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New Canadian accelerator launches to nurture Bitcoin startups

Above: Overstock.com is helping Bitcoin makes its rise.

Image Credit: deviantART

We might be furiously obsessing over Bitcoin here in Silicon Valley, but a new Bitcoin-focused accelerator is launching today in America’s hat — Canada.

It is aptly named Bitcoin Decentral Accelerate.

Bitcoin Decentral, the Toronto-based business center behind the accelerator, has already assembled a bevy of novel cryptocurrency amenities and projects, such as a BTM (Bitcoin ATM), Bitcoin meetups, a next-generation distributed cryptographic ledger named Ethereum, and even a Bitcoin wallet in the form of a Chrome browser extension called Kryptokit. It really does seem poised for successful vetting and nurturing of a new generation of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency startups, given its range of related experience and resources.

Bitcoin Decentral Accelerate will make initial investments of $25,000 for a 7 percent stake in each startup, will provide at least $25,000 of perks (such as hosting, SaaS services and legal and marketing services) to each company, and provide a $100,000 convertible note to each graduating startup, accelerator cofounder and advisor William Mougayar told VentureBeat via email.

The accelerator boasts a large team of experienced cryptocurrency mentors, including Ethereum cofounders Vitalik Buterin and Anthony Di Iorio, Coinapult founder Erik Voorhees, BitPay chief executive Tony Gallippi, Blockchain chief security officer Andreas Antonopoulos, monetary expert Trace Meyer, and BitAngels cofounder David A. Johnston, to name just a few.

This announcement comes on the heels of a similar accelerator launch — CrossCoin Ventures’ program, which opened its doors yesterday.

CrossCoin’s accelerator will focus on cryptocurrency startups developing remittance; wallets; merchant solutions; and tax, analytics, and management products. It will also heavily promote Ripple, a cryptocurrency that doubles as a payment system.

During CrossCoin’s four-month program, the chosen startups will get office space to help them get going and a flexible, yet goal-oriented structure that’s designed for rapid iteration and achieving milestones. CrossCoin will also invest $50,000 in Ripple’s currency, XRP, into each accepted startup.

In a fun twist, CrossCoin’s management team includes Gary Kremen, who previously founded Match.com. Perhaps the accelerator will be making dating advice available to the startups? It sure would be a great perk to offer.

And while both of these accelerator programs seem to be unusual, a few others have been quietly simmering. Sunnyvale-based Plug and Play Tech Center recently debuted its own Bitcoin accelerator program, and Adam Draper’s Boost.vc has Bitcoin-focused startups in its portfolio. And there is also BitAngels, an angel group dedicated to nurturing the digital currency space.

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