Bitcoin’s value soared in recent weeks to well over $2,000 per coin, making it the most valuable commodity on the planet. For those who mined or acquired Bitcoins early in the currency’s digital life, large fortunes have been made with minimal effort. While Bitcoin’s volatility might not be for all investors, for businesses, it is the technology behind these cryptocurrencies, called blockchain, that is driving much of the investment in FinTech, and making jobs in the sector highly desirable.
With interest across the financial services, accountancy, banking and other sectors, blockchain technology creates a secure ledger or records and value that can be used to transcend borders, industries and currencies. With the UK and London still at the heart of global banking, much interest is centred on FinTech and many startups are looking at ways to leverage blockchain. Use cases are being sought for particular vertical markets, or to create new solutions that could be the next PayPal, or to create whole new types of business transaction models.
Popular FinTech startups have created mortgage lending banks, a digital-only consumer bank, peer-to-peer payment platforms that do away with the charges that most banks impose, and global money services that empower world travellers with a single digital wallet, whatever country they are in. These are just some of the examples of consumer FinTech that we could all be using within the next few years, challenging our banks and bureau de change to adapt.
Those changes will also rapidly apply to business, with contracts being created and managed online through blockchain technologies. One key area of business this could affect is the 30-day waiting period for payment that many smaller businesses suffer from. Any enterprise or SMB product that makes instant payments for completion of a milestone, project or task could see many departments, like accounting and sales, rapidly have to adopt such technology. If they don’t their company could soon lose business to those willing to move with the times and adopt such products.
Whatever market you are in, keep an eye on FinTech business developments around blockchain, and ensure you are ready to move when the time comes.