On 7 September 2020, blockchain platform Zilliqa announced the eight companies that will join their ZILHive Accelerator program. Lasting six months, the program is targeted towards early and late-stage startups, helping them use the Zilliqa protocol to build their blockchain solutions. This year, the focus is to promote blockchain in Open Finance (OpFi) and democratizing finance.
Three of the eight chosen startups include Propine, a Singaporean end-to-end digital securities services firm, Moonlet, a Romanian cryptocurrency wallet, and Moonlight, a U.S. decentralized self-sovereign identity solution. The companies will be trained in various business areas, from design thinking to fundraising.
Zilliqa has also launched the ZILHive Open Finance consortium. It consists of various firms and the eight chosen startups, all working towards creating a collaborative blockchain ecosystem. Ivan Poon, CEO of Switcheo Network, one of the participating firms, says “ZILHive Open Finance consortium is a testament to the power of collaboration in enacting meaningful change.”
Past Zilliqa OpFi projects include a partnership with Xfers, a Singaporean FinTech platform. In November 2019, they launched stablecoin initiative StraitsX which is powered by Zilliqa’s blockchain. Last month, Zilliqa’s sister-company Aqilliz conducted a blockchain loyalty pilot with Singapore telecoms company, MyRepublic.
Zilliqa’s Accelerator program is similar to the Government-backed blockchain development program offered by Singaporean venture capital firm TRIVE Ventures last year. Through Tribe Accelerator, TRIVE, alongside BMW, Intel, and Nelson, mentored ten startups to promote and encourage the blockchain ecosystem. Tribe also worked with Zilliqa on its accelerator.
OpFi extends open banking data-sharing principles to allow third-party providers to access consumer data across various financial services and products. ZILHive was partly created to drive innovation and further the growth in a world-wide OpFi ecosystem. Zilliqa’s SVP of Ecosystem Development, Han Wen Chua, highlights the fact the pandemic has accelerated the need for digital finance, and that “the time is now for FinTech to take on a greater role in adopting a more open financial ecosystem.”