The Crypto Matrix of the Future with Tokenized Real-World and Native Digital Assets
Cefi & Defi will coexist till all asset classes are on chain or when there is a preponderance of native digital assets eventually transforming the internet into a crypto matrix. Fasten your seatbelts!
I sat down with some of the top Crypto startups from around the world who are building the future on the FINTECHTALK Show (http://www.fintechtalk.co) from the beaches of Hawaii (where I was on vacation with family) to talk about how the volcanic eruptions in Defi and Crypto will change the vast and deep world of centralized finance. Let me explain.
The all-digital GPySY guide we used for our road trips in Hawaii told us that the Islands were formed by volcanic activity in the ocean and even a new Hawaiin Island was on its way with undersea volcanic activity and will emerge in about 50k years. Nothing lasts forever - tall mountains, deep blue oceans, or a centralized financial system and it take volcanic eruptions like Crypto and Defi startups to recast the landscape. A succinct summary of my conversation by the Fintech Elder and our standard editorial epilogue is below in this edition of eFINTECHTALK.
While tokenization of real-world asset classes and bridging the Cefi and Defi will continue yielding efficiencies, the digital native asset classes and the networks they are creating will have a far more profound impact on commerce and wealth creation. We are seeing the examples already. Digital commodities as Bitcoin, or your data and skills (that is currently the asset class for Big Tech) as NFTs (unleashing the Creators economy where consumers can become creators and monetize directly on the Decentralized web disrupting search, social media, and platform businesses), or digital currencies like CBDCs disintermediating Banks (central banks issuing currency directly to citizens) thereby democratizing leverage among other things.
The Internet that started as a distributed document and information repository is morphing into a custodian and factory of assets with built-in distribution and cryptographic locks.
The FINTECHTALK show is back this week! Join me for our show tomorrow where we feature Challenger Banks and Fintechs for Small Business and how they are digitizing all aspects of the Small Business workflow. VCita, Untied, ZSuite, Autobooks and more Wed July 28th at 12 pm Pacific
Join live at https://www.clubhouse.com/event/PGvqrlRw (use link to save to your calendar)
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Enjoy and always Be in the Know,
Challenger Banks and Fintechs for Small Businesses
July 28, Wednesday | 12: 00 PM PDT (use link below to save to your calendar)
The Fascinating World of Crypto Startups
The Fintech Elder recap of the Crypto startups from around the world show on July 14th.
Everyone loves start-ups. There’s a vision. There’s something they see with clarity that motivates them.
Isn’t there something exciting about a couple of reckless individuals taking a huge chance with an idea? Most of us watch from the safe sidelines, giving unasked-for advice. We click our tongues with dismay as we think they are making mistakes, which in your wisdom see very clearly.
“No market”. “Too risky”. “Not the right team”. We seem to know the recipe for failure.
But the founders disregard us and work hard towards success, being apparently oblivious to risks.
Crypto start-ups see an even more refined vision in the vaguely defined future of finance.
I sat down with a pile of cryptocurrency and a whisky to listen in to a Clubhouse session on crypto start-ups on July 14, hosted on Clubhouse by the affable Paddy Ramanathan, CEO of iValley, a Fintech incubator. What made this group of start-ups even more interesting was that the participants were from seven different countries!
Diego Zaldivar, CEO at IOV Labs, from Argentina
Dan Reecer, VP of Growth at Acala, from Brazil
Lucas Vogelsang, CEO at Centrifuge, from Germany
James Taylor, CBDO at Unizen from the United Kingdom
Tarek Saad, Researcher, Blockchain Economics from Lebanon
JD Gagnon, Co-founder at BenQi from Canada
Each had a unique story but there were plenty of common themes to pick out.
James was hoping to move to the front of the Defi movement, reducing the friction between institutional and retail markets, making it low friction, symbiotic experience. He plans to build and establish a framework that looked at regulatory realities and legacy technology.
Tarek’s perspective was that of understanding the drivers of value in the ecosystem. For instance, how did the concept of Proof of Work translate into the digital environment?
Dan is building Acala an all-in-one Defi hub built on Polkadot, which in itself does Blockchain interoperability. What an idea!
Diego’s efforts were driven by financial inclusion in an area where financial systems are poor. He hopes to make the bitcoin phenomenon a full-featured financial system. That’s ambition!
You know, I think we are in a matrix. No, really. That’s what I felt when I heard Lucas speaking of building real-world assets into Defi. He is working on borrowing money and settle transactions with real-world assets. In other words, real-world collateral would be accepted by Defi. You would then mint your own token and sell it in the real world. Profound!
Defi was clearly the elephant in the room. What was the main driver from a philosophical perspective, asked Paddy.
JD’s motivation was the need for a trust-less, totally transparent, liberating financial experience, with access to a multitude of products.
We need to keep in mind that financial systems were designed with the tools of the past. Intermediation was necessary, observed Diego, and the tools to remove them were not available. Thus, there was a need for insurance and legal contracts. The creation of new rails for the financial system would address security be the default and remove insurance costs. The foundation of a new system is being built with new primitives resulting in more efficiency, interoperability, and global standards.
Dan brought us down to earth by reminding us that the vast majority of people worldwide had challenges even accessing their own money! Trust in the system is not high. Before moving to a crypto world, a primer on bitcoin would be necessary. Education will pave the way to acceptance. Great point, I thought, as I sipped on my whiskey.
It’s not going to be easy. It will take a long time to radically change the system, said James. There may be parallel rails for the foreseeable future with new systems, while the migration takes place. Everything must be made simpler for the user, eliminating the need for the user to understand the terminology. Clearly, the equalization of financial services is very interesting and will take center stage.
Tarek came across as a man of reason. Let’s go back to basics, he urged. Decentralization needs to be redefined as liability would also get redefined. The main role of regulators has been to protect everyone. Regulation will need a fresh look and that won’t be easy, he pointed out. I agree.
On the other hand, the inefficiency and high costs of a centralized system have to be confronted. Large players with low costs of capital (like Google) profit while others don’t. Lucas hopes that disintermediation will lower the barrier of entry by allowing the earning of interest against farmland and other innovative asset classes. Such fascinating ideas!
If you think about it, blockchain protects you from the exasperating instabilities of local currencies. In that sense cryptocurrencies directly address transparency and reliability.
A running theme was that the advantages of Defi ought to be leveraged by various demographics – in underserved nations, millennials, and so on. The customer really ought not to know the underlying complexities of blockchain, while benefitting from the unlocking of liquidity while holding on to assets.
More power to these crypto startups that are addressing larger financial inclusion issues across the world!
The Fintech Elder looks forward to seeing the benefits of the crypto-economy permeate entire societies!
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