Investment Bank AXA Eyeing Bitcoin for Remittance Market

Multinational investment bank AXA is eyeing bitcoin to help streamline the remittance market, the general partner of its VC fund has told CoinDesk.

Minh Q Tran said AXA is treating digital currency as an “investment thesis” through AXA Strategic Ventures, the bank’s $223m fund, and its accelerator, AXA Factory.

He said:

“We think that many use cases related to bitcoin have not already been explored. In particular we are very interested in how bitcoin, and more generally cryptocurrencies, might be used in the remittance market.”

Though no bitcoin or blockchain startups have received AXA funding so far, Tran said the firm is in talks with a number of ‘rebittance’ companies looking to disrupt the $582bn sector.

Beyond remittance

Aside from bitcoin’s use in the remittance market, AXA – also a leading insurance brand – is exploring how blockchain technology could be used in fields such as real estate, wealth management, intellectual property and – crucially – insurance. This news coincides with today’s announcement of Kamet, the bank’s £111m ‘InsurTech’ incubator.

Although banking remains a risk-averse industry, many big name firms are now exploring the potential of blockchain technology through their VC arms.

Spain’s Bankinter became the first bank to fund a bitcoin company, Coinffeine, last November following an undisclosed investment from its Innovation Foundation. Firms including BBVA have since followed suit.

Others are exploring custom technologies via in-house R&D. UBS has a year-long residency in London FinTech incubator Level 39 to work out proof-of-concepts that could benefit its stakeholders. Meanwhile, Ken Moore, the head of Citi’s Innovation Labs, revealed the bank was testing its own cryptocurrency, Citicoin.


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