovate Alums and the History of Bitcoin Innovation

Finovate Alums and the History of Bitcoin Innovation

With bitcoin and cryptocurrencies enjoying renewed interest, it’s worth noting that many fintech fans encountered their first bitcoin-related businesses through Finovate conferences.

Here’s a look at some of the companies that have brought their bitcoin and crypto-powered innovations to the Finovate stage.

OpenCoinFinovateSpring 2013 – The company now well-known as Ripple was introduced to Finovate audiences back in 2013. At FinovateSpring that year, Chris Larsen – CEO of a startup called OpenCoin – introduced its virtual currency and distributed open source payment network. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in San Francisco, California, Ripple currently has more than 300 financial institutions who leverage its RippleNet blockchain network to power real-time payments.

KlickExFinovateAsia 2013 – New Zealand-based KlickEx unveiled its asset-backed and algorithmic cryptocurrency for institutional and retail users at FinovateAsia in 2013. The company, founded in 2009, recently announced a partnership with the National Reserve Bank of Tonga to launch a new national payment system.

CoinbaseFinovateSpring 2014 – Among the bigger names in bitcoin and cryptocurrency to have demonstrated their technology at Finovate conferences is San Francisco, California-based Coinbase. Debuting at Finovate with its Instant Exchange in 2014, Coinbase has grown into one of the biggest players in the cryptocurrency market with more than 35 million verified users and more than $320 billion in total volume traded on its platform.

AlphaPointFinovateEurope 2015 – With more than $350 million in monthly trading volume and 20 digital currency exchanges operating in 15 countries, AlphaPoint is a leading fintech exchange platform provider for digital currencies. The company demoed version two of its digital currency exchange platform at FinovateEurope in 2015.

CoinJarFinovateEurope 2015 – Australia’s largest and longest-operating bitcoin company, CoinJar demonstrated its platform at FinovateEurope 2015. The Best of Show-winning firm was the first in its market to offer a bitcoin debit card that enabled cardholders to use the cryptocurrency for everyday purchases.

BitbondFinovateEurope 2015 – Berlin, Germany’s Bitbond offers a global P2P bitcoin lending platform that enables anyone with an Internet connection to both get loans as well as invest their savings for interest. The company demonstrated its AutoInvest functionality, which facilitates and automates fund allocation in a portfolio, at FinovateEurope 2015.

itBitFinovateSpring 2015 – New York-based itBit demonstrated its bitcoin trading platform at FinovateSpring in 2015. The company’s technology enables both institutional and retail investors to buy and sell bitcoin. Rebranded as Paxos in the fall of 2016, the company has since highlighted its work in private blockchains and distributed ledger technology.

Blockstack.ioFinovateFall 2015 – Best of Show winning offers a hosted and licensed enterprise blockchain platform that enables financial services companies and others to build applications on their own private blockchain. The San Francisco, California-based company, founded in 2015, was acquired by Digital Asset Holdings for an undisclosed sum before the end of the year.

ArcBitFinovateFall 2015 – With a pledge to leverage bitcoin and blockchain technology to bring banking to the underbanked, ArcBit, which made its Finovate debut at FinovateFall in 2015, offers a mobile wallet specifically designed to give bitcoin owners full control over their cryptoholdings.

CoinalyticsFinDEVr San Francisco 2015 – Our developers conference, FinDEVr is one way that many bitcoin and crytocurrency innovators were able to bring their innovations to the public. Coinanalytics, which offers an end-to-end intelligence platform for the bitcoin industry, is an example of the kind of company developing solutions to make bitcoin a better opportunity for payments, financial services, and IoT.

BlockCypherFinDEVr Silicon Valley 2015 – Another alum of our developer’s conference, BlockCypher offers companies a cloud-optimized, enterprise-grade blockchain platform that enables them to build reliable blockchain apps. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, the company was founded in 2014.

GemFinDEVr Silicon Valley 2015 – Founded in 2014 and based in Venice, California, Gem demonstrated its API which provides a comprehensive security solution for bitcoin apps – without taking control over funds. With a few lines of code, Gem enables developers to provide an interface to their bitcoin apps that gives users better funding options.

LedgerFinovateEurope 2016 – Headquartered in Paris, France and founded in 2015, Ledger designs trusted hardware solutions for bitcoin and blockchain apps. The company’s solutions, including the Nano X and Nano S, provide cryptocurrency owners with a secure, portable way to take and manage their digital assets wherever they are.

StratumnFinDEVr New York 2016 – Enterprise blockchain technology company Stratumn provides firms with the infrastructure and tools they need to to build, deploy, and run blockchain. The company presented the high performance, proof-of-existence engine of its development platform at our developer’s conference in 2016. Jerome Lefebvre took over as CEO of the company from co-founder Richard Caetano in the fall of 2019.

Plutus.itFinovateEurope 2018 – London-based Plutus demonstrated its Tap & Pay and Debit Card solutions that enable consumers to pay with bitcoin or Ethereum at any contactless point of sale. Founded in 2016, the company currently supports more than 26,000 Plutus accounts and credits its users for acquiring more than $100,000 in rewards via its Pluton Rewards program.

Amber LabsFinovate MiddleEast 2019 – Best of Show winner Amber Labs is a bitcoin exchange, wallet, and micro-investment app in one. Headquartered in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, and founded in 2017, Amber Labs offers a mobile first, automated investment platform for retail customers looking to buy and sell bitcoin.

Photo by Thought Catalog from Pexels

Finovate Debuts: ArcBit Introduces its Secure, Easy-to-Use Bitcoin Wallet

Finovate Debuts: ArcBit Introduces its Secure, Easy-to-Use Bitcoin Wallet


One of the challenges facing broader adoption of bitcoin is having a safe, ready, and convenient way to store, send and receive your cryptocurrency.

ArcBit founder and former developer Tim Lee has a solution: a full-featured, secure, and easy-to-use bitcoin wallet app with built-in email and help support.

And while the wallet is built for beginners, ArcBit has plenty of functionality for bitcoin veterans as well. The wallet supports forward, reusable, and stealth addresses, and can import bitcoins from outside sources including bitcoin private keys, encrypted keys, and watch-only addresses.


ArcBit founder Tim Lee demonstrated the ArcBit bitcoin wallet at FinovateFall 2015 in New York City.

ArcBit facts:

  • Founded in June 2015
  • Headquartered in New York City, New York
  • Four employees
  • Currently available on iOS, with web-based and Android versions expected in 2016

How it works

In many ways, the ArcBit bitcoin wallet functions as any other digital wallet. Users can send and receive bitcoins from a contact list. Senders get instant notification and recipients get instant delivery—all without the cost or inconvenience of a middleman.

ArcBit_screenshot_1What sets apart the ArcBit wallet is the way it enables the user to back up and store digital assets. “How do you secure your wallet if you are the only one who controls it?” Lee asks, insisting that “when you have full control over your money, you also bear the responsibility of keeping your own money safe and secure.”

Historically, it has been too difficult or too inefficient for most people to secure bitcoin wallets. Up until recently, Lee says, best practices were simply backing up the entire wallet on a USB then tucking it safely away. Lee even suggests that the complexity of backing up contributed to the downfall of bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox.

ArcBit solves the problem with the use of a 12-word passphrase. For those who prefer not to rely on passcodes, ArcBit also features the ability to back up the wallet to iCloud.

ArcBit_screen_2Unlike ordinary passphrases that simply provide access, ArcBit users can recover their entire wallet balance on another device—without requiring ArcBit to be installed on that device, or even a cloud-based backup. This is because the back-up technology is an open bitcoin standard. “This is one of the many great things about an open platform like bitcoin,” said Lee. To back up, all the user has to do is access the wallet’s “Restore Wallet” feature in settings, and copy and paste their passphrase. Backing up the wallet takes only a few moments.

The future

Tim Lee has little time for those who insist on trying to separate bitcoin from the increasingly headline-grabbing blockchain technology that supports it. “They are inseparable,” Lee said. “Tech folks get it, but banks still need the explanation.”

According to Lee, others who get it are people living in developing countries where the idea of having control over your money can be an almost existential concern. “Consider what happened in Cyprus, in Greece,” Lee said. He has seen interest in the technology from people living in countries with very high inflation as well as countries with poor banking systems. “Most of the benefits (of bitcoin) will come out of emerging markets,” he said.

Part of Lee’s goal in attending Finovate was to gauge the interest in the technology among the venture capital community. Lee gives VCs more credit for understanding the technology, saying that it is very different from how it was as recently as three years ago. “They kinda get the technology,” Lee said. The trick, he added, is “convincing them of ArcBit’s role in it.”

Check out the demo video from ArcBit from FinovateFall 2015.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Check out this week’s “FinDEVr APIntelligence”
  • “Finovate Debuts: ArcBit Introduces its Secure, Easy-to-Use Bitcoin Wallet”
  • “FIS Closes SunGuard Acquisition to the Tune of $5.1 Billion”

Around the web

  • CSI globalVCard launches partnership program for banks for its electronic payments program.
  • highlights how Personal Capital can help you gain control of your finances.
  • Credit Sesame features millennial-friendly robo-adviser investment-platforms: Betterment, FutureAdvisor, SigFig, Blooom.
  • Quisk selected as a 2015 Red Herring 100 Global Winner.
  • TSYS signs payments agreement with Atlanticus to continue support of loan-origination platform, Fortiva.
  • Digital Insight unveils Business Banking, an SaaS solution to enable FIs to offer personalized banking experiences to business customers.
  • Q2 opens new offices in Lincoln, Nebraska, to accommodate growth, acquisition of Centrix Solutions.
  • Xignite Market Data APIs now available on SoundHound’s Houndify sound recognition and search-technology platform.
  • Let’s Talk Payments features Trustev, Trulioo, and Trunomi in its look at “RegTech” startups in Europe and the U.S.
  • Temenos wins “Best Provider of Front-to-Back Wealth Suite Solutions” at Asian Private Banker’s Technology Awards 2015.
  • Avalara partners with open-source billing and payments platform, Kill Bill.
  • Silicon Prairie News interviews Daniel Carnes, CSO at Prairie Cloudware, on the future of cybersecurity.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

ArcBit Presents BitCoin Wallet, Gives Consumers a “Bank In Your Pocket”

ArcBit Presents BitCoin Wallet, Gives Consumers a “Bank In Your Pocket”

ArcBitThis post is part of our live coverage of FinovateFall 2015.

Our final presentation of FinovateFall is up next. Here’s the team from ArcBit.

Your bank in your pocket, and your money safely in your control, that’s the way banking should be. ArcBit Wallet is a mobile application that gives you full control over your bitcoins. With the ArcBit Wallet, you can send and receive bitcoins from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world. It is basically a bank in your pocket.

Presenters: Tim Lee, founder, and Cameron P., developer



Product launch: June 2015

Metrics: 4 employees, has not yet pursued outside investment
Product distribution strategy: Direct to consumer (B2C)

HQ: New York City, New York
Founded: June 2015
Twitter: @arc_bit

Finovate Alumni News


  • “Finovate Debuts: DoubleNet Pay Puts Payday at the Center of Financial Planning”

Around the web

  • Coinbase expands its services to Canada.
  • Zopa appoints Jaidev Janardana to CEO; co-founder and former CEO Giles Andrews assumes role as executive chairman.
  • ArcBit highlighted in Brave New Coin feature on iOS-based digital wallets. See ArcBit at FinovateFall 2015 in New York.
  • Xero and team up to offer Direct Sync integration for SMEs.
  • Utah Business Magazine names MX number 20 of 50 of Utah’s fastest-growing companies.
  • ID Analytics names Scott Carter CEO.
  • Ormsby Street opens offices in Italy. See Ormsby Street at FinovateFall 2015 in New York in September.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.