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'Digital assets to advance era of techfin'

Chain Partners Research Center suggests 2 possible techfin blocs

  • Janice Yunji Kim
  • 2019-04-16 11:36:17
'Digital assets to advance era of techfin'

The era of “techfin” is expected to begin in earnest with the emergence of digital assets including Bitcoin. Techfin envisions applying financial services to the ICT system unlike fintech grafting ICT services onto the financial system.

The Chain Partners Research Center made this prediction in its report Tuesday and stated, “Global ICT companies’ financial businesses have performed poorly so far but digital assets could help improve their performances.”

According to the report, although ICT enterprises supposed to lead the era of techfin have the advantage in terms of costs, users and data compared with financial firms, financial businesses of most global ICT enterprises except China’s Alibaba and Tencent have failed to stand out. “But global ICT enterprises may use digital assets to improve their financial businesses,” the report added. This means that things could change if they equip themselves with a digital-friendly financial environment and introduce cross-border digital assets.

As possible techfin enterprises using digital assets, the research center suggested the “Starbucks-Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)-Microsoft (MS)” bloc and the “Goldman Sachs-Apple” bloc.

“Starbucks has piled up enormous deposits through various currencies across the world but struggles with how to manage them because of different currencies. So Starbucks is trying to solve the problem through Bitcoin in cooperation with ICE and Microsoft,” the report said, adding that the global coffeehouse chain may be able to perform various financial businesses exploiting Bitcoin like lending, asset management and insurance.

The research center expected Apple to join forces with Goldman Sachs to build iPhone as a “financial platform of digital assets.” Recalling that Apple cooperated with Goldman Sachs to release “Apple Card” in March, the report stated, “Digital assets appear to have caused Apple to opt for Goldman Sachs poor in retail finance as its financial partner.” As a matter of fact, the phrase “cryptocurrency accounts” appears in the “Bank of the Future” video unveiled by Goldman Sachs in 2019. Goldman Sachs has been active in investing in digital assets including Circle, a financial platform of digital assets, wallet service Bitgo and Bitcoin payment and transfer service Veem.

At a time when large enterprises plunge into the blockchain industry, the research center said the fate of startups depends on how they head off offensives of large companies and what kind of collaboration models they suggest. /yjk@decenter.kr


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