How crypto changes the fintech landscape
By Nicole Casperson
How crypto changes the fintech landscape
It’s impossible to ignore crypto assets’ growing popularity and the influence it has over fintech (+ overall culture of finance).
I’m a believer in crypto. I think that the underlying blockchain technology is set to revolutionize business and customer experiences—from retail banking to real estate investments—because of how it acts as an immutable ledger for data that can be shared and centralized for everyone in the world to see.
But when will we have the nirvana-like world as shown in this short film “Bitcoin Is Generational Wealth” by Matt Hornick and Tomer Strolight?
No one knows for certain, but we can find comfort in change—it’s the only constant in life, and it’s happening right under our noses.
Why it matters
Some of my fintech friends say it’ll take another 10-20 years before big banks are able to fully incorporate blockchain into their legacy systems.
While apps like eToro, Cash App or Public have adopted crypto at a breakneck pace, it’ll take a heavier lift for incumbents (who are still critical to getting the benefits of blockchain/crypto mainstream).
As my friend Simon Says:
🌶️ Fintech’s adoption of crypto is critical
→Fintech understands that crypto is more than an asset class. It’s the infrastructure on which the economy is being rebuilt at ludicrous speed.
→Ethereum rolls out mind-blowing innovation daily, yet most people yawn. Some even jeer and risk looking foolish for all eternity.
→The general public is so hung up on trying to spot the next hipster coin they are missing a complete reorganization of society. Are you not amused?
→Crypto doubters think “crypto trading” they see in the headlines is the main event. That would be like discovering the internet and only using it for porn: You get why people like it but aren’t so sure it’s a net plus for society.
(Spicy takes c/o Steve Larsen, Co-Founder of PlannerDAO)
But change takes time…
From blockchain incorporated to legacy banking systems to conversations around the Constitution DAO, blockchain is complex—it stretches our minds and our imaginations in different ways.
CEO of eToro U.S. Lule Demmissie broke it down well:
“What matters is you’re curious about what technology innovation the underlying elements of blockchain is, and what use cases to uncover.”
“There are all sorts of things we’re figuring out as that matures. That comes with anything that is born and sees relevance and now there’s an element of like, ‘okay, what’s the next phase of this story?’”
TL;DR: Despite the uncertainty, blockchain and decentralized ledger technology will revolutionize the financial system our society stands on.
Change happens every single day. Every time a new crypto feature enters our favorite investing app or a big bank and regulator decides to step a little closer into accepting digital assets. We’re on our way. ⚡
Fintech designed to pay it forward
Meet SoLo Funds, a people-centric capital marketplace designed to prove that companies can do well + do good and that people > profits.
SoLo funds is a mobile P2P lending exchange that provides access to loans of up to $1K.
Community-driven, the fintech allows users to access and supply short-term funds for immediate needs to create mutually beneficial outcomes where everyone improves their financial health.
- ~ $14 million in funding
- ~ 300,000 users
- ~ Founded in 2018
- ~ HQ: Los Angeles
Why it’s unique
→ The $10.7 billion digital lending market is set to grow to $20.5 billion by 2026. 🚀
→ The fintech launched SoLo Causes where users will be able to allocate a portion of SoLo’s revenue to non-profits that benefit communities.
→ Habitat for Humanity International and United Way are SoLo Causes’ first two nonprofit partners.
→ SoLo members have the option to contribute a SoLo donation when requesting a loan, which helps offset the cost of SoLo’s operations. Through SoLo Causes, the company will contribute a percentage of that revenue to its nonprofit partners.
*I’m a big believer that when businesses value people first, the profits will come. It’s refreshing to see a fintech with the same take.*
What their CEO told me:
I caught up with Rodney Williams, co-Founder and CEO of SoLo Funds who LMK that the platform was created to keep capital within communities.
“Growing up, I can recall when our electricity was shut off because my mom had to pay to fix a flat tire and didn’t have money to pay the electric bill.
My co-founder and I wanted to figure out how to provide access to money in a way that was equitable. We understand that once you begin struggling with cash flow, it’s difficult to break from that cycle.”
SoLo is building out its platform in ways that help users organically achieve a better understanding of the true cost of capital.
The fintech has expanded features that are being added in the next few weeks and months to help do this.
I suspect that SoLo will leverage its people-first business model and growing user base to expand product offerings into other areas of financial services that are ripe for disruption while serving underserved communities.
Spread the word: Women in Tech event, give backs and more
Women-centric events leave me feeling energized and empowered…
Northwestern Mutual will be hosting its second annual Women in Tech Conference on Thursday, Dec. 2. I want to see you there!
Let’s help empower each other and get the word out about this free, virtual event that is open to women technologists of all backgrounds and their allies. Love sharing this with the WTFintech? community!
DEETS: The conference will include keynotes from two-time Olympic gold medalist Abby Wambach, and Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, and Marshall Plan for Moms.
The full program agenda will feature 60 speakers from 30 top companies including Google, Wells Fargo, Amazon, and Salesforce, as well as leading organizations such as Million Women Mentors. Register here.
Why it matters
→ The event is being organized and hosted by women technology leaders at Northwestern Mutual, and nearly all the speakers will be women.
→It will be a full-day event dedicated to fostering a more diverse and inclusive tech community, empowering women to ascend to the highest levels in their careers, and closing the gender gap in the tech industry.
NYC Fintech Women organization (if you’re not a member, join the fun!) is sharing ways to give back through mentorship, volunteering, or other creative ways. Here’s a list of some organizations to check out to help support women & girls in tech:
- April Rudin: Is direct indexing the new little black dress?
- Congress needs to clarify how the infrastructure bill impacts crypto
- Singapore BNPL startup snags $40M in Series A
- Austrian unicorn Bitpanda and French fintech app Lydia join forces
- Niantic raises $$ to build the ‘real-world metaverse‘
- Odell Beckham Jr. will get paid in crypto via Cash App collab
- Invesco joins Bitwise in blaming the SEC for the decision to withdraw ETFs
- BlackRock builds cloud SaaS business pursuing wealth managers