As the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry expands, major financial institutions are growing more interested in the space, with banking giant Santander planning an awards ceremony that is going to take place in the metaverse, bank said in the announcement on its website.
Specifically, the ceremony is the conclusion of the competition run in partnership with Oxentia Foundation, which saw a total of about 400 entries. The deadline for the applications was June 9, 2022, after which the jury of international experts narrowed down the list to 20 finalists.
On July 7, these finalists presented their solutions to Fintech Station, Santander’s open innovation team.
Among the 20 finalists – ten startups and ten scaleups – six will be chosen as the best in providing solutions that focus on technologies ranging from privacy and security for blockchains to the adoption of decentralized finance (DeFi) and tokenization to enhancing and expanding digital interactions through Web3 and the metaverse.
The awards ceremony will see these six winners receiving €120,000 (around $121,985) altogether – the three winning startups will receive €10,000 each, while the three winning scaleups will receive €30,000 each.
They will also become part of the bank’s global entrepreneurship community Santander X 100, providing them access to resources such as training, capital, customers, and connections.
Plans for ETF and warnings of crypto scams
In November 2021, Finbold reported that Banco Santander was preparing to launch the first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in Spain, mainly driver by customer demand, as its Executive Chairperson Ana Botín said. No new information has been made available since.
More recently, the Santander group’s United Kingdom branch issued a report stating that scams involving celebrity-endorsed cryptocurrencies in the UK spiked 61% in the first quarter of 2022, waning that the number would likely double in 2022 and grow by 87% compared to 2021.