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Vancouver's BTL Group completes blockchain EY Startup Challenge in London

BTL Group CEO and Co-Founder Guy Halford-Thompson
BTL Group CEO and Co-Founder Guy Halford-Thompson

Vancouver’s BTL Group Ltd. (TSXV:BTL) has completed EY’s six-week 2016 Startup Challenge, which challenged companies specializing in blockchain technology to address issues particular to either digital rights management (DRM) or energy trading.
Working closely with EY (formerly known as “Ernst & Young”) and in collaboration with several energy companies, BTL developed an advanced Energy Trading Risk Management (ETRM) application, using BTL’s cross-border settlement platform, called Interbit, to explore ways of transforming how energy trades are created and settled, while also driving down costs and reducing risk in the market.
“We have built a strong relationship with BTL during the course of the Startup Challenge,” said Jamie Qiu, Founder and Lead of the EY Startup Challenge. “BTL’s prototype ETRM (Energy Trading Risk Management) Auditing and Portfolio Reconciliation application, built on their Interbit platform has the potential to create significant cost savings in the energy space and we are looking forward to continuing to develop our relationship with BTL as they work closely with key energy clients.”
Interbit allows entrepreneurs globally to innovate and provide access to fast, secure and auditable financial and asset trading services through an open, multi-chain asset settlement platform with a suite of APIs and smart contracts.
BTL is now continuing to work with EY and the aforementioned energy companies to further refine the prototype that they developed during the Startup Challenge.
“Through EY’s Startup Challenge, BTL has gained access to highly valuable clients, resources, and expertise to help define Interbit within the energy space. BTL has identified key areas for cost saving, helping us to position ourselves at the forefront of the industry,” said BTL CEO and Co-Founder Guy Halford-Thompson. “The EY Startup Challenge was an exceptionally valuable program, and puts EY at the forefront of innovation with startup businesses and emerging technologies.”
BTL Group, with offices in Vancouver and London’s Canary Wharf, is the first Canadian blockchain company to be listed on the TSX Venture exchange, and is also known for bringing one of the first Bitcoin ATMs to London.
The EY 2016 Startup Challenge ended with a day of pitches, product demonstrations and an audience vote, with the Best Pitch award going to Dutch-American company The Bitfury Group for its digital rights management blockchain software platform, the Most Innovative Pilot award going to London-based JAAK, which has developed an “operating system for content”, and Most Investable Pilot going to Boston-based Adjoint, for its blockchain-based value chain traceability platform.
“We brought together some of the most sophisticated media companies in the world and the most innovative startups in London to develop blockchain pilots that can help the media industry handle the challenges it is faced with in the digital age,” said Partner and Head of TMT Advisory Services for EY UK and Ireland, Rahul Gautam. “Today’s DRM systems were developed for a business model that was relevant 20 years ago, and weren’t set up to process the over one billion songs downloaded each year. Blockchain has the potential to handle such scale and complexity and I am very optimistic about the role it can play in DRM in the future.”
Earlier this year, BTL Group participated in a pilot project, called Visa Europe Collab, at the invitation of Visa Europe, along with a small number of European banks, to explore potential applications for blockchain technology in financial services.
For the Visa Europe Collab, Interbit was used to prove out the ways that blockchain-based settlements can reduce the friction of domestic and cross-border transfers between banks, thereby reducing costs, settlement time, credit risk, not to mention automating most of the regulatory and compliance requirements of domestic and international transfers by using smart contracts.

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