The team attended November’s briefing on developments in technology-driven financial services, with Jemima Kelly, FT Alphaville and Peter Stephens, DrumG.
Issues debated ranged from Blockchain to P2P lending to open banking.
The brilliance or not of Blockchain and payments was questioned, with the panel flagging Berkshire Hathaway’s recent investment in two emerging markets payments firms, and speculation as to whether Alipay’s sponsorship of the Euro 2020 is indicative of its intentions to expand into Europe.
As Bitcoin turned 10 years old at the end of last month, crypto and ICOs continued to stimulate contention. EY’s recent report that 30% of last year’s ICOs have lost substantially all their value, led to mutterings of ‘the wild west’, but also prompted the question, ‘are ICOs just another form of funding? And if so, should they and could they be subjected to similar regulations as crowd funding?
Talking of crowdfunding, as peer-to-peer giant Zopa closed its latest funding round at £60m, questions were asked about the future of the industry: will we see consolidation in the market? And could the peer-to-peer giants evolve into ‘banks’?
Talk of banks seeded discussion around whether the big banks will simply become brands and aggregators of commodities and services, essentially provided by fintechs, prompting discussion as to whether being accepted to the FCA sandbank should be marketed as an endorsement of a Fintech’s success. Jemima felt not.
Sapience Communications is delighted to sponsor CSFI’s fintech breakfasts and we look forward to attending the next session on 12th December.