Blockchain: where does fintech go from here? – FinTech Magazine | Jewelry Dukan

The increasing acceptance of blockchain and the progress towards Web3 mean that the practical applications of blockchain are becoming more and more exciting. In fact, funding for blockchain companies grew 713% year over year in 2021 to more than $25 billion, according to CB Insights’ State of Blockchain report. At the same time, funding in NFTs increased by almost 13,000% (yes – thirteen thousand) to $4.8 billion.

It’s no surprise that the New York-based market research firm dubbed it a “breakthrough year” for the blockchain economy, with venture funding for blockchain startups hitting new record highs and blockchain deal volume rising 88% to 1,247 .

Global blockchain market is experiencing seismic growth

Experts predict that just over half (51%) of global blockchain funding will come from the US in 2022, with the market expected to grow from $7.18 billion to $67.4 billion by 2026 Blockchain Market Include Increase In Venture Capital Funding And Investments; Adopting blockchain technology in cybersecurity applications; easy access to smart contracts and digital identities thanks to the widespread use of blockchain technology; and conscious efforts by governments.

The US has the largest blockchain market share. The early adoption of blockchain in the region and the fact that different vendors offer security added fuel to the fire.

Jonathan Merry, CEO of BanklessTimes, which conducted the study, states, “Companies in this region are increasingly implementing security and vulnerability management solutions. It prevents phishing, industrial espionage and enables data security. In addition, it ensures data protection, business continuity and data security.”

Bitcoin still retains confidence despite the recent devaluation

Despite all the clamor for new blockchain use cases and more stable cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin — which has long been the poster child for all digital assets but has recently been hit by turmoil and a falling valuation — still retains robust confidence. As one industry insider recently said, Bitcoin is currently only volatile as a retail investment — price doesn’t necessarily matter for other uses of Bitcoin.

“I’m still very excited about Bitcoin,” says Iskandar Vanblarcum, Europe General Manager at OKCoin. “It is the perfect example of a blockchain protocol. We have seen early adoption and if you think of a traditional distribution curve it shows positive signs for the future with the involvement of innovators and the adoption of companies at different levels. What we haven’t seen yet is the use of bitcoin as a medium of exchange, but it’s slowly coming and that’s very exciting not only for the crypto sector but also for the future of blockchain technology.

“It’s great to see that people are already using crypto more and more in their daily lives. Ultimately, it is about a change in mentality and the understanding that there is no central authority. It’s a socio-economic function and that’s the real application of blockchain that will ultimately transform people’s lives.”

A lot depends on informing and educating consumers

Despite the hype, crypto industry insiders often forget that everyday consumers — the ordinary person who occasionally dabbles in cryptocurrency — are not particularly well-versed in blockchain. In fact, despite the advances that have already been made, the understanding of blockchain technology is still in its infancy. Less than 1% of the world’s population uses blockchain technology and access to it is not fairly shared. Additionally, a recent survey by Cardify found that one in three crypto investors — those people who had already taken the mental leap of faith to invest their money in cryptocurrencies — had little or no understanding of what crypto is. This figure should come as a shock to crypto advocates, although sadly it probably won’t.

“The future of blockchain and cryptocurrency depends on education,” continues OKCoin’s Vanblarcum. “This new technology represents a change in mentality. For example, in traditional financial services there are a number of necessary hurdles to engage with financial products – these are eliminated by blockchain technology. Therefore, it is crucial that users are educated about both accessibility and responsibility. They need to understand how blockchain makes services more accessible to them, but at the same time they need to understand that the responsibility lies more with the user than with traditional services.”

This issue of decentralization has allowed bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to a lesser extent to experience uncontrolled growth while also putting it on a collision course with regulators. The future of crypto remains uncertain, not least with bitcoin trading down nearly 60% from its November 2021 highs (at the time of writing), but Iskandar Vanblarcum remains bullish.

“Despite the perceived challenges, it is a very exciting time for the space with thousands of entrepreneurs building on this open, permissionless system and the future is certainly bright,” he says. “There is certainly also a lot to do with the current protocols and companies in space. There’s a lot of talk about next-gen, but by focusing on the here and now, we can build better products that work for the future. Ultimately, the success of blockchain applications will be driven by user adoption and engagement.”

One such innovative application is Mode, an e-commerce payment platform that allows merchants to accept payments in Bitcoin via its Checkout by Mode feature and gives consumers cashback in Bitcoin as a reward. It removes the investment reluctance associated with cryptocurrency – consumers are still curious about digital assets but are reluctant to part with their own money to get involved, especially in the face of inflation and rising energy prices. The mode allows them to own cryptocurrency while only spending money on their regular purchases.

Rita Liu, CEO of Mode, explains that because digital assets can be traded on the open market, they present a more transparent and compelling value proposition than traditional points-based loyalty programs. She hopes the company will expand to offer different crypto tokens and is also exploring other payment avenues, including entering brick-and-mortar retail with QR codes or offering account-to-account (A2A) payments through Open Banking .

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