Get to know Matthew Najar and some of his achievements? Governments in major economies are encouraging financial technology (fintech) innovation with regulatory and advisory initiatives designed to accelerate the availability of online payment solutions and other financial services for businesses. The initiatives generally aim to attract innovative fintech companies and help them operate in the regulated financial sector, while ensuring adequate financial protection for customers.
Matthew Najar believes without new FinTech initiatives, we will stall: “FinTech, blockchain certainly included, is critical for our generation to solve inherent financial system issues and progress forward”.
One U.K. innovation is the “regulatory sandbox,” which allows firms to test new financial services in a live environment with real customers, without first obtaining full authorization to offer the services commercially. The FCA accepts applicant firms based on criteria such as innovativeness, suitability for the U.K. market, and market readiness; it issues a limited, tailored authorization for the purposes of sandbox testing. The first batch of applicants, accepted in 2016, includes an international online payments solution and a retail payments system based on blockchain technology.
The initiatives are taking place against a backdrop of rapid fintech growth. There are thousands of fintech start-ups worldwide, and many have attracted substantial venture funding; a report from KPMG and CB Insights found that global fintech funding reached $19.1 billion in 2015. Several countries are planning or have already implemented licensing or regulatory changes that enable technology firms to offer broader banking services. In the U.S., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which regulates national banks, said in December 2016 that it planned to make a special-purpose national bank charter available to fintechs. The charter would enable start-ups that currently offer other financial services, including B2B payments and other online payment solutions, to begin offering at least one of three regulated banking activities: receiving deposits, paying checks, or lending money.
Hardware: wallets differ from software wallets in that they store a user’s private keys on a hardware device like a USB. Although hardware wallets make transactions online, they are stored offline which delivers increased security. Hardware wallets can be compatible with several web interfaces and can support different currencies; it just depends on which one you decide to use. What’s more, making a transaction is easy. Users simply plug in their device to any internet-enabled computer or device, enter a pin, send currency and confirm. Hardware wallets make it possible to easily transact while also keeping your money offline and away from danger.
The U.S., which is home to some of the world’s biggest fintech companies, is also kicking off innovation initiatives similar in concept to those already up and running in other countries. The OCC plans to establish an Office of Innovation in 2017 to help the agency ensure that financial institutions operate in a regulatory framework that is responsive to financial innovation; its roles will include an outreach and technical assistance program for banks and nonbanks developing financial services. In addition, a bill to introduce a regulatory sandbox was introduced in the U.S. Congress in 2016, with the goal of passing enabling legislation in 2017.
Because of the number of cryptocurrencies that exist, some cryptocurrencies work a bit differently, but most of them share these basic characteristics: Actions are irreversible: After you send a cryptocurrency and the network has confirmed it, you cannot recover it. The cryptocurrencies are one-way, without chargebacks.
Exchanges accept a variety of payment options based on what they are willing to use. This is sort of a sore point for many exchanges, since some payment methods have been used to scam sellers for a quick buck in the past. Coinbase allows both bank account and credit or debit card transfers for payments and one payment solution must be linked to your account before you can make the trade. Paypal is not supported by Coinbase and with good reason.
During an ICO (Initial Coin Offering), startups offer the general public an early chance to invest in their idea through a crowded sale. In return, these investors are allocated tokens at a lower price with a promise to sell them at a much higher price when listed on an exchange. Time has proven that ICOs can quite successful with records showing that some tokens ended up more than ten times the value of the projected returns. But what’s the catch in this, you might ask… ICOs have attracted a large number of investors clearly due to their high returns; however, another large number of ICOs have turned out to be total scams. People have lost millions worth of investments.
Altcoins and Bitcoins tend to react to each other. Sometimes they do the opposite of each other and sometimes they do exactly the same thing. It is not rare to see Bitcoin go down while alts go up (and vice versa). This is because almost everyone who has alts has Bitcoin, so they tend to move out of Bitcoin when it goes down and move into alts (and vice versa). Almost just as often as this is the case it isn’t the case. Many times, all coins will go up or down together (generally following Bitcoin’s lead). This dance often results in Bitcoin outperforming altcoins, however every x months we will see an alt boom where alts outpace Bitcoin quickly. If you can time that, great. Try to spot it coming and there is big money to be made. Meanwhile, alts can be tricky to just HODL, as they tend to lose value against fiat and BTC in the off season. Learn more about the relationship between Bitcoin and Alts. In a word, alts are generally more volatile than Bitcoin.