What Will the Future of Banking Look Like?

With so many fintech disruptors creating new ways for people to spend, save, and invest money, and with cryptocurrencies changing the very idea of what money is, it’s fair to assume the banking system in a few decades will look quite different than it does today. Our chief growth officer, Anand Chokkavelu, recently sat down with Gemini cryptocurrency exchange co-founder Cameron Winklevoss to get his thoughts. In this Fool Live video clip, recorded on March 18, you can hear what he had to say. 

Anand Chokkavelu: Let’s talk about the competitive landscape in finance of which you’re part of. We’ve got traditional banks, we’ve got newer fintech players like Square (NYSE:SQ) and PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL), we got Robinhood, SoFi, Affirm (NASDAQ:AFRM) even. Crypto-focused players like Coinbase and Gemini, even traditional retailers like Walmart (NYSE:WMT) are getting into banking. It seems like everyone is landing and expanding into each other’s spaces a bit. How do you think this whole ecosystem will evolve over time, how does it look?

Cameron Winklevoss: Yeah, it’s a really interesting question. Banking feels to me like it’s tied to the old economy in many ways, and a lot of these institutions have been around for 100-plus years and there’s been a ton of consolidation. I don’t think bankers are not technologists, and that’s one of the struggles I think a lot of people come across. Wires get lost, and a lot of these systems are done — they’re just not really modernized. I think fintech is the expression of banking in the new economy, and trying to really bring a tech game to the space.

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I think that’s why fintech is exploding in a major way because there’s truly a need, there is just a gap that’s not being met by a lot of the banks out there. Then if you look globally, you zoom out, there’s a billion-plus unbanked individuals out there. If the current system could get there, they would be there. They want more customers, and they are, and they can’t really address these folks.

I think something like Bitcoin (CRYPTO:BTC) actually has the potential to do that at social scale. All you really need is an internet connection, and there’s more smart devices than people on the planet right now. With that address, you can send and receive and transact and hold Bitcoin. You cannot hold gold, and that’s why I think gold does not make the leap into streaming. It just can’t do that, and that’s why long-term I’m not really bullish on gold.

I think near-term it’s probably fine, and it will do OK. It won’t be the fastest to outrun inflation, but I wouldn’t say it’s a bad bet, it’s just not the best bet in my opinion. It doesn’t make that leap. I think crypto has the potential to address the underbanked and the unbanked in ways that the existing system simply cannot do, and that really excites us. The ability to empower individuals through access to basic financial services. I think longer-term, that’s what’s really exciting about the vision. We’re not building inside the limitations of the existing system, we’re trying to build this alternative avenue to get people really into the system.

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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

View more information: https://www.fool.com/investing/2021/04/01/what-will-the-future-of-banking-look-like/

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