Rise Insights report lead, Colin DeLarso (Assistant Vice President – Innovation, Barclays) shares some highlights
The latest edition of the Rise Insights report, “Decrypting crypto”, reviews the new world of digital assets in financial services. It demystifies some of the most pertinent and often complex concepts, explores what the innovations might mean to FinTechs and institutions, and examines ways they can both benefit – from subjects as diverse as regulation, efficiencies in payment systems, rolling out Central Bank Digital Currencies and what it means to bring about universal participation in the crypto-economy.
The fintech ecsosystem is leading the charge in this blockchain-driven space, designing the platforms on which crypto-assets are created, stored and exchanged, and developing the decentralised apps (‘dapps’) that support some extremely new use cases. The pace of change is so fast, and market interest is so high, that now everyone is taking notice – even large banks.
Charlotte Kanagasabapathy, Global FinTech Platform Director in Barclays Innovation, makes the point that “it’s only a matter of time before technological limitations such as scalability and interoperability are overcome. Beyond that point, a financial system built on blockchain may be unrecognisable by today’s standards.”
In the report, Shreepad Shukla, Enterprise Architect in Barclays’ Chief Technology Office, makes the case for deep and collaborative enterprise engagement. “Turning crypto-use cases into workable solutions will require organisations to innovate alongside fintechs, central banks, regulators and even competitors,” writes Shreepad.
Here, we consider briefly the current state of this rapidly developing area: where blockchain technology is being used in different sectors, and how regulation is having to evolve to accommodate thousands of new digital assets and use cases. Read more about these subjects in the report.
Blockchain’s impact across industries
Blockchain has found its way into many different sectors, and has the potential to disrupt others. Andrea Maria Cosentino, Co-Founder of Licas Ventures, describes the technology’s widespread use and describes scenarios such as identity verification and supply chains, media and the public sector, and contracts and dispute resolution. Blockchain and APIs are a powerful combination too, potentially providing a federated network of trusted devices.
There’s no precise definition for the thousands of different types of crypto-assets, making their regulation difficult. That hasn’t stopped firms in many sectors offering new forms of digital payment from using one type, ‘stablecoins’. As these increase in popularity, there’s a need to ensure that consumers are provided with an adequate level of protection. Nicole Sandler, Head of Digital Policy at Barclays, explores the risks and challenges within growth, adoption and evolving regulation.
Fintechs featured in the report
Contributors to this edition of the Insights report:
- Chainalysis is an alumnus of the 2015 New York Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars, and provides data, software, services and research to government and law-enforcement agencies, exchanges, financial institutions and cybersecurity companies in over 50 countries, helping them to ensure cryptocurrency compliance
- R3 delivers trust technology for multi-party applications, connected networks and ecosystems, and regulated markets expertise. R3 is the creator of Corda, a permissioned blockchain platform allowing businesses to build networks so they can transact directly and privately using Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)
- Coinbase operates the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States by trading volume and is enabling universal participation in the crypto-economy for institutions and corporations
- Solana is a decentralised, permissionless blockchain built to enable scalable, user-friendly apps for the world. The project is Open Source and has an extensive ecosystem of developers and validators (who validate transactions added to the blockchain ledger)
- Polymath has an Ethereum-based solution for securities trading using security tokens. Polymath’s Polymesh platform supports confidentiality, identity, governance and cross-jurisdiction execution
- Arch is an alumnus of the 2015 New York Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars. Arch (formerly Smash) untangles DeFi, allowing investors to buy into diversified strategies at the crypto frontier
- Andrea Maria Cosentino is Co-Founder of Licas Ventures and Global Business Strategy & Development Manager at Bloomberg. He has extensive corporate and startup experience in financial markets and technology
“Anything that you can conceive of as a supply chain, blockchain can vastly improve its efficiency – it doesn’t matter if its people, numbers, data, money.” – Ginni Rometty, former CEO of IBM
- Download the Rise Insights report to learn more about how digital assets are impacting financial services, and for more on the FinTech companies mentioned here.
- Listen to the latest episode of the Rise FinTech Podcast.
Contact the Rise team in London or New York to meet any of the companies featured in the report or in the Rise ecosystem of over 100 FinTech startups.