7 Technologies Disrupting Finance Industry

In recent years, people have experienced the wonders of modern technology when it comes to managing their finances and accessing financial services. This trend is only expected to improve and continue with the advancements in technology like AI, cryptocurrency, blockchain, VR, and AR, among many other things.

But getting to this point has been a bit slow for the financial industry as compared to other industries who have arguably fewer developments in the technology department.

It’s understandable for the financial sector to have a slower response in the digital disruption due to the sensitive data that they hold.

There’s also the issue of established legacy systems that they have relied on for years. Something that newer and more agile financial companies are not facing due to less dependency on the system. These FinTech companies have the luxury of constantly re-evaluating and re-organizing their business model to give modern solutions to modern financial problems of customers today.

Rules and regulations have also hampered down the advancement of traditional financial companies. Most regulating bodies still don't know the capabilities of some of these technologies and the negative impacts they might have on both the ecosystem and the customers.

Despite these obstacles and due to the fast-changing behavior of customers and increasing competition from FinTech companies, a lot of financial companies have no choice but to digitally transform to provide the best service to their customers

Since fintech companies, normally, don't fall under the jurisdiction of these regulating bodies, they have been pushing the envelope and have experienced successes in implementing them. A great example of this is cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum that have experienced tremendous growth in the last decade. Now, traditional companies are exploring how they can use cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies to carry out traditional tasks that are considered rigid, slow, and insecure. Some companies have also started accepting cryptocurrencies to pay for specific services.

We could say that, somehow, traditional financial companies are trying to keep up with the changes. But if they continue at this pace, they will always find themselves lagging behind modern and more flexible service providers. Soon they'll find that traditional financial advisors may not be as effective as an AI who can predict the most ideal investment streams or that people don't want to be bothered driving to physical banks since financial transactions can now be securely done through mobile phones.

The key to the industry's survival is to spearhead the implementation or experimentation of these technological tools instead of waiting for the next move of technology companies.

In this infographic created by Prototype, a digital transformation company, you'll see a list of modern technologies disrupting the finance industry, the factors driving these changes, and trends these companies should watch out for.


Infographic by: Prototype


Fidelity Digital Assets eyes service for introducing hedge fund investors to crypto funds

RELATED DIGITAL ASSETS INSIGHTS:

Crypto Industry Entering New Era as Institutional Traders Get Invested - Cointelegraph
Institutional interest in digital assets is growing as major financial players continue to enter the cryptocurrency space.

Appeal Of Digital Assets Growing Among Global Institutional Investors, Fidelity Says - Financial Advisor Magazine
Digital assets such as Bitcoin are gaining popularity among institutional investors in the U.S. and abroad, according to a survey by Fidelity Digital Assets.

  • Fidelity Digital Assets has seen its book of business for its custody and execution offerings grow since the beginning of the year
  • At the same time, the firm has been talking to hedge funds about a new service that would introduce them to big capital allocators
  • Meanwhile, the firm has made two key hires, including a new CTO
  by Frank Chaparro for The Block

Fidelity Digital Assets has been building out its team and is now appears poised to expand its suite of product offerings, The Block has learned.

The crypto-focused subsidiary of $7.9 trillion asset manager Fidelity has seen an increase in interest in its existing products from investors "across the board," according to a spokeswoman. Fidelity Digital Assets offers a custody service for bitcoin as well as an execution service, which helps institutional investors trade bitcoin in large size.

Since the beginning of the year, ongoing market turbulence and fears around impending inflation drove new interest from traditional investors, the firm has said.

Fidelity Digital Assets has ambitions to expand its business outside of custody and execution, according to people familiar with the process. A spokeswoman said the firm "routinely in discussions with market participants to understand the needs in the market to help inform our product roadmap. Our current product offering includes custody and execution services." [READ MORE]

 


Traditional Traders Are Ready to Go Crypto and Prefer Bitcoin

By 
Senior trading executives believe that larger trading companies are about to take the crypto plunge, and could be set to provide the market with a timely boost, per a new study. Bitcoin/USD is the most preferred trading pair, it added.

In a report named Institutional Adoption of Digital Asset Trading, compiled by the Acuiti management intelligence platform, in conjunction with the CME Group and the Bitstamp crypto exchange, authors claimed that survey data “suggests the digital assets market is on the cusp of significant growth from traditional trading firms.”

The findings were based on a survey of 86 senior executives “across the sellside, proprietary trading firms and the buyside.” The authors stated that its respondents from non-bank Futures Commission Merchants, proprietary trading firms and the buyside “tended to be C-suite [the executive-level managers],” while banking and brokerage respondents were primarily “heads of function at managing director level.” The findings were announced this week. However, the authors did not specify whether the survey was conducted before or after the market crash in March.

In either case, according to the survey, although most “traditional trading firms” still refuse to handle crypto, the tide could be about to turn.

The authors wrote,

“97% [of trading firms] will consider the opportunity again in the next two years or less and 45% are planning to revisit the idea in six months or less.”

Traditional Traders Could Be Ready to Go Crypto, Prefer Bitcoin - Survey 102
Source: Acuiti

What’s stopping them? Yes, you guessed it – it's regulation again.

>>> READ MORE


Crypto exchanges report uptick in trade volumes as coronavirus impacts the global economy

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed global markets into a state of shock – but major cryptocurrency exchanges appear to remain unaffected.

Seven crypto exchanges The Block spoke with – including centralized, decentralized and peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplaces – said they have witnessed increased user numbers and trading volumes since the pandemic started escalating.

"We've seen a significant uptick in sign-ups and a 300% increase in verified accounts," Dave Ripley, chief operating officer at Kraken, told The Block. Ripley did not disclose specific user numbers, but said Kraken currently serves "millions of clients around the world."

OKEx has also seen "steady" growth in its user base, CEO Jay Ho told The Block. "Especially during early-March, we recorded an estimated 1.7% boost globally."

Quick Take

  • Major cryptocurrency exchanges appear to remain unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic impact
  • At least seven exchanges The Block spoke they have seen an uptick in user sign-ups and trading volumes
  • These include Kraken, Gemini, Bitfinex, OKEx, Bitstamp, Paxful, and KyberSwap.

Read More 


Bitcoin making the payments world better

Bitcoin is the digital currency which is created and held electronically and is the first successful digital coin that can be transferred over the web. Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer payment network which in simple words means that it can be transferred from a person to another directly over the internet, taking out middlemen such as banks and credit agencies

The crypto crash of 2019 considerably changed the dynamics in the crypto market and ensured a clean-up of the crypto market. Cryptocurrency price changes are no longer dramatic and the Bitcoin has become significantly stable. The new crypto market is being driven by institutional money in combination with the new wave of innovation and adoption which will come from security tokens combined with stable coins. The crypto market is also becoming more regulated, and therefore more accessible to the public and efficient. The New York Stock Exchange’s operator is to start working with Bitcoin futures in 2020, while Nasdaq will follow their lead a year later. Bitcoin has matured as an investment vehicle, primarily with the introduction of Bitcoin futures, allowing for adoption, as investors short Bitcoin and settle contracts in real money, as well as trade-off Bitcoin even when they do not own bitcoin.

Bitcoin users can accept and send Bitcoin payments of any size from anywhere in the world in seconds instantly which allows users to minimize the amount of cash and plastic they need to carry around. People comfortable and conversant with bitcoin may travel solely with it as a means to an alternate source of income. An Australian beach town in Central Queensland became the first digital currency-friendly tourist town.

As bitcoin can be used to initiate global payments around the world at insignificant costs and in near real-time, it offers an opportunity for crowdfunding by anyone around the world to help support charities and any foundations. You can offer aid to any foundation from anywhere in the world to help a cause. You can also scan a QR code to make payment into a bitcoin wallet. This use of bitcoin is an initiate of Project 256.

If an woocommerce coupon company permits bitcoin to be used to complete purchases, it has advantages such as cutting out middlemen, cutting down transaction fees, increasing the speed of transaction and can boost trade in some developing countries. It is also very secure, and so can be used to encrypt keys of a digital wallet. Because Bitcoin is instantaneous, users have peace of mind that a transaction is completed for sure, and so reduces time where a payment remains pending for a period of time. The instantaneous nature of bitcoins, along with its security means that chargebacks are very unlikely to occur. You can accept Bitcoin through the use of payment buttons, invoices or custom integrations. Bitcoin is still very relatively new in the woocommerce smart coupons space, so if you are going to use it, ensure there are FAQs to guide the customer and make the UX as intuitive as possible.

Bitcoin may be used to integrate the unbanked. It can be used for digital micro-loans, on monetary exchanges and for cross border remittances.

As bitcoin is a digital asset, it can be moved automatically, allowing for programmable money and smart contracts. Escrow accounts are already used for transactions, such as real estate deals. Customers’ deposits can have held in the escrow accounts and only goes to the seller after what the buyer paid for has been delivered. In a digital age where trust can be crucial to people who want to transact with sellers or buyers they don’t know, this system can be used for varying amounts.

Researchers are working on ways to map bitcoin transactions in the ledger to IP addresses. Although this system is not perfect yet, this exploration into computer science, economics, and forensics will help nab criminals and can also serve as a guard against money laundering.

Bitcoins are not associated with a bank account or cash funds, and because they're only transferred electronically through blockchain ledger systems, they are likely to reduce fraud overall in the future.

National banks of countries that are subject to extreme conflict or financial mismanagement might begin supporting cryptocurrencies by supplementing the gold reserves with bitcoin as it is a trust-minimized cryptocurrency solution.

About the author:
Junaid Ali Qureshi is an ecommerce entrepreneur with a passion for emerging tech marketing and ecommerce development. Some of his current ventures include Progos Tech (an Woocommerce mix and match), Elabelz.com , Titan Tech and Smart Marketing.


Announcement: We've Integrated with LGO

When we built Mainbloq we did it with one thing in mind—bringing all of the technology that was available on Wall Street to cryptocurrency traders. Over the years, what it means to be a crypto trader has changed and we've seen more institutions adding crypto to their portfolios, which is why we're happy to announce that we're the first trading platform to integrate with LGO Group.

As the leading institutional bitcoin exchange in Europe, LGO is uniquely positioned to address this nascent, growing market. The fully electronic LGO platform allows over 40 institutions from all around the world to trade bitcoin with a level of transparency, security and client service which is uncompared in the space.

"We believe institutions will play an outsized role in the future of Cryptocurrency trading, and our partnership with LGO is an important step forward in that future," says Ryan Kuiken, CEO of Mainbloq.

Mainbloq is currently connected to 27 of the top cryptocurrency venues and with the addition of LGO now offers its clients one more place to source liquidity. Mainbloq offers WebSockets, REST and FIX 4.4 connectivity to all supported venues.

"We were impressed by Mainbloq's technology. Our visions for the future of cryptocurrency are aligned and we believe that this partnership will be mutually beneficial," said Hugo Renaudin, CEO of LGO.


Vitalik Buterin Cashed Out of ETH During the 2017 Cryptocurrency Bubble

vitalik buterin, ether
Vitalik Buterin cashed out a lot of ether during the crypto craze of 2017, but he's been quite charitable with it. | Source: Steve Jennings/Getty Images

Ethereum mastermind Vitalik Buterin, who holds 350,000 ETH in his main wallet address, allegedly cashed out $40 million worth of ETH between June 2017 and February 2018. The findings came to light by Alex Sunnarborg, a founding partner of the crypto hedge fund Tetra Capital, who dug into Vitalik’s historical account data.

The Breakdown of Vitalik’s ETH Movements

According to Etherscan, Buterin has converted 544,998 ETH to fiat currencies since 2015. This amount equals to almost $49 million, $40 million of which he moved during the period mentioned above.

5/ Vitalik likely cashed out ~ $40,000,000 worth of ETH between June 2017 – February 2018: pic.twitter.com/8RoMKU63ha

— Alex Sunnarborg (@alexsunnarborg) March 19, 2019

While today the balance of Vitalik’s main address is worth $50 million, its net worth reached $500 million when Ethereum exceeded $1,300 in December 2017.

4/ His net worth from this ETH balance alone exceeded $500,000,000 at the...


How Blockchain Can Democratize Artificial Intelligence Development

Data Access for AI: An Under-Explored Use for Blockchain

There is a vast amount of computing power around the world that is not used efficiently. There are an estimated 4 billion personal computers in the world and 90% of them have free capacities at any given moment. This is to say nothing of the idle capacities of other personal devices, like smartphones and tablets. In effect, this excess computing power is wasted.

Lots of startups are trying to use blockchain technology to take advantage of this inefficiency to meet different economic needs. The blockchain is exciting in this context because it provides an infrastructure for distributed computing power, while at the same time providing an incentive for individuals to link their idle devices to the network.

Many of the startups I’ve come across are focused on providing web hosting and/or data storage solutions via blockchain. However, the use case I think is the most exciting involves artificial intelligence or “AI”.

Democratizing AI

The idea of applying the blockchain to artificial intelligence is attracting a lot of attention. Similar to the goal of distributed data storage and web hosting, some experts argue the blockchain could encourage a broader distribution of the data and algorithms that will determine the future development of artificial intelligence.

However, many artificial intelligence experts are concerned that IBM, Facebook, Google and a few other big companies are monopolizing all the talent in the field. These giant corporations also control the massive silos of digital data necessary to create and refine the best machine learning programs. Many argue there is a need to democratize data if A.I. is to develop in a direction to benefit all of humanity.

This is where blockchain technology comes in.

At the most basic level, just as the blockchain allows...


Huobi Prime offers digital currency investors a new way to Trade

Huobi, cryptocurrency
Huobi Prime is the latest offering to cryptocurrency traders by digital exchange Huobi Global. | Source: Shutterstock

Tuesday, March 26 will see customers of the cryptocurrency exchange Huobi experience a whole new way of getting their fingers around cryptocurrencies. Known as Huobi Prime, the system is a coin-launch platform that ensures all currencies purchased by Huobi users are immediately deposited into their accounts and tradable against the Huobi Token (HT) with minimal delays, according to a company press release.

Huobi, cryptocurrency
Currencies offered through Huobi Prime can be traded against the Huobi Token, the platform’s official cryptocurrency. | Source: Shutterstock

Customers will also have access to coins at below-market prices, as well as new projects and currencies not yet listed on major exchanges. Huobi’s executive team works with the project leaders of every coin or token listed, forming close partnerships and determining fair market values for users. Executives have also implemented tiered price limits to relieve customers of extreme volatility.

Speaking with CCN, Ross Zhang – head of marketing for Huobi Group – explains what inspired the new platform’s creation:

Low-quality coins and lack of access to ones with real potential are a perennial problem in the crypto space. While that is nothing new, I do think it’s taken on new importance in the ongoing bear market we find...


Ethereum Governance is Currently Underrated says Vitalik Buterin

When it comes to funding development of Ethereum, Buterin stands behind his push to allow wallet developers to charge a 1 gwei fee per transaction made through their software.

In the most recent episode of Into the Ether, Vitalik Buterin appears to discuss all things Ethereum. One of the subjects that came up was the Ethereum governance model. Eric Conner asked Buterin about on-chain governance models, and his thoughts on how Ethereum’s governance stacks up against them.

Current Governance Model Underrated: Vitalik Buterin

Buterin says that the current Ethereum governance model works pretty well, considering the problems it has guided the protocol through.

I actually think that Ethereum governance is under-rated at this point. Because it’s not something that we can attach a cool name to and advertise. And honestly, moderation is a less exciting pitch for people than either on-chain votes, maximum coin holder engagement, or on the other hand immutability. We as a community have never tended to go for extremes. But in reality, on the one hand people complain about governance as a process. But on the other hand, in terms of concrete outcomes that Ethereum governance has achieved, it’s done really well.

It’s implemented the issuance reductions. The issuance reductions seem to be something that most people tend to agree with. […] When there was a crisis back in the year 2016 DOS attacks, it managed to implement, roll, stack out, test and roll out a hard fork all within a time span of 6 days. That’s not something we want to repeat but it’s clearly something we can do if we really wanted to.

When there was a Constantinople bug, it managed to delay the fork within a few hours. It is achieving the things that you might reasonably want a governance of a protocol to achieve, which is to make changes people want and not make changes people want. The one thing that it’s not achieving is dispute resolution or...