Billon (company)

Billon is a fintech company operating in UK and Poland which developed a technology to store and transfer regulated currencies and other data using a proprietary blockchain.[1]

Billon
Privately held company
IndustryFinancial technology, Blockchain
Founded2012
HeadquartersCannon Place, 78 Cannon Street, London, United Kingdom
Key people
Services
  • Payments
  • Trusted document management
Websitewww.billongroup.com 

Overview

Billon designed a light-weight permissioned blockchain, with ordinary consumer electronic devices such as desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, and others, acting as nodes after installing a dedicated application. In comparison with other blockchains, Billon's technology does not use cryptocurrencies, but regulated currencies, such as Polish zloty and British pound, in compliance with e-money regulations.

Billon's technology can be used for incentives, loyalty programs, market research, e-commerce, or content monetisation.[2][3]

Billon claims to reach the speed of transactions orders of magnitude faster than other blockchains. According to the company, throughput tests proved the number of 160 million transactions per day, i.e. couple of thousands per second. The resulting speed of transactions is comparable with contactless payment cards, achieving much lower fraud levels.[4]

Technology

There is no mining process in Billon architecture. Instead, genesis blocks in Billon's blockchain are created by authorised issuers, primarily licensed banks that exchange paper or electronic money into their digital equivalents. Money has a form of a file with Billon specified crypto-protocol standard. This allows interoperability between multiple blockchains storing money issued by different banks. Once a blockchain is created and transferred by the bank to the first user, further circulation is done entirely on peer-to-peer basis without any further involvement from the issuing bank.

Each entry has a serial number embedded, together with denomination, currency, identifier of the issuing bank as well as layer of digital watermarks and digital signatures. Signatures are both in standard RSA format and on elliptic curves created by bank's HSM.

In order to access the blockchain, users need a dedicated application that contains public keys of the issuers. The application, just like bitcoin cryptocurrency wallet, is capable of parsing Billon's digital blockchain format and verifying signatures on incoming and outgoing money. Both the sending and receiving party have to register their public keys at the issuing bank. This is done automatically during registration process.

Merchant or user wishing to convert money from Billon's blockchain to electronic or paper money can do so via bank transfer or a cardless withdrawal at the automated teller machine (ATM).[5]

History

Billon was established in 2012 in Poland and incorporated as a UK company in 2016.[6][7] In 2014, David Putts, US investor and founder of Inteligo bank, joined the company as one of early investors and Chief Growth Officer.[8]

In 2016, Billon introduced its solutions in a live environment in the FCA's regulatory sandbox programme.[9] In June 2017, Billon Financial, a subsidiary company, received a FCA registration as an e-money provider for the UK.[10][11]

The company received grants from the EU's Horizon 2020 research program, as well as from Ohio-based Fintech 71 startup accelerator.[12][13]

In November 2017, the company was recognized as one of 40 winners of the World Summit Award for providing solutions which facilitate achieving UN's Sustainable Development Goals, such as ending poverty, providing decent work and economic growth worldwide, and empowering women with economic independence.[14][15] In the same month, the company signed an agreement with Mitsui Knowledge Industry to introduce Billon’s technology to Asian markets, including Japan.[16][17]

In 2018, Billon signed the agreement with the Polish Credit Office to provide Polish banks with the blockchain-based document management solution that is fully compliant with GDPR.[18] Later that year the company won the Global FinTech Hackcelerator at the Singapore FinTech Festival.[19]

In December 2018, Wojtek Kostrzewa was appointed as the company's CEO.[20]

In 2019, the Polish Financial Supervision Authority licensed Billon to operate as an e-money institution across the whole European Union.[21]

References

  1. "Company Overview of Billon Group Ltd". Bloomberg. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  2. "Billon | Home page". billongroup.com. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  3. "Billon | Home page". billon.live. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  4. "Billon sets industry-standard benchmark for blockchain scalability - Billon". press.billongroup.com. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  5. "Ecosystem participants".
  6. "Billon NIP 7010363618 KRS 0000444592 REGON 146470190 | Krs-Pobierz". krs-pobierz.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  7. "BILLON GROUP LIMITED - Overview (free company information from Companies House)". beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  8. "Genesis Block — The Chain Begins in Warsaw — A Blockchain Tale". insights.wired.com. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  9. "Financial Conduct Authority unveils successful sandbox firms on the second anniversary of Project Innovate". FCA. 7 November 2016. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  10. "Billon is the first Polish company to feature on FinTech50". paymentsjournal.com. 26 June 2018. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  11. "Blockchain-Based Payments Provider Billon Receives UK e-Money Registration - Billon". press.billongroup.com. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  12. "Billon receives €2m grant from Horizon 2020 - Billon". press.billongroup.com. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  13. "Billon gains acceptance to Fintech71 start-up accelerator - Billon". press.billongroup.com. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  14. "Solving today's challenges with digital innovation – Billon in the World Summit Award Global Top 40 - Billon". press.billongroup.com. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  15. "Winners | WSA". www.worldsummitawards.org. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  16. "Billon and Mitsui Knowledge Industry sign a cooperation agreement - Billon". press.billongroup.com. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  17. Michał Duszczyk (25 July 2018), "Polski blockchain doceniony w Japonii". Rzeczpospolita. (in Polish).
  18. "Polish banks to put millions of confidential records on blockchain". Euromoney. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  19. "2018 Global FinTech Hackcelerator winners announced at Singapore FinTech Festival" (PDF). gov.sg. Monetary Authority of Singapore. 2 October 2018. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  20. "Wojtek Kostrzewa is the new CEO of Billon Group". press.billongroup.com. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  21. "Billon licensed to operate as a e-money institution in EU". enterprisetimes.co.uk. 1 May 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
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