Fintech 3.0: Crypto to CBDCs
The Year 2008 was a watershed year in the history of the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) Industry. The subprime crisis that engulfed the financial sector saw hundred-year old banks like Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, AIG, HSBC and Citibank collapsing like ninepins. The Central Banks were hesitant to offer them any kind of support fearing a loss to the national exchequer. Finally, with some Government intervention, the situation could be salvaged to some extent, but institutions like Lehman Brothers ultimately went into dissolution and oblivion.
While everyone was looking for a solution and strategy to prevent such kind of financial meltdown in the future, a mysterious gentleman named Satoshi Nakamoto made two propositions that would majorly create innovative disruptions in days to come. He proposed a peer-to-peer (P2P) mechanism in financial transactions and decentralized finance (DeFi) system that can run without intermediaries like banks and financial institutions.
Satoshi Nakamoto created an alternative form of currency called ‘Bitcoin’, a cryptocurrency that operated on the blockchain mechanism . Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual form of currency that uses cryptography for secure transactions, control the creation of new units, and verify the transfer of assets. Unlike traditional currencies issued by central banks, cryptocurrencies operate on decentralized networks, typically based on blockchain technology.
Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that underpins most cryptocurrencies. It is a decentralized and transparent system that records transactions across multiple computers or nodes in a secure and tamper-resistant manner. Instead of relying on a central authority, blockchain uses consensus mechanisms to validate and verify transactions. Once a transaction is recorded on the blockchain, it becomes virtually immutable, ensuring a high level of transparency and trust.
Cryptocurrency and blockchain Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology have emerged as ground-breaking innovations that have revolutionized the world of finance and beyond. Although cryptocurrencies faced major resistance from Central Banks and financial regulators, the blockchain technology that ushered in decentralized finance (DeFi) received a warm welcome from everyone. The P2P (Peer-to-Peer) Mechanism proposed by Satoshi Nakamoto has led to the emergence of disruptive and innovative business transactions under the domain of PayTech, LendTech, WealthTech, InsureTech, RegTech and Neo Banking.
Although it was companies like Paytm, Faircent, Acko, Groww, Cred and Razorpay who were the early adopters of the fintech revolution, now major banks and financial services companies have also started adopting fintech in a big manner. Fintech is no more just a buzzword but a serious business domain that is growing by leaps and bounds.
As per the research done by E&Y, the fintech sector in India is expected to reach $1 trillion in throughput and $200 Bn in revenue by 2030. The Indian Neo-banking space has witnessed a 5x uptick in funding in the last year and is expected to hit $215 billion mark by 2030.
The promising fintech sector in India is already home to 20+ FinTech unicorns. A unicorn is a startup company that has reached a billion-dollar valuation. The demand for Fintech professionals is also on the rise. Banks like HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and SBI are adopting fintech applications and need trained fintech personnel. Telecom companies like Airtel, Jio, Apple, Samsung and Vodafone run fintech operations like Airtel Money, Jio Money, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Vodafone M-Pesa and need fintech professionals.
There is a huge demand for fintech experts in startup companies like BharatPe, Groww, Cred, Razorpay, Acko, Digit, Slice, CoinDCX and Grayquest. Even Government organizations need fintech professionals as they are running applications like UPI (Unified Payment Interface) and BHIM (Bharat Interface For Money).
There is a big gap at this moment between the demand for fintech professionals and the availability of a trained resource pool. With only a handful of institutions like Symbiosis Skills and Professional University offering degree courses in fintech at the graduation level, the gap is widening by the day. This is a great opportunity for students and professionals who want to encash on this lucrative opportunity and build a career in the futuristic domain of banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI).
By : Dr. Jayanta Chakraborty, Associate Professor, School of BFSI