Blockchain technology set to reshape the financial landscape
For some time now, blockchain has been considered a disruptive element in banking, as it has several advantages that make crypto transactions far surpass traditional systems. It is for this reason that I believe there is no future for payments that does not involve cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in some shape or form.
Data from the World Bank indicates that there are around 1.4 billion people worldwide who remain unbanked today. Meanwhile, modern FinTech firms are leveraging blockchain technology and smart contracts to offer payment solutions that are faster, cheaper and more secure to such people. A recent report by Technavio stated that the growing demand for digital payments boosted the crypto market in 2022 and that it will continue to grow in size, reaching $1.8 billion by 2027.
In this article, I will take a closer look at where FinTech companies stand today in relation to traditional banking, as well as what both sides need to continue to grow and develop in their relationship.
Fintech companies are shaping the future of financial services
In response to the global economic transformation, fintech companies are gradually offering crypto-based services that enable individuals and businesses to conduct their financial operations in alternative ways, without relying on banking services.
An example of a service developed by such companies is digital wallets that allow users to store and manage their assets. These wallets are going to be the foundation of the new financial system, as they essentially act as an alternative to traditional bank accounts, allowing users to send and receive payments globally. A study by Juniper Research predicts that the number of digital wallet users worldwide will exceed 5 billion by 2026, as the so-called “super apps” will drive further separation from cash and traditional banking.
In fact, many neobanks today are putting effort into developing multi-functional applications that streamline digital payments by giving users greater convenience by managing all their finances in one place. The next logical step here is to add crypto-powered tools to these apps and transform them into full-scale banking systems of the new generation. Before long, we will see “cryptobanks” that will fulfill the same core function, but enable people to manage their money in both crypto and fiat currencies.
At Mercuryo, we have already developed a Banking-as-a-Service solution that fulfills exactly this role. By integrating such a solution on their platforms, companies can enable users to perform all relevant financial operations through a unified interface, switch between currency types and trade freely to suit their ongoing needs. All this can be achieved at significantly reduced time and cost, compared to traditional financial counterparties, making it easier for both businesses and consumers to transact globally with minimal effort.
Governments are looking to CBDCs to transform their economy
We are already seeing many cases of governments around the world attempting to develop crypto regulation and diving into the creation of their own Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). Financial experts and organizations have a clear understanding that with the way things are going, in about 10 years the traditional banking system will no longer be viable, and will be a thing of the past. And so they are actively testing ways to bring crypto and TradFi together and develop this union into a new international financial system.
The biggest advantage that traditional banking has over blockchain-based systems today is that it simply already has a robust regulatory system centered around itself. Crypto, on the other hand, is a recent, fast-paced industry, so regulators have to put a lot of effort into keeping up with all the innovations and trying to develop appropriate legal frameworks for them.
Furthermore, there are also cryptopurists who do not want to trust institutions and believe that following government regulation would mean taking a step back from blockchain’s ideal of decentralization. However, it must be understood that the crypto industry will not remain a “Wild West” forever – it will certainly come under regulation, as crypto and TradFi learn to co-exist together. And when that happens, mass adoption of crypto will take a big step forward, allowing the overall financial industry to benefit from embracing the innovation.
Achieving a coherent balance between blockchain-based innovation and the stability of TradFi is set to bring about a new evolutionary step in the global financial landscape. As FinTech companies continue to grow and improve their services, it is critical that they maintain their collaboration with traditional banks. Cooperation between FinTech startups and established financial institutions can pave the way for industry progress and the development of a more robust international financial system.