The rise of online trading and the rise of crypto-currency is allowing more and more people to make their voice heard – Young people are at the forefront of this movement as they understand how technology can bring about change for good and give them great influence.
London-based fintech entrepreneur and investor Viktor Prokopenya here shares his insights on the emergence of a new financial democracy, and how fintech can be used for good.
Human development is not linear. From early civilization, we have seen periods of intense growth, interspersed with destruction or stagnation.
We have seen the rise and fall of great empires, economic growth and recession, set against technological advance and war.
Now, I believe we are witnessing another era of extraordinary expansion, where our horizons are being broadened by fintech.
We are seeing the emergence of a new financial democracy, with the rise of online trading and crypto-currency allowing more and more people to make their voices heard.
This is resulting in nothing short of a sea-change in investment attitudes, driven by technological innovations and audacious younger generations.
These new investors are showing that investment powered by fintech can be a tool for positive societal change.
A Tesla Case Study
Take the case of electric cars. Historians will look at the example of Tesla as the start of a true global financial democracy. They will identify this rise in electric car stocks as a key moment in a new world order.
Many professional investors laughed at the crowds buying Tesla stock a year ago. They shorted the stock, looking to make money when it fell down. They stopped smiling, however, when the value doubled and doubled again and the value of both Tesla and NIO electric cars shot up.
Tesla’s value increased more than all the automotive companies in the world, and its founder Elon Musk now ranks amongst the world’s richest.
This prompted other motor companies – from BMW, to Mercedes, to Porsche to get into the electric car market, rather than continuing to rely on oil and gas. The environmental benefits of this will make our planet better.
The New Players
A new generation of investors showed that they could be stronger than money-men. For them, this was not a game about money, it was a lesson that people care about pollution and they want emission-free cars.
Importantly, it was also a lesson that young people can now have an impact through investment. It was a lesson that traditional corporates are having to play catch-up as a new generation uses fintech as a force for good.
Connecting the needs of real people to the share price through mobile phones and trading platforms is where suddenly finance comes alive and you have a transformative global democracy in action.
The public is worried about the environment, and the people’s voice here has driven a rush towards something that will benefit us all.
Once people are empowered by their mobile phones and money, you connect executives to consumers, and leaders to people.
The rise of online trading and the rise of crypto-currency is allowing more and more people to make their voice heard, trading in stocks, shares or derivatives from the comfort of their homes. Recently (AUG 2021), Capital.com, a company I invested in and one of Europe’s fastest growing trading and investing platforms, launched a commission-free stock trading product. This is the latest innovation to bring finance to the people.
Stock trading is a way of organising a small global referendum, allowing people to make decisions collectively and ultimately rule the world.
This advance will make society more efficient and resilient, creating a more agile and responsive democracy. As the global pandemic and climate change demonstrate, we need to rise above intra-national politics right now.
Critical in this reshaping of the world order is that trading should be completely free for the people. Of course, capital.com is structured to make money – but through building out other financial products rather than taking commission on trades.
The impact of this global democracy without borders is far-reaching, and I am absolutely passionate about the new form of social action it will deliver. Young people are at the forefront of this movement, because they truly understand how technology can bring about change for good and give them great influence.
The role of fintech in driving positive change is ever-evolving. Take the case of Africa, where you have a youthful population leapfrogging the economic development stages we have seen in other countries, by using fintech on their mobile phones. This is allowing huge economic growth to take place across the continent.
Look at Nigeria. FairMoney, which provides instant loans, recently raised $42m in a round led by Tiger Global Management, a New York hedge fund. PiggyVest helps ordinary people save. Bamboo lets Nigerians invest overseas, despite a lack of foreign currency in the country. Then there is Paga, a mobile-payments company, and Flutterwave, a digital payments company that operates in more than 15 different African countries.
Add to this the fact that fintech is with one swipe resolving problems in emerging economies around counterfeit money, delivering secure payment solutions to underpin growth. Of course, fintech can also enable scams and exploitation, and that is why it is so important that the sector is properly regulated and policed. People can lose money through trading. Educating people to invest well is also key.
The benefits of this new democracy are clear, however. Society will be transformed by online trading.
The younger generation recognises that this is a unique form of power, with fintech shaping the ultimate global democracy and delivering change for good.