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Yes, Crypto Still Matters

Large, bureaucratic, highly regulated industries like banking and finance generally do not evolve with the pace of technological innovation unless they are confronted with a new competitive challenge. “Crypto winter” or not, blockchain continues to represent precisely such a transformative force.

WASHINGTON, DC – Without Uber, would many taxi services have developed their own ride-hailing apps or started accepting credit cards when they did? In static industries with little competition, it takes new competitors and technologies to drive change. And, if managed well, this change need not even threaten incumbents, because they can adopt the new technologies and business models to keep pace with what consumers have come to expect from the new entrants.

These same forces are confronting banking and financial services. Just as Uber and Lyft built a new model for on-demand consumer mobility, the emerging world of blockchain-based financial services has propelled mobile device-centric banking and payments as well as software-powered capital markets. While mobile and electronic banking have been around for a while, the emergence of crypto is enabling new levels of user control and access with little more than a personal digital wallet.

Ultimately, consumers win where there is more choice. When traditional taxis had a monopoly, they often drove right past ride-hailers of a certain complexion, or would refuse to drive into areas “on the wrong side of the tracks.” If new challengers had not expanded access to mobility and financial services, these practices would have remained the norm.