May 2021 in FinTech: Crypto’s Wild Ride

Finance’s continuing shift to digital is moving more and more from a potential future to a day-to-day reality. FinTech investments have more than doubled in the first quarter of this year, and while Bitcoin continues to rise and fall in a spectacularly volatile fashion, mainstream banking’s new focus on the sector speaks to an institutional core that cryptocurrencies have never before had.

Our May stories focused on those themes, and offered a handbook for the kinds of services to come. Here’s a review.

Banks Increasingly Need Crypto Literacy

As bitcoin prices have exploded upward throughout the beginning of this year, many traditional financial institutions have been forced to one conclusion: cryptocurrency is here to stay. Even if your institution doesn’t plan to deal directly in the space, the need to be knowledgeable about it is becoming an increasing imperative. (05-01-2021)

Banking on Crypto

Enterprise banks ramped up their interest in digital assets this week with project announcements and milestones. They underscore how banks work with FinTech firms to provide solutions that build around the edges of disruptive technologies. (05-01-2021)

Why Institutional Investors are Turning to FinTech

FinTech is entering a third phase focusing on B2B and enterprise SaaS technologies. Following the development of consumer-based payment and small-business focused lending solutions, institutional investors are embracing FinTech solutions. They are both investing in FinTech and adopting technology and innovation in their day-to-day business, according to panelists at the 6th Family Office FinTech Summit discussion, “Why Family Offices are Doubling Down on FinTech Companies.” (05-07-2021)

Navigating a Path to Digital Assets

The expectation is that technology can bring its services to the consumer on a pre-dawn Sunday when they want to make an impulse buy – and that’s exactly what digital assets enable. They let financial institutions put a disposable asset in the hands of a consumer even during off-banking hours with immediate settlement. Finding the way to that reality was the subject of a recent webinar held by RSM US, LLP – and an important of that is recognizing the organizations already out in the lead. (05-15-2021)

FinTech Funding Doubles; Crypto Prices Plunge

Private and public investments in FinTech firms surged in the first quarter of 2021. Research firms are predicting that 2021 will set a record for FinTech funding. Understanding what sectors and regions receive venture funding provides perspective to traditional financial institutions, notes The Financial Brand in its coverage. “Seeing where venture capital money is flowing. . . can assist in prioritizing strategies.” (05-21-2021)

Continuing the Growth of Cannabis Banking

Recreational marijuana is now legal in 16 states – with medical usage legal in 36. It’s now a thriving billion-dollar industry in those states — but it remains in an uncertain position, heavily reliant on cash and with uncertain prospects for banking partners due to the continued federal prohibition. (05-22-2021)