The 4th Revolution
The fourth revolution of technology will break into many industries. For example AgroTech (technology for agronomy business), InsurTech (technology for insurance industry), RegTech (technology for regulation bodies), and last but not least FinTech (technology for financial institutions). All these new technologies are driven by analyzing huge data streams and aggregating data into new products.
FinTechs have not in every country the same focus. In saturated countries like USA or Europe new technologies in the financial and banking industry are most used to add an additional marketing channel for the same target group of prospective or active clients. Research(1) have shown that through FinTech mostly the same client groups are served as with brick and mortar branches. Only client experiences will be improved. FinTechs as banks and other financial institutions focuses on the same 20% of super prime customers, the underbanked people or so-called subprime market was yet not in the focus of most traditional banks and FinTechs in mature markets.(2) In emerging markets like Nigeria or south-east Asia the focus of Fintechs is slightly different. Inclusive banking is the most used term to integrate people into the financial market.
The idea behind crypto-currencies are different from the FinTechs motives. While FinTech companies at the end have an intrinsic motivation, sooner or later, to earn money, was and is the motivation of the first crypto-currencies different. The main aspect of these internet currencies was to democracies the way of payment as well as the storage of a value. As Antonopoulos says: “…represents a fundamental transformation of money… …by changing the fundamental architecture into one where every participant is equal… …where your money is yours… …you control it absolutely… …and no one can censor… …no one can freeze it.”(3)
Atonopoulos made this statement regarding the aim of Bitcoin (currently most used crypto-currency in the world). It has a clear statement regarding privacy, identity and surveillance of money. Out of the statement it is also clear why governments and in their name central banks crypto-currencies do not like. Their favorite respond to this new kind of money is it that can be used for criminal actions and there it must be banned or brought under control. Furthermore, in Antonopoulos mind should crypto-currencies be a liberator of the banking system.(4) Today’s banks are the limiter to free people if they want their freedom of their money. This is a radical point of view but with the underlying infrastructure of blockchain no central bank, retail bank or government can avoid or control a payment between two parties anymore. But out of the architecture, a payment is secure and cannot be stopped but the transaction is not hidden. With a simple effort a payment between two parties can be recognized and therefore each transaction is transparent to the world. Crypto-currencies like all other national currencies are reluctant to trust. If a currency or a nation lost the trust in their behavior and later on in their currency, the currency is under pressure but if everyone supports and beliefs in a currency everybody will accept such a payment. Currently there are more than 1’000 crypto-currencies on the market. Have a look on it and decide which one will survive!
1 Legrange, Brendan, Global consumer credit trends, presentation held at Lang Di Fintech conference in Shanghai, 16.7.2017.
2 Legrange, Brendan, Global consumer credit trends, presentation held at Lang Di Fintech conference in Shanghai, 16.7.2017.
3 Antonopoulous, Andreas M., The Internet of Money, (Merkle Bloom LLC, 2016), p.19.
4 Antonopoulous, Andreas M., The Internet of Money, (Merkle Bloom LLC, 2016), p.21.