I recently attended the Fintech + Insurtech Generations conference in Charlotte, N.C., which brings together visionaries across the broad spectrum of finance and technology.
Most bankers associate the term “tokenization” with data security and authentication routines used to prevent system intrusions. Apart from a handful of innovators, few institutions have focused on tokenization – the process of creating a digital representation of any item of value.
The Consensus 2023 conference was a fruitful experience for those hungry to know more about emerging digital asset trends. Over 15,000 people from various industries attended the CoinDesk-hosted event in Austin, Texas. Well-known and admired companies, including PayPal, Pepsi, Franklin Templeton, and Mastercard, were on site to share stories about their blockchain-related projects.
The SRM recently returned from Bank Director’s Acquire or Be Acquired conference. The event was well attended, provided great networking opportunities, and created a forum for sharing ideas on numerous growth strategies for financial institutions of all sizes.
While the event remains focused on the topic of mergers and acquisitions, this year’s sessions highlighted broader strategic initiatives that can differentiate winners and losers in the financial services industry. Naturally, fintech played a considerable role, as witnessed by the attendees and the topics.
The Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) recently issued a joint statement that expressed the agencies’ concerns with banks that have business dealings tied to digital assets, including cryptocurrency.
We're beginning to get some clarity from the White House regarding its approach to digital assets, including the potential development of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
With the release of a wide-ranging report, the White House appears to be embracing digital assets and their potential for transparent, cost-efficient, and inclusive financial services. A background press call provided even more insight into the Biden Administration's thinking.
The Biden Administration's March executive order seeking information on digital assets' usage and security set a flurry of activity into motion. This included a mandate for the Treasury Department to deliver a report on the future of money and payments systems. The agency issued a public request for comment in July, and SRM quickly responded, drawing from our detailed and ongoing coverage of cryptocurrency and other digital assets.
You can read our complete submission here; however, the condensed version below highlights the key points we believe every financial institution should consider as policies toward digital assets take shape.
While a number of financial institutions remain cautious about cryptocurrency, many use the underlying technology for other purposes.
The up-and-down swings of digital assets, and an uncertain regulatory climate, have kept a fair share of banks and credit unions on the sidelines. At the same time, FIs have shown a willingness to embrace distributed ledger technology (DLT) ahead of the volatile crypto market.
Perspective matters when it comes to cryptocurrency.
The demise of the TerraUSD stablecoin has understandably spooked the markets. Any sudden freefall will panic people and make them wonder what’s next.
Investors, and FIs looking to offer crypto services, need to read between the lines and view this crash as an educational opportunity.
Standing-room-only crowds during breakout sessions at recent industry conferences nationwide are a strong indicator of financial institutions’ growing interest in cryptocurrency and other digital assets.