Hot Small Business Tech Trends That Will Improve Efficiency

Technology for Small Business

Technology is a valued resource for small businesses. Adopting the right technology helps give brands more flexibility and opportunities for innovation in product design and improves their business and operating income.

For most small businesses, technological advances are lowering transaction, transport, and communication costs, enabling firms to invest where they can be most productive and find the best combination of skills, investment opportunities, and business environment.

Here are some of the major technology trends that will streamline small business efficiency and productivity:

Internet

The advent of the internet offers small businesses more control over marketing, brand development, customer engagement and improves sales opportunities. Thanks to the internet, firms can now offer clients a more comprehensive value proposition that is tailored to their needs. What’s more, the incredible growth of the internet has helped position it as a powerful driver of economic growth, giving businesses the chance to streamline and consolidate their business operations with custom online solutions.

For instance, businesses now have the opportunity to improve business efficiency through a centralized database, which makes data easily accessible for all needs. Small business owners can also build an online presence by developing websites and utilizing various social media platforms to create awareness for their product and boost sales by reaching more people faster. Further, the internet offers businesses the chance to outsource labor they are too busy for or those they are not very conversant with.

E-Commerce

E-commerce is one of the major trends that are shaping the small business landscape. The growing number of internet users worldwide has necessitated businesses to be selling more online than through traditional brick-and-mortar stores. This is because owning an e-commerce store makes it easier than ever before for small businesses to reach tech-savvy clients who now prefer to shop and buy items through digital channels across industries.

Also, it is easier and cheaper to set up an e-commerce store than to maintain a physical storefront. E-commerce platforms such as Shopify, 3dcart, and Magento enable brands to develop an e-commerce store without breaking a sweat.

If you are on a budget, you can utilize a point of sale system such as Vend to create a cloud-based, mobile-friendly online store within a short time. Doing so will enable you to reach many consumers who due to convenience, addiction, and impulsivity, prefer to make secure purchases online. More so, e-commerce gives small businesses an opportunity to adopt technology that supports real-time commerce.

Digital Banking

Many tech-savvy clients nowadays value banking convenience. For this reason, they prefer to bank online than visit a physical bank location. This is gradually shifting transactions away from traditional banks to digital ones. And with millennials expected to rule the market, the switch might happen faster than predicted.

Blockchain

The blockchain technology is capable of causing significant shifts in the way small businesses are conducted. Its application in payments and money transfers, digital identity, distributed cloud storage, smart contracts, etc., is expected to cause shifts that will change the small business arena.

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Are Millennials and Cryptocurrency the Future?

We live in an age of disruption fueled by millennials, the blockchain, and cryptocurrency. The relationship between millennials and technology is easy to understand. They are the first generation to grow up with computers. As a result, they have become accustomed to working in virtual teams and are used to today’s fast-paced life.

From the internet to emails and everything in-between, there’s not a thing that they do not understand about technological innovations. They have often led older generations in the adoption and use of new technology. They are reshaping business models and still lead the way in digital future. In many ways, it appears that they have all it takes to mold the future.

Cryptocurrency is another issue that industry leaders continue to follow with a great deal of interest in the immediate future. Just like the millennials, digital currencies have the potential to change the world by ushering in a new financial order. There are lots of reasons to be optimistic about the future of cryptocurrencies and how they may change our world, especially traditional finance, as we know it.

Why Are Millennials and Cryptocurrency the Future?

Millennials are a different breed. They view the world differently and possess the right tools to bring about change: knowledge and technology. On top of that, they are the biggest generation ever born and constitute the largest generation in the US labor force. Besides, older millennials are entering their peak spending years.

And, because we live in a market that panders to those with means and resources, millennials are expected to cause significant shifts in the marketplace, as businesses look to develop products and practices that cater to their preferences, trends, and buying habits.

What’s more, millennials know technology, applications, social media, and market trends. Growing in an information age also enables them to understand the issues and needs around them and create solutions to such problems. For so long as their size and spending power matter, millennials will continue to rule the market and dictate trends.

The impacts of cryptocurrencies on future transactions is also clear as day, as they appear to be nudging us in a new direction where people might not require traditional financial organizations such as banks and payment companies. Every day, millions of people around the world use the internet to conduct financial transactions. However, privacy and security concerns deter some consumers from making purchases online.

Cryptocurrency is expected to change all of that by enabling shoppers to conduct secure, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency transactions. The secure nature of cryptocurrency transactions will help inspire trust and make people more willing to transact online. When this happens, the mass public will become more willing to adopt cryptocurrency. Such increased adoption of digital currencies could lead to a fall in demand for fiat currency.

This, coupled with the emergence of Generation Y, which seeks convenience and is adept at technology, could see peer-to-peer electronic payment replace traditional payment systems as the standard. Further, the potential increase in digitization makes it even harder to imagine a future without digital currencies.

There Are Still Hurdles to Clear for Cryptocurrency

Despite holding so much promise, cryptos still have a long way to go before they are more widely accepted as a standard means of payment. This is because prices of cryptocurrencies change so much that it becomes hard for the mass public to use them as a trusted medium of exchange.

As with any currency, cryptos need to be stable before they are widely adopted for everyday transactions. Nevertheless, it is hoped that with advances in technology and behavioral changes, digital currencies will become stable enough to be used as means of payment.

 

 

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Wall Street Expected to Dominate Cryptocurrency Trading in Future

A New Era for Wall Street

Cryptocurrency continues to gain mainstream acceptance as many investors look to go digital. Interest among Wall Street power brokers appears to be gaining momentum after Goldman Sachs made known its intention to open a bitcoin trading section.

Similarly, the New York Stock Exchange’s parent company, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), is thought to be working on a bitcoin trading platform of its own. The Wall Street Journal revealed that ICE had discussions with some financial companies regarding the project, which is still under development. While ICE is believed to be working on adopting cryptocurrency, there’s still no further information concerning the project yet.

Of these companies, Goldman Sachs seems to be the most serious about getting involved with cryptocurrency. The American multinational investment bank and financial services company is also considering offering a Bitcoin Futures.

If it ends up doing so, the New York-based organization will join the likes of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), which are already providing Bitcoin Futures contracts to their customers as one of the few firms to allow exposure to the price of cryptocurrencies without owning them.

It may seem too soon to talk about the Wall Street allowing investors to invest in cryptocurrency, but the move by the likes Goldman Sachs and Intercontinental Exchange represents a significant shift from a sector that was once very unwelcoming to digital currencies. Indeed, their involvement may yet prove to be a game changer.

Wall Street’s Anticipated Domestication

Newsbtc.com reports that UK’s Barclay’s Plc had revealed its plans to embrace cryptocurrency per clients’ demands. Several other firms within the financial services sector are also said to be pondering similar moves. The Newsbtc piece suggests that investment banks are open to the possibilities of trading cryptocurrency, provided it enables them to meet customers’ needs.

Beyond broking, custody, and everything in-between, Matt Levine, a former investment banker with Goldman Sachs maintains that banks must consider it a necessity to trade cryptocurrencies, so long as clients expect to be rendered such services.

The emergence of the Bitcoin futures contracts is believed to have made the market more accessible to money managers. Levine reckons banks may one day domesticate cryptocurrency if clients demand is high enough.

It may take some time before Wall Street finally dominates cryptocurrency trading. However, the perception shifts in the financial services industry suggest that day may not be very far away after all.

More so, the fact that Bitcoin Futures makes it possible for investors to speculate on the currency’s price without actually needing to own it could lead to more widespread adoption shortly.

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Five Hottest Cryptocurrencies Top Rated

The World of Investing in Crypto

Take a look at five top best cryptocurrencies that to consider as our selection for doing the best in the mid year 2018.

These cryptos all have actually strong teams, committed and interesting road-maps, while also possessing the possibility to disrupt industries and/or make a positive improvement in the world of Financial Technology.

  1. LALA-World: you may likely have not heard about this one LALA World. It has not reached the exchanges yet as it’s just newly concluded its ICO, however it will not be too long before we will see it on Coin Market Cap.

LALA World trying to solve major issues that all migrants as well as their unbanked families face, such as employment issues, health issues, banking dilemmas, payment problems as well as money transfer problems to name but a few. In their own words, LALA World is making, a whole new peer to peer network to change how people, small enterprises, as well as small entrepreneurs carry out, make payments and borrow money and connected products such as insurances and domestic as well as Cross Border remittances, cards as well as other basic banking services as well as products.

  1. OmiseGO:

Current market cap: $1,278,215,616

Current price per token: $12.53

Ethereum is a general public based financial technology for usage in main-stream digital wallets. The wallet tech is made to work alongside both fiat and cryptocurrencies.

In easy terms, OmiseGO is an SDK software programming kit, which will permit you to build a wallet built on the OmiseGO Blockchain

So, in the end an identical way that Ethereum is really a platform that businesses can easily build Blockchain products and also services on, OmiseGO would have been a platform that businesses can easily build their own wallets on, for many different uses. The wallets can easily be built for payments international remittance, bill payment, Peer To Peer transfers, loyalty and also benefits handling points converting points to cash, gasification, referrals and economic services B2B payments, supply chain, financial loans, and deposits.

  1. NEO:

Current market cap: $7,355,725,000

Current price per token: $113.17

NEO is perhaps the biggest challenger to Ethereum in the crypto globe today. In their own words, NEO is, a nonprofit community based on the Blockchain projects that use Blockchain technology as well as digital identity to digitize assets, to automate the managing digital assets using smart contracts, as well as to accept a smart-economy with a distributed network. Lots of people are referring to it the Chinese Ethereum because Blockchain projects as well as cryptocurrencies are built in the NEO platform;

  1. UTRUST:

Current market cap: $77,848,789

Current price per token: $0.29

UTRUST are challenging PayPal become the future of online payments, and we think they’ve got a chance that is great of the crown through the company Elon Musk founded. Cryptocurrency is for now , is not really easy to pay for goods or services. You will not find many places that accept Cryptocurrency though that’s changing on a monthly basis that is and even the ones that do just accept 1 or 2 of the top coins like Bitcoin or Litecoin.

  1. Ethos:

Current market cap: $308,244,830

Current price per token: $4.08

Ethos is one of the best a project we have researched and one that we think will transform the Cryptocurrency landscape in a big way in 2018.

Ethos is simply a high powered Cryptocurrency Platform that could provide a combination of financial services as well as features, depending on a universal mobile wallet which can permits people anywhere to securely spend in store of cryptocurrencies making use of any fiat currency they desire.

Conclusion

Here are the five top hottest cryptocurrencies.

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Future of Blockchain – Wall Street

 

Future Finance Dominated by Blockchain

The main thing to know about Blockchain for someone to know is that at this time it is the next Gen of the internet. We’re still trying out where this technology is able to go, and precisely what it can perform, but there are a lot of great benefits of being on the Blockchain, and having applications on the Blockchain. However it is more than just a distributed database. Blockchain is here to stay, and the growth is exponential every day

The continuing future of finance might be dominated by Blockchain technologies. A traceable global currency complete with an excellent infrastructure can not only end in massive cost reduction for all market participants, it’ll change international banking. Bitcoin will do for payments what email did for interaction.

What are the futures?

  • Blockchain will be implemented by central banking institutions as well as cryptographically protected currencies will become reliable.
  • Nasdaq is going to launch Blockchain enable digital ledger-technology which can used to grow and increase the money control capability provided on its Nasdaq-private-Market-platform.
  • The settlement of currency, equity and fixed income trades easily through permission dispensed ledgers creates an opportunity that is significant banking institutions to push efficiency as well as possibly create newer asset classes.

Control

  • Latest technologies like Blockchain can possible decrease cyber-risks by providing identity verification thru a visible record.
  • There is absolutely no good reason why needs for numbering; preserving and indexing records as well as communicating information supplied in records cannot be met via an electronic ledger system.
  • Automobile rental agencies may make use of smart-contracts that simply permit rentals when payment’s received as well as insurance information is confirmed thru a Blockchain record.
  • A refrigerator built with sensors as well as connected to the Internet might use Blockchain to handle automated interactions with the world-anything that is external purchasing as well as investing in food to organizing for its very own software upgrades and tracking its warranty.
  • Small organizations can use Blockchain to produce reliable trading platforms among themselves.
  • Blockchain may potentially help bring robustness and transparency to the post-trade environment.
  • newer technologies like Blockchain have the prospective to reduce cyber risks by providing identity verification through a noticeable ledger.
  • A bank might pay the supplier instantly over the Internet.
  • Blockchain technology will alter timing on risk.

Crime

  • A new Blockchain startup has claimed its software might help track straight down crooks faster as well as cheaper than ever.
  • Connecticut are warning parents that newer called Bitcoin could be the culprit for helping underage drinkers to obtain buzzed Effects

Banks

  • Blockchain can be implemented by central banks as well as cryptographically protected currencies will be trusted.
  • Blockchain might replace central banks.
  • Real risks stay for banks that choose to find you in Cryptocurrency firms.
  • Blockchain technology could reduce steadily the UBS’s infrastructure expenses in cross-border payments, securities trading and compliance that is regulatory the maximum amount of as $30 billion a year by 2022.
  • The number of apps within and beyond your banking institutions might be reduced due to the fact Blockchain deal contains all information that is relevant the successful transfer of assets and/or related contracts.
  • Deutsche bank’s economist sees Blockchain as a hazard due to the insufficient the IT infrastructure to support the technology involved.
  • Ethereum is much more general purpose than bitcoin and could be useful for banks.
  • The future of finance in several countries might be dominated by Bitcoin as well as cryptocurrencies.
  • a Blockchain that is private by banks might find yourself as an extra cartel and work as poorly as the payments syndicate.
  • Banks could be the custodians of cryptographic keys.
  • The Blockchain could conserve lenders as much as $20 billion yearly in settlement.
  • Blockchain technology could possibly be used to bypass today’s centralized financial infrastructure totally.

Industries

  • Time as well as education can have to play a role as other companies are just recognizing one of the core inventions of the Blockchain is its ability to reduce or eliminate trusted counterparties within the transaction process.
  • Blockchain has the possible to create newer as well as disrupt existing technologies and processes.
  • Blockchain-technology can make the globe smaller as it does raise the speed and efficiency of transactional activities.

Governments

  • The future of finance in many countries might be dominated by Bitcoin as well as cryptocurrencies.
  • Blockchain technology could be used to distribute welfare that is social developing nations.
  • Elections are a pricey and arduous. Many Thanks to Blockchain tech they will soon be instantaneous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Real Estate Meets Blockchain – Wall Street

Blockchain, the technology root cryptocurrencies such as for example Bitcoin, has entered many industries including estate that is real it promises increased effectiveness and transparency.

A Blockchain is a digitized, distributed ledger that immutably records and also shares information. By recording and also combining transactions as a decentralized, protected ledger system, it makes a chain of written record data that no one party could control or even alter. The value of Blockchain lies in the system’s ability to authenticate and also track transactions in real-time without the need of an alternative party. Within the real estate business, Blockchain technology has been useful and used for numerous applications.

Online real estate market

Blockchain technology introduces a new way to trade genuine estate, allowing faster, more effective and cost-effective transactions. By tokenizing properties, these are turned into liquid assets and can be traded easily much like stocks on an exchange. Blockchain additionally permits for fractional ownership, allowing numerous investors to get a property and reducing the barriers to real-estate investing.

For example, ATLANT is having a platform that uses Blockchain technology to facilitate property and rental property transactions. ATLANT allows vendors to tokenize assets, essentially handling it like a stock sale, and liquidating that asset through a sale that is token the working platform. The collected tokens can be exchanged for conventional currency, with buyers having a percentage stake of the home.

100Mio CHF Swiss ICO

At the same time, Swiss start-up Crypto Real Estate is searching to place genuine estate assets onto the Blockchain to create transparency, data integrity and cost efficiency to real estate asset administration and deal. The business is building a platform that will be running on the so called SwissRealCoin SRC, a token supported by a profile of Swiss commercial home as well as other collateral like the technology platform that is firms. SRC is meant for a low-volatility and high-security token.

SwissRealCoin – How it works

Crypto Real Estate said it’s going to perhaps not charge any management costs, using its profits from the actual property management rather. The startups is looking to raise up to CHF one hundred million in an initial coin offering ICO

Property management and land-registry

Real-estate-property-transfers are authorized on a Blockchain, enabling review facility for outside stakeholders as well as decreasing system of government times as well as expenses. Blockchain could also be used to document land titles plus assist link between public administration as well as confidential stakeholders for information as well as data sharing.

Whenever a transaction is documented on a Blockchain, the identification of the seller plus buyer, the identifier that is unique of asset as well as enough time stamp connected with the transaction are assured and cannot be changed. In this scenario that is particular Blockchain enables to considerably cut the traditionally long process of recording as well as moving games, using the extra benefit of full transparency.

  1. The UNITED KINGDOM government has recently established plans to go the United Kingdom’s land registry to Blockchain by 2022, under a project called Digital Street. Sweden and Ukraine, Dubai as well as also Republic of Georgia are typical reportedly trialing Blockchain.

Blockchain may also be utilized to assist landlords as well as home managers handle their property portfolio much more effortlessly. For example, Smart Tenancy Contract is online software that utilizes a system of smart agreements to allow quicker reconciling cash-flow transactions for rent payments as well as property expenses all the whilst giving you full transparency as well as controls for managing as well as approving property expenses.

Smart Tenancy Contract

In the system, a smart agreement replaces the standard tenancy agreement from a landlord and also tenant. The contract that is smart the key attributes for the tenancy for example property details, tenant information, rent amount and payment frequency. It’s digitally signed by both parties and also published for a Blockchain. The contract that is smart be programmed to instantly debit the tenant’s account on a monthly basis to cover lease.

 

 

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IS BITCOIN THE NEW EVERYDAY MONEY

Bitcoin has created a whole industry and a new way of doing business that one could doubt even its maker never thought possible. From its days of obscurity to its fame and notoriety, Bitcoin today is among the most hotly sought commodities in the world. But is it the alternative every day currency that Satoshi Nakamoto hoped it will be? Let’s find out…

The Economics

Bitcoin in its present form faces serious challenges as it has retracted from being the cheap means of transaction to one that has become completely uneconomical for everyday transactions when it comes to micropayments. Bitcoin miners are allowed to set their own fees for verifying transactions and as such transactions with small fees attached to them often go for days without being verified as the miners don’t find them lucrative. It is estimated that it costs up to $24 to send about $10 in Bitcoin which is just not a feasible number for businesses and customers who wish to pay in Bitcoin

Speed or Lack Of In Transaction

A perfect everyday transaction money is one that moves fluidly and very swiftly from the paying party to the recipient in the least possible time. What makes credit card payments popular is the little time it takes to process them, and this is something Bitcoin in its present state cannot just compete with. Bitcoin is only able to process a maximum of 4 transactions per second which is just not enough for a currency that could potential have millions of people trying to conduct their transactions all at the same time.

Usability

One of the other indices for the use of Bitcoin as an every currency is the safety that comes with its payment. Bitcoin transactions are completely irreversible once initiated and as such it stands at a disadvantage when compared to Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies that allow for the use of Smart Contracts which protect both buyer and seller.

Value

When it comes to actual value Bitcoin stands heads and shoulders above any other blockchain product as it is several times the value of its closest rival on the market. The hike in Bitcoin’s value has seen the increase in the reluctance of its holders to spend it on their day to day transactions, preferring to hoard it, which is why a lot of people tag it as the digital equivalent of bullion gold.

Conclusion

With a very cumbersome transaction process and high fees, Bitcoin stands at a great disadvantage to fiat as well as other cryptocurrencies that offer more efficient service, but its high value makes it the best option for storing value as far as cryptocurrencies are concerned. Therefore if you are looking for a currency to pay for your pizza and ice cream Bitcoin might not be your best choice.

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The Benefits of Online Trading Platforms

These past few years have been very important for the development of cryptocurrencies. Many have even come to crown 2017 as the year of the Bitcoin as this topic has been at the forefront of discussions worldwide be it on the news, online, in magazines, among friends & family etc. Naturally, with the increased interest that this topic has been sparking many have decided to jump on the bandwagon and learn how to trade and invest online. There are many things that beginners must be aware of when it comes to trading cryptocurrencies such as the use of an online trading platform.

Essentially, this trading platform is a software that brings traders and investors together in one place and allows them to buy and sell their currencies and other financial instruments. There are many different trading platforms available and are predominantly offered by brokers either for free or for a minimum amount of trades per month.

These online trading platforms offer many benefits when compared to traditional brokers and financial dealers. For one, it’s quick and easy to use and secondly, they offer a number of educational opportunities to help investors learn more about dealing and trading a number of commodities, shares and currencies.

The added convenience of being able to access your online broker whenever you wish, be it day or night, is also another great feature allowing for more flexibility. Further advantages of online trading platforms include:

1. Ease of dealing

Gone are the days when trading involved calling a broker to arrange for purchases or sales. With online trading it’s all done in just a few clicks and it’s rare that traders need to speak directly with their broker.

2. Affordability

Online trading is very affordable, as more and more brokers are offering online trading, the costs of dealing has decreased considerably, thus allowing traders to benefit from greater income when successful trades are made.

3. Greater control

As previously mentioned, online trades can be conducted at any time day or night, allowing traders to choose when they choose to trade. Additionally, trading can take place via mobile device or laptop, allowing for even more flexibility and freedom and trading on the go.

4. Real time trading

Online brokers offer real time prices and an advanced interface, so traders can keep an eye on their deals at any time and get the most up-to-the-minute prices.

5. Faster transactions

Online trading is extremely fast. As soon as an account has been set up with an online broker, trading can take place immediately as long as sufficient capital is in the account. There are numerous online trading platforms out there, trading with IG offers all the above, plus the knowledge that you’re trading with one of the most popular and trusted online brokers on the internet. Make sure to spend enough doing due diligence and familiarizing yourself with online trading in general including the different trading strategies that are available to help make the most of your trades and have a better overall knowledge of the industry.

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LendIt Fintech USA 2018 San Francisco March 9-11

LendIt Fintech is the World’s Leading Event in Financial Services Innovation. LendIt Fintech hosts three conferences per year in the USA, Europe, and China. These events bring together every major fintech, blockchain, lending and digital banking companies from around the world. Professionals in the financials services industry come to learn, network and do business.

 

Online Lending, Event Management, Financial Technology, Networking, Peer to Peer Lending, Market Place Lending, Blockchain, Digital Banking, Banking, Fintech, and Financial Services

Meet Chris larson and The Lendit Team

A serial entrepreneur, Larsen, 57, cofounded the online mortgage lender e-Loan, in 1997, and, eight years later, Prosper, the peer-to-peer lender that has been valued at more than $1 billion. He seems to have hit it bigger here, even if XRP is nothing more than a speculation vehicle — and one that’s down 65% since the beginning of the year. While Larsen stepped down from the company more than a year ago, he still serves as executive chairman and tells Forbes he’s “100% focused on Ripple and helping the team any way I can.” Given these kind of numbers, he’d be crazy not to.

LendIt has always been about community. It all began back in 2012 when Jason Jones was speaking at a conference in New York that was organized by Dara Albright. He proposed creating a new event focused on marketplace lending (then called peer to peer lending), a place where the new community could come together. He had been interested in marketplace lending for some time and, along with his partner Bo Brustkern, was in the process of launching one of the first funds in the space.

At that same time Peter Renton, the founder of Lend Academy, had decided that he wanted to start a marketplace lending conference in 2013. The members of the Lend Academy community had been reaching out to Peter on the need for an industry event that would bring the community together in person.

So, it was serendipitous when Jason and Dara connected with Peter and together they decided to launch the world’s first marketplace lending conference. They had modest expectations, they just wanted to put on an event where the entire community could come together to network and learn. The first conference in New York ended up being sold out and was a big success.

Today, Jason, Bo and Peter run the LendIt conferences and Dara has moved on to launch a new venture. LendIt has grown into the largest lending and fintech conference in each of the regions they operate: USA, China and Europe.

Our conferences bring together the fintech firms, investors, and service providers

Lending

Lending has been the bread and butter of LendIt events from inception. As online lending has grown up, so too has LendIt. In the early days there were just a handful of early companies who were thinking very differently about how lending should be done. There is now a healthy ecosystem that has been built around the lending industry. At LendIt Fintech USA 2018 we’ll cover all verticals of lending. Many people are familiar with LendingClub CEO Scott Sanborn who will kick off the event. While we will cover every aspect of lending, here are a few other notable speakers:

  • Jay Farner, CEO, Quicken Loans
  • Max Levchin, Co-Founder & CEO, Affirm
  • Anthony Noto, CEO, SoFi
  • Renaud Laplanche, CEO, Upgrade

Digital Banking

Every bank needs to have a digital strategy these days. Consumers have more options than ever and companies need to check all of boxes no matter what size bank they are. We’ll hear a wide range of perspectives from startups to established banks looking to serve a younger customer base. This track will also cover mobile technology, banking infrastructure, data science, partnerships, wealth management and how banks can compete in the ever changing marketplace. Below are just a few names that we’ll hear from on digital banking:

  • Yolande Piazza, CEO, Citi FinTech
  • Suresh Ramamurthi, Chairman & CTO, CBW Bank
  • Luvleen Sidhu President, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, BankMobile
  • Jeremy K. Balkin, Head of Innovation, HSBC Bank USA
  • Nicolas Kopp, U.S. CEO, N26 Inc.

Blockchain for Financial Services

For 2018 we looked at one of the biggest new trends in financial services, blockchain and decided to create an event within our event. We are debuting our new blockchain event Blockfin by LendIt. Blockfin is co-located within the LendIt Fintech event meaning attendees have access to both events. We teamed up and are co-hosting the event with CryptoOracle. BlockFin brings together the top innovators and experts from the entire blockchain ecosystem including technology platforms, crypto companies, investors and banks for 2 1/2 action-packed days of learning, networking and business development. The event will include: 1:1 investor meetings, a demo stage for crypto funds & ICOs and 40+ hours of cutting edge blockchain and cryptocurrency content. Some names we are excited to hear from include:

  • Tim Draper Founder & Managing Director DFJ
  • Richard Craib, CEO, Numerai
  • Tom Ding, Co-founder & CEO, String Labs/Dfinity
  • Vincent Wang, Chief Innovation Officer, China Wanxiang Group
  • Kathleen Breitman, Co-Founder, Tezos
  • Catherine Wood, CEO/CIO, ARK INVEST

Specialties  In Financial Technology

This is just a taste of what you can expect out of LendIt Fintech USA 2018. You can learn more by visiting our speakers page or looking at sessions confirmed on our agenda. If you plan to attend the event, be sure to act soon as the price increases by $400 on Friday night. As a Lend Academy reader you can use our special discount code “LENDACADEMYVIP” for an additional discount.

                                       We hope to see you in San Francisco in April

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The Pros & Cons Of Cryptocurrency

There has been a steady growth of interest when it comes to cryptocurrency. As it becomes more integrated into different levels of our lives, it’s no surprise that increased awareness is driving the growing financial revolution. While there are both positives and negatives to the digital currency, the truth is that there are enough big businesses and corporations looking at ways to integrate the technology and make the most of its advantages, so the notion of digital currency is not going away anytime soon.  With fluctuations in value creating an ever-changing market for bitcoins and other, less popular, examples of cryptocurrency, you may be looking at the best ways that you can take advantage of the growing market and influence of this digital powerhouse. If you’ve been looking for good investment opportunities and therefore considering investing in a cryptocurrency, or if you are simply curious how you can use it to manage your finances more securely, then you need to be aware not only of the potential benefits, but also of the negatives as well. This will give you the options with a clear view of what to expect, and will improve your chances of having a positive interaction with cryptocurrency yourself.

Con – It can be difficult to comprehend

Perhaps the most challenging obstacle in terms of large-scale adoption of the various cryptocurrency options, is that it can be a difficult subject to comprehend. The very idea of a decentralized financial system that is stored via blockchain can be challenging, especially if you’re not tech-savvy. Due to the fact that it seems occasionally incomprehensible, people are proving to be very wary taking advantage of the benefits that it can offer, and that appears to be the last hurdle that digital currency advocates will need to tackle if they want to see wider use.

Con – Challenges of market fluctuations

There are a variety ways that you can use cryptocurrencies, but the majority of people using them at the moment are simply using them as an investment. While the more eager users are using their digital currency to buy tickets to sporting events, gamble online, or even buy a house with bitcoin, most are simply waiting for the dramatic market fluctuations to work in their favor. Treating your bitcoins as you would any other commodity may be the way to initiate a more widespread understanding and trust in the new currencies.

Con – No security in case of loss

As with every emerging technology, there are those that use naivety and inexperience to scam, cheat and steal your hard-earned money. This has certainly proven to be the case with digital currencies, so it’s important to be aware of the safety risks. Treating your bitcoins as real money will get you in the right frame of mind, as you simply have to follow standard security protocol as you would with hard currency. For those using cryptocurrency to buy, sell or gamble online, simply be as careful as you would with any investment. For online casinos, look out for the old tricks updated to the digital age, and don’t trust companies that offer unrealistic bonuses, odds, and offers. With a little basic security, you can minimize your chances of making a loss that can never be returned.

Pro – Unparalleled Transparency

This is one of the major reasons why digital currency offers much more potential for societal change and accountability. While the use of cryptocurrency is anonymous, the transactions themselves are all stored on an open ledger (the blockchain). This means that the data is available to view by anyone at any time, and that’s a major boon for those wishing for a more transparent banking system. It is because of this transparency that bitcoin is considered one of the hottest topics in world currency.

Pro – Instant and 24-hour accessibility

It is possible to spend or buy wherever you are, and you don’t even need a computer to use it. Everything can be managed on your mobile device, meaning that even for those with little in the way of technology, they are still able to access their finances and make decisions in real time. This accessibility is a key feature for the adoption of bitcoin, and is being used across the world to provide opportunities for those who would previously have struggled to become online consumers.

Pro (and con) – Absolute anonymity

Having an unregulated currency that is not bound by customs adjustments and fluctuating political changes is a positive and a negative. Cryptocurrency is completely anonymous, which is great for those that value their online privacy and are wary of handing over too much of their digital data. While the additional layer of security that anonymity provides is an excellent benefit, it has also led to the inevitable adoption of the technology by the criminal fraternity. The black market and the dark web are big users of cryptocurrency, and criminals obviously value their anonymity as much as they value the ability to send vast sums of money anywhere in the world with a few taps of their phone. For more law-abiding citizens, the benefits of anonymity are many, but perhaps the most enticing is the fact that there is no chance of identity theft, and that’s of major interest to anyone looking for more secure ways to remain online safely.

Every budding technology will have a degree of uncertainty about the future, and cryptocurrency is no different. While the popularity is growing, and businesses race to keep up with growing demand for its use, it may be too early to know just how big of an impact cryptocurrency will have. As a potential financial revolution, it’s worth keeping an eye on, and maybe investing in now before interest spreads worldwide.

 

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