In a recent survey conducted by The Verge, consumers revealed that they trust Amazon with their personal data almost as much as they trust their banks! In fact, people’s admiration for tech companies — the Amazons, Apples, Googles, and Facebooks of the world — is something financial services firms should worry about.
Given the rising interest in Bitcoin and blockchain technology, it is safe to assume that the next tech upstart will emerge from this space. So, it’s time we take a look at 3 ways the blockchain is currently restructuring the financial services industry.
How Blockchain is Restructuring Finance
1. Lower fees and speedier transactions
Today, financial transactions are stuck in another decade. It can take days for a simple payment to be settled. In fact, I recently found out that domestic wire transfers for small businesses costs $45! $45 to move money from one US bank to another US bank!
With blockchain technology, many entrepreneurs and organizations are rethinking the tech stack from the ground up. This has led to many fintech upstarts to try their hand at making financial transactions faster with lower fees. Two tech upstarts who are doing this currently are: Ripple and Stellar.
Ripple works with mainstream financial houses and their clientele includes over 100 traditional financial institutions. The company also boasts of over 75 commercial deployments of its Ripple Network, a global payments infrastructure that connects different financial institutions. The key feature to Ripple’s banking solution is their Interledger Protocol (ILP) that allows different ledgers and networks to communicate.
Meanwhile, Stellar is another company looking to disrupt the financial services industry. Amazingly, Stellar allows institutions to settle payments in less than 5 seconds and allows for roughly 600,000 transactions to be executed for a fee of $0.01.
Companies like Ripple and Stellar are not only lowering transaction fees and increasing speeds, but they are also opening up a world for more efficient micro-payment system. This level of innovation would not have been possible without the internet and the blockchain.
2. Increased access to credit
According to current estimates, 2 billion people globally do not have a bank account. Without a bank account, people are left with limited options such as limited or no access to credit.
Now, this is where we come in. At Celsius, we built our peer-to-peer lending platform with the intent of extending credit to the whole world. The way our blockchain-laden platform works is simple: crypto users deposit their digital coins in the Celsius wallet to earn daily interest, while on the other side, the P2P lending platform allows these coin holders to lend out those coins to those without bank accounts and in dire need of credit.
Our approach makes it possible for more people to gain access to credit because:
- We eliminate the need for traditional bank accounts
- We don’t adhere to discriminatory banking practices and offer instant loans
- We are not limited to who we can offer credit to since our services are available to anyone across the world.
3. Decentralized data storage and secure exchanges
One of the key attributes of blockchain technology is its ability to store data in a decentralized fashion. Given the number of corporate security hacks and breaches recently, this particular attribute of the blockchain should be highly valuable to companies that store sensitive financial information.
Keeping this in mind, tech upstart AltCoin is reinventing the way financial data is stored. AltCoin’s exchange is decentralized and powered by Atomic Swaps. The Atomic Swap allows two different blockchain technologies to communicate with one another, acting as bridge between the two.
Since the Atomic Swap eliminates the need for an intermediary during the trading of two different cryptocurrencies, and because it uses a cryptographic hash, it is more secure. This means that AltCoin does not handle sensitive client information and are less prone to hackers.
The blockchain provides an opportunity to improve privacy, security, and provide access to financial services for millions across the world. So, keep watching this space for more world-changing software and business ideas from the world of blockchain!