What is Capital One Labs Anyway? What do they want with Bitcoin?

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About a month ago Coin Fire ran a piece titled, Is Capital One Investigating Bitcoin?

At the time Mike had posted a link to a job posting at Capital One for a Data Scientist who would be likely working at the new Capital One Labs. The post had originally set the Internet ablaze with speculation regarding Capital One and Bitcoin.

It now appears that further details have emerged as we initially learned earlier this morning that Capital One is now once again hiring for another position that contains a blip about Bitcoin. Brian Cohen (noted contributor to Bitcoin Magazine, Let’s Talk Bitcoin and more) has found another job posting at Capital One titled Digital Operations Manager.

The job posting contains such juicy nuggets as,

Passion for the latest in fintech including bitcoin, mobile wallets, mobile payments, beacons, predictive analytics, P2P lending

Capital One’s D3 (Data + Design + Disrupt) team in San Francisco is selectively recruiting for a Digital Operations Manager to help us deliver new digital products and pilot new business models. You will play a critical role on our team’s exploration into big data, adtech, and business intelligence with the reach and resources a Fortune 100 company.

Screenshot 2014-07-12 11.46.24So where does this leave us? Like the previous job posting Bitcoin is but a blip but this is the second time it has been mentioned in regards to Capital One and the second time it has been mentioned with the Capital One Labs.

It lead us to the question what is this whole Capital One Labs thing anyways?

Capital One Labs is a division of Capital One Bank that contains offices in New York, Washington DC and most recently San Francisco.

Capital One Labs is one place within the large banking company where employees dress casually, work in a fairly cool space and are actually encouraged to share with others and have guests. It is the side of the company where all employees are given a Macbook Pro or Air, a 27” Thunderbolt monitor, can count on free snacks being available at all hours and employees are encouraged to work the hours they want.

project-slideEssentially it is a startup within a large company. The Capital One Labs team was behind the Square competitor Spark Pay, the team behind the Capital One API, and now a team tasked with exploring Bitcoin.

Inside Capital One Labs you’ll find a plethora of iOS engineers, product managers, Android developers, designers, data scientists, and even some SCRUM masters who have been tasked with making sure that Capital One is not only keeping up with the pace of innovation but in some areas being in front of the innovation.

One such area that Capital One Labs has been tracking heavily is Bitcoin and other alternative cryptocurrencies.

Coin Fire began to do some digging and found several Capital One Labs employees on LinkedIn and Twitter and began contacting them to see if any could shed some light on the Capital One and Bitcoin connection and was told by at least two who wished to remain anonymous that Capital One Labs contains several employees who are avid Bitcoin users and that they and others inside the company have been pushing for Capital One to get in to the space.

Rumors abound in Silicon Valley of course and several secrets have been posted to the app Secret talking about potential connections to Etherium Labs and Capital One which both have bases near each other which we pressed our newly found sources in Capital One about.

The Etherium connection is a stretch. Some of the guys working on that project have come by our space, we are open to meeting new people who are working on cool stuff and cryptocurrencies and so they’ve been seen hanging around our campus a bit and lots of the guys here have sat down with them around the space to talk about cryptocurrency but to be frank we aren’t working with them on anything. Not yet, at least. – Capital One Labs source

It seems that if that connection is truly happening that no one is willing to talk about it… yet. That said Coin Fire does not report speculation under any circumstance. As many of you may recall we recently took flack from the community for reporting on the 1-800-Flowers connection over two weeks before it was officially announced (although later it was shown we were correct because we only report on confirmed items) but we felt it necessary to keep pushing the issue with Capital One regarding Capital One Labs and cryptocurrency.

At this time we have not yet received an official on-the-record statement from neither Capital One Bank nor Capital One Labs regarding the potential Etherium connection but can say that Bitcoin is most definitely on the radar at Capital One Labs based on sources inside Capital One Labs and via the litany of recruiting materials being published by the company.

So, where does that leave us regarding Bitcoin and Capital One?

At the moment speculation (which we do not do) but we do know the company is certainly investigating it further, has a whole lab of employees in three locations which contains several people looking at it, and we have a better understanding of Capital One Labs a unit of the company that operates almost independently in a startup like environment and is actively pursuing an investigation in to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

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Coin Fire

Coin Fire is a cryptocurrency news site started on June 6th of 2014. The site focused on hard-hitting investigative stories. Coin Fire was acquired by 99Bitcoins on October 2015.

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