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Orange Silicon Valley, a California-based subsidiary of the European company Orange Telecom, has selected the bitcoin start-up Bitwage among other six start-ups for its 12-week accelerator programme. This is the fifth season of the Orange Fab US accelerator ongoing since March, 2013.

 

The selected start-ups will use the international network and its resources via the Fab Force programme. They will get an office space in San Francisco and additional funding of $20,000 for each. They will also benefit from consultations by mentors and experts in marketing and design.

“By collaborating with start-ups, our goal is to anticipate future trends in the digital industry, whether it be the development of innovative technologies or new business models,” said Pierre Louette, Deputy CEO and Secretary-General at Orange.

Bitwage is a bitcoin start-up that uses the blockchain technology to enable employers, employees and contractors to manage salaries on the international scale faster and cheaper. In March 2015 the company issued the first payroll card that allows people to receive their wages in bitcoin. Bitwage has been recently selected for the finals of the fintech Open Talent competition run by the Spanish banking giant BBVA.

Orange Silicon Valley announced its plans to invest $40,000 in two bitcoin companies in April 2015. Orange Telecom, formerly France Telecom, is a leading telecommunications operator in over 20 European, African, and Middle Eastern countries, with 230 million customers worldwide. Orange is not the first telecommunications company which expressed an interest in bitcoin. Others include PerseusTelecom, Dish Network Corp., DoCoMo и T-Mobile Poland. The Australian telco company Telstra revealed that it is watching the bitcoin market closely.

Sonya Belova