November FinTech in Review: FinTech Questions

Developments in faster payments, digital assets, and technical interfaces raise questions. Businesses wonder about how to adopt them and at what cost. Investors wonder how to profit from them. And regulators wonder how to keep them safe and conder control. We covered some of those competing agendas this month in the articles linked below. For a consumer-oriented view and history, see London-based Raconteur’s new report the Future of FinTech 2021.

Are Businesses Ready for Faster Payments?

The payments industry is currently undergoing a once-in-a-generation change in infrastructure, as use cases increasingly shift towards the promise of faster, or even instant, payments settlement.

Progress has been ongoing for years, but the reality of the global pandemic drove the reasons for innovation to the forefront of the minds of many in businesses from small to large today. That increasingly urgent perspective was a key theme revealed by the Federal Reserve’s recent Market Readiness Brief survey, which collected responses from more than 2,000 businesses ranging from small to very large.

Can Digital Assets Really Disrupt Payments?

As digital assets continue to become more and more mainstream, what role they’ll play as they move beyond a token for professional traders to something more widespread and ubiquitous remains a primary question. To some extent, there are no clear answers – yet. A lot depends on the moves that government organizations and banks make moving forward, and the answers they come up with could have ramifications that completely change the nature of banking going forward.

API Technology Moves into Institutional Investments

Technology moves fast and slow. Weekly reports of developments in digital assets and cryptocurrencies this week show how fast new technologies can develop. At the same time, the news and announcements that caught my attention this week focus on good old application programming interfaces (APIs) gaining new uses to make the traditional world of institutional investing more efficient.

Regulators Take Aim at DeFi

Decentralized Finance, more commonly known as DeFi, has been a growing sector on the wild frontiers of digital finance throughout 2021 – we’ve covered it ourselves a number of times over the past six months. It’s a space that excites many adventurous investors, as the yields look incredibly promising. But with multiple high-profile scams and hacks marring the space even as almost $90 billion in Ethereum-based DeFi protocols have been invested, it was probably inevitable that it would increasingly look like the next target for regulatory action.

DeFi Regulation in the Media

Three of the leading business publications featured stories on decentralized finance and regulation this month.

For Rules in Technology, the Challenge is to Balance Code and Law
The New York Times DealBook reports on smart contracts and how crypto fans have argued that code can be a better arbitrator than traditional regulators.

How DeFi Hopes to Disrupt Traditional Finance
The Wall Street Journal focuses on how blockchain technology has enabled the emergence of a new type of finance for the crypto market – but it carries risks.

Cryptocurrencies: How Regulators Lost control

The Financial Times features leading voices from the cryptocurrency industry, including Binance CEO ‘CZ’ and Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX, to tell the story of how the cryptocurrency industry ballooned into a market worth more than $2 trillion with little regulatory oversight.


FinTech Funding and 2022 Predications Join the Chicago Payments Forum 4:30 – 6:00 pm Central on Wednesday, December 8. We are partnering with FinTEx Chicago for a discussion on this record-breaking year and our predictions for FinTech in 2022. Details and Registration