Using traditional methods for money transfers can be monotonous and slow. Sending or receiving money using regular bank services can take 3-5 business days. Innovative technologies such as digital wallets, third-party payment apps can transfer money faster. New banking infrastructure is disrupting the current financial landscape to improve the financial lives of millions all over the globe. The rise of cryptocurrencies has had a similar impact on the financial industry.
In simple words, a cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that’s secured by cryptography. Cryptography makes sure that the currency can’t be counterfeited or spent twice. Almost all cryptocurrencies are decentralized networks powered by blockchain technology, a distributed ledger protected by several networks of computers. One of the reasons behind the popularity of cryptocurrencies is that they aren’t issued by a central or regulated entity like banks and other financial institutions. This lack of centralization protects them from manipulation and government interference.
Cryptocurrencies are frameworks that allow users to make faster and extremely secure payments online that are denominated in terms of “tokens”. The first-ever blockchain-based crypto was Bitcoin, which is still one of the biggest cryptos in the market currently.
Cryptocurrencies can enhance digital payments without the need to have an intermediary like a bank or credit card company. Payments made by cryptocurrencies are more secure than payments made by banks and financial institutions.
Cryptocurrency apps and platforms provide the user with virtual currencies and users can send these currencies to whosoever they wish to. Fund transfers are completed with minimal processing fees, thus allowing users to avoid the huge amounts charged by banks and other financial institutions for wire transfers.
While they sound great in theory, the semi-anonymous nature of cryptocurrencies makes them a hub for illegal activities such as money laundering and tax evasion. But one of the primary reasons behind crypto’s popularity is the anonymity offered, ensuring privacy and security. Some cryptocurrency platforms offer better security and protection than others.
Bitcoin, for instance, is an incredibly poor choice for conducting illegal activities as the Bitcoin analysis department has helped authorities in prosecuting criminals.
Blockchain technology allows untrusted parties to come together without using a middleman. By offering a ledger that belongs to no one, blockchain technology has the capability of providing unique technologies. Use cases that don’t require a high degree of decentralization can benefit by leveraging ‘distributed ledger technology (DLT).” Businesses can establish better customer monitoring by using data sharing and collaboration methods.
Blockchain technology can disrupt the banking industry massively by providing better key banking technologies such as:
Customer KYC and Fraud Prevention: By collecting and storing customer information on decentralized channels, banks and other financial institutions can make it easier to verify customer information during onboarding. This can even enhance the level of security in sharing information between financial institutions.
While it’s true that cryptocurrencies and blockchain have the capability of disrupting financial institutions, these disruptions don’t happen overnight. The cryptocurrency industry has a long way to go before becoming a streamlined service that can be used in enhancing the workflow of the financial industry.
It may be possible for cryptocurrencies and blockchain to shift the tides of a few key services provided by banks, but this will require significant improvement in the current landscape. The future remains unclear to what degree the banks will embrace these technologies. One thing remains clear though, cryptocurrencies will have a huge impact on how the digital payment framework runs in the financial industry.