Accounting giant has announced its third acceleration programme that will focus on blockchain applications and unveiled six startups participating in the initiative.

Ernst & Young has informed that six new blockchain startups have been chosen to take part in its 2016 Ernst and Young Startup Challenge. Within the next six weeks, the company will be working with the participants to help them develop blokchain prototypes and solutions.

“We are hugely excited to explore together with these six startup businesses how blockchain can be used to transform digital rights management and energy trading,” said Jamie Qiu, the founder of the Ernst and Young Startup Challenge, told Finance Magnates.

“These two key areas are ripe for change and we believe blockchain has the potential to bring about notable enhancements in productivity and transparency. We think that the prospective impact of this technology outside of the financial services sector is enormous, and we look forward to exploring this collaboratively,” he continued.

This year’s acceleration programme will focus on developing blockchain solutions for energy trading and digital rights management. According to Ernst and Young Startup Challenge founder, the blockchain technology could bring significant improvements to these sectors.

The financial industry, the company says, is not the only industry that will benefit from the technology. It predicts that blockchain will reach critical mass in financial services in 3-5 years, with other industries following quickly.

The media industry is getting more complicated, with more content and formats being created. The technology will help companies to address a range of issues, including control over content and visibility of content rights.

As far as energy trading organisations, the technology has the potential to transform and speed up the settlement of trades, reduce costs and minimize risks existing in the market.

The startups will have an access to EY professional services experience, press exposure, educational workshops and seminars focused on enterprise selling, business development and customer acquisition.

The participants will be able to get a customer feedback from EY’s clients, investors and other industry professionals. Besides, they will be provided with networking opportunities through various community events.

The selected firms include anti-counterfeit solutions developer BlockVerify, smart content platform for digital media, JAAK, and Adjoint, a messaging protocol allowing companies to deploy and maintain a network of smart contracts. Among the other startups are software and hardware solutions provider The Bitfury Group, BTL Group Ltd and Tallysticks, a designer of blockchain technologies for automating financial processes.

“Blockchain represents a unique opportunity for media companies to accelerate their growth ambitions by simplifying the secure production, management, and distribution of content to audiences around the world,” said Rahul Gautam, Partner and Head of TMT Advisory Services, EY UK and Ireland.

“The EY Startup Challenge will fuse the best thinking from the Blockchain startup community with EY’s people and clients to produce functioning solutions that demonstrate the art of the possible.”

The programme will start on September 12 and end on October 20, 2016, when the participants will showcase their solutions.

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