This week was an exciting week for startups and technology with the 2015 TechCrunch Disrupt event taking place in San Francisco.

This three day annual showcase pulls startups, investors and entrepreneurs together for interviews, exhibitions and a prestigious startup competition with a $50,000 prize rounding off the event.

We thought we’d take a look at some of the highlights, particularly in the world of fintech and biometrics.

Fintech Showcase

Let’s Talk Payments has pulled together some great fintech-specific coverage, which revealed that 20% of the featured startups were in the fintech and payments space. A good representation but likely to grow in the coming years.

Some top fintech startups with interesting propositions include:

  • Card1: a universal payment card
  • Loanatik.com – an online mortgage service, empowering people in a simplified, digital process
  • Quikwallet – a fast-growing mobile payment app for retail and restaurants from India

The Bitcoin Debate

An interesting panel took place on the future of digital currency Bitcoin, which sparked a spirited response on Twitter.

Bitcoin has suffered an image blow in the last two years as developments have failed to keep pace with initial excitement.

As an industry, we are paying the price around the hype of bitcoin about two years ago. Everybody’s expectations were that this was going to change [world monetary systems] in six months, and that didn’t happen.
Wences Casares, CEO for bitcoin bank Xapo

However, whatever Bitcoin’s future is, its founding framework blockchain, could have other important applications, including digital information management and ID verification. 

CEO of China’s first Bitcoin exchange BTCC, remained cautiously optimistic:

Bitcoin is not going to go away in the same way the Internet is not going to go away.
Bobby Lee, CEO BTCC

Wearables and Biometrics

There was no debate however in the popularity and potential of the wearable fitness technology market.

We particularly liked startup Humon, which is combining biometric data with a wearable product for endurance athletes, which measures lactic acid production in real-time to help the athlete tailor his or her training.

Worn strapped to the leg, the device can monitor the oxygenation of the athlete’s blood, allowing them to assess whether they can safely carry train according to their limits.

Did you have any particular highlights from this year’s event? Do you think fintech startups will feature more heavily next year?

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