Thursday 15 October 2015 1:44 pm

Barclays is teaming up with blockchain startups Chainalysis and Wave as the bank's bitcoin experiment expands

Barclays has signed contracts with two blockchain startups in what the bank is calling a “game-changer”.

This is one of the first times a major bank has opened up for such a cooperation with blockchain clients, as many bitcoin companies have had difficulties gaining access to banking services.

Barclays chief design and innovation officer Derek White is calling the deal with startups Chainalysis and Wave a “game-changer” for the bank:

Barclays is proud to be at the forefront of the fintech revolution.

Wave is developing an electronic paperless Bills of Lading process, using blockchain technology, and Chainalysis is working with Barclays’ financial crime team to obtain information from the blockchain about customers’ financial transactions.

The two blockchain deals were among the eight new fintech startups to sign contracts with Barclays after a 13-week accelerator programme in New York. The bank has previously held two similar accelerators in London, and will be starting a fourth one in the city next January.

Barclays said earlier that the goal of the programme was to collaborate with blockchain startups to help them better understand what requirements banks have.

The bank has been experimenting with bitcoin, and is working on a proof of concept with bitcoin service provider Safello, exploring how the cryptocurrency can be used to make charitable donations.