Before getting right into the topic, let us dissect the three terms, understand their individual meanings, and let’s see what the combination of the three has to offer to the world.
Blockchain and Cryptocurrency
According to the definition, a blockchain is a public ledger of information collected through a network. In other words, it is a chain of blocks which contains transaction information that cannot be tampered. Also, blockchain technology uses cryptography for securing the transactions.
Cryptocurrency, on the other hand, is a tradable digital form of money, which is built on blockchain technology that exists online. Well, they are called “crypto” currencies because they use cryptography to secure their transaction. Some common examples of cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, etc.
The Financial Technology, often called the FinTech, is the technology comprising of companies which are competing with the traditional financial institutions by coming up with new innovative ideas for delivering financial services. Basically, FinTech is that emerging industry that implements technology to improve the services in the domain of finance. For example, services like internet banking, mobile banking, investing using smartphones, and cryptocurrency are making financial services more accessible to the public.
The Combination Of Cryptocurrency, Blockchain And Fintech
The cryptocurrency Fintech industry is considering the use of blockchain and blockchain-based applications as a new emerging technology to challenge the traditional ways of doing business. Blockchain, smart contracts, and cybersecurity are a trend in the Fintech industry. The Crypto Fintech industry finds cryptocurrencies as a channel for establishing a secure and a transparent way for transferring assets and also getting rid of the intermediaries.
Blockchain in Banking
There are millions of transactions made by the users through the banks. And for this, the banks need to proper documentation and handy data. However, in traditional banks, the documents and data are poorly stored, which makes it difficult to be accessed when needed. So, here is where the blockchain technology can help solve the issue. Blockchain is a decentralised system whose database allows faster transaction operations, and also provides mechanism and protocols to increase the rate of all the transactions.
The adoption of blockchain technology can be very beneficial to the banking sector. According to Accenture, some of the largest banks in the world are saving up to $10 billion by blockchain adoption in the settlement and the clearing sector of the banking industry.
Visa’s Contribution To Blockchain And Cryptocurrency
Visa, one of the largest payment leaders, has made its second investment in a cryptocurrency project. Reportedly, Visa has invested millions of dollars in a new company named Anchorage. This company primarily provides crypto custody services for investors.
Anchorage has received $40 million as funding. The company proclaimed that the funding was led by Blockchain Capital and Visa Inc. On an extended note, Visa and Anchorage both are the founding members of Facebook’s new upcoming cryptocurrency project Libra, as announced on June 18, 2019.
As far as the funding by Visa is concerned, it’s funding in Anchorage is the second known funding by Visa in the crypto world. This firm had already raised about $30 million earlier for a blockchain startup called Chain.
According to the co-founder and president of Anchorage, the funds obtained will be used by the firm to develop an alternative to cold storage-based institutional custody. This is done to ensure the safety of the assets of customers.
Moreover, Terry Angelos, SVP and Global Head of fintech at Visa said that this investment is Visa’s global strategy to join hands with the upcoming fintech companies by investing in them. The Global Head further made a statement that Visa is delighted to add Anchorage to its investment portfolio.
Anchorage is that unique company which offers products that are a good substitute to “cold storage”. It is basically a security measure that investors look to safeguard their cryptocurrency holdings. Due to the company’s reach beyond the crypto world, it is gaining immense attention. Also, its digital asset custody service can attract many commercial banks into the blockchain technology.
Which Other Companies Are Showing Interest In Blockchain-Based Financial Technology?
In May 2019, Barclays invested in Crowdz, a startup payment company that implements blockchain technology in its services. This firm mainly helps other companies collect payments and automate digital invoices.
Lately, blockchain technology is significantly helping financial institutions reduce the cost of cross-border transactions. For example, the blockchain company Ripple has joined hands with financial institutions like Western Union and Santander with an aim to improve the efficiency of cross-border transactions.
Additionally, Blockchain startup BanQu has partnered with AB InBev to facilitate payments to cassava farmers in Zambia. The exceptional part of BanQu is that its platform keeps track of farmers’ products through the supply chain and then provides payments to farmers digitally via mobile phones, even if they do not have a bank account. Note that, all of this is made possible by the mighty blockchain technology.
The financial giant JP Morgan is also entering the cryptocurrency and blockchain space with the JPM Coin, which primarily intends to facilitate secure transactions between institutional clients. According to reports on February 14, 2019, J.P Morgan became the first bank in the U.S to create and successfully test a digital coin representing an approved currency.
Blockchain Technology and Loans
Blockchain technology has found its position in the loan sector of the banking industry. It is calculated that each loan application in the US takes nearly 20 days to be processed and settled. In case of early repayment of a loan by the borrower, some banks still carry their communication through fax. So, to step up tier business, a series of credit institutions are implementing the blockchain technology to restructure the loan sector.
The whole article’s purpose was to bring awareness that the blockchain technology is not just a medium for the transfer of cryptocurrencies. In fact, the applications of blockchain are beyond one’s sight. And, fintech is an excellent example of how the blockchain technology is disrupting the financial industry.