Barclays opens VC division to invest in blockchain and smart contracts
One of the largest banks in the world has created a venture capital unit focused on blockchain technology, smart contracts and artificial intelligence. Writes about this Financial Times.
Ben Deway, the bank’s former head of strategy, will lead Barclays UK Ventures (BUKV), a unit that will focus on “truly transformational new lines of business” to make “tangible contributions” to organizational structure.
According to him, the new organization has a “relatively unlimited sphere of authority”, and he himself feels “very predisposed” to invest in startups operating in this space..
“We represent a growth firm,” said Barclays UK chief executive Ashok Waswani, adding that the new division is opening up “new lines to drive revenue in addition to the organic growth of our core business.”.
In addition to investing in startups with high potential profitability, BUKV intends to enter into commercial agreements and, in the future, open its own startups..
“We intend to take an extremely open approach to operating models when considering the best ideas,” Devey said..
Thus, Barclays becomes one of the first organizations of this level to create venture divisions to work with the blockchain space..
Earlier, venture capitalist Anthony Pompliano, citing his own sources, reported that Barclays is preparing to open a cryptocurrency trading division.
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