Blockchain and Fintech are two sides of the same coin, or are they? Not really. Blockchain has an important role to play in fintech innovations, but both technologies are different. However, both have the potential to play a significant role in changing how various industries are operating, particularly the financial sector.
Let’s talk about both Blockchain and Fintech and see how they differ from each other while being closely related.
Blockchain is a distributed, decentralized, and public ledger that records transactions across multiple computers simultaneously so that the record cannot be altered without altering all other blocks in the chain. It is based on an open, distributed ledger, and can record transactions efficiently and quickly.
In terms of cryptocurrency, if two companies perform business together and use crypto as a form of payment, their agreement creates a ‘block’ in the chain. The blockchain links and keeps these blocks secure using cryptography.
Blockchain technology was originally designed with a focus on cryptocurrencies, particularly bitcoin. The purpose behind its creation was to solve the problem of ‘double-spending’ and allowing public transactions without a central authority. Now, blockchain is used in many other applications across various departments in an organization or in different industries, even other than finance ones.
DApps, or Blockchain applications are efficient and secure. They provide a multitude of opportunities beyond finance. It can be used in logistics, patient medical records, supply chain, and many other sectors that require transparency, shareability, and traceability of data.
Blockchain records data and all transactions for everyone to view. For data to change, it must require alteration of all blocks, which makes it almost impossible to modify data.
For a better understanding, blockchain technology is highlighted by the following features:
Data in a blockchain is not stored in a central location. Rather, it is stored across the entire network. In other words, there is no central authority to control the entire data across a blockchain-powered network.
It is a synchronized database that can be accessed from different locations by a number of participants. Each computer in the distributed ledger system has a copy of the ledger to ensure transparency and avoid a Single Point of Failure (SPOF).
All the blockchain networks follow a specific protocol to validate new blocks. After they are registered, data in the block cannot be altered without changing the following blocks, which needs consent from the network itself.
Fintech or Financial Technology is a new industry that deploys technology for improving financial activities for the public. This new approach is here to disrupt conventional financial services. Fintech includes both startups and financial institutes. It aims to create new applications, products, business models, and processes to enhance existing financial services.
Traditional financial services by banks and governments generally look down up at fintech because it is hard to regulate it without a complete understanding, which can take a lot of time.
Fintech projects redefine business models and drive them towards efficiency and security. Some fintech applications include peer-to-peer lending,RFID tags, stock trading websites and apps, budgeting tools, and algorithm-based portfolio advisor services.
Some Fintech examples include peer-to-peer lending, stock trading websites and apps, advisor services based on algorithms, budgeting tools, and personal finance management. Fintech has four user categories, i.e., business to business for bank clients, business to business for banks, business to client for consumers, and business to client for small businesses.
Fintech organizations are making payment processes easier, reducing fraud, promoting financial planning, and helping save money. However, it is important to note that the financial sector has conventionally been predominated by large firms – such as big banks – that often show resistance to change. Overcoming this challenge and adopting new financial technologies will require a lot of work.
Blockchain and Fintech Coming Together
Fintech based on blockchain can prove to be the next revolution in the financial services industry. It will more likely add transparency, remove the middle man, and make transactions more secure. Blockchain in fintech can help make banking services more efficient and seamless. It can minimize bureaucracy in conventional banking system and also help in reducing costs. This will benefit both the customers and the financial institutions.
Blockchain technology provides assistance in data breaking management and stopping other fraudulent activities. This enables fintech businesses to transfer and share unaltered and secure data through a decentralized network. This will help to make financial data more secure and track, understand, and audit decisions of AI in a better manner. This in turn will provide the transparency level that is required for people to trust intelligence driven by machines.
Furthermore, Decentralized Finance or DeFi utilizes the concept of creating decentralized smart contracts using blockchain technology. Many financial giants have started to invest in research and development of DeFi for their businesses. This phenomenon further strengthens the fact that blockchain and finance companies actually greatly complement each other, and can together bring more success to any application where applied.
Blockchain technology can also help to eradicate shady tactics of the stock market including commissions of intermediaries, stock tampering, and processing charges and time.
It is expected that by 2028, the fintech blockchain market will reach a value of $36.04 billion. DeFi will become an evolving technology that will greatly reduce the control of banks on money and financial services. Moreover, digital ledgers will also gradually transform the way we send, receive, manage, and store our money.
Blockchain technology is a breakthrough for digital transactions, whether financial or data exchange. It enables secure, faster transactions with no chance of data alteration.
Fintech, on the other hand, is a breakthrough for financial services. Its most mentionable application is the disruption of bank services as it reduces that final cost as well as the time taken in money exchange.
Both technologies are advancing very fast, and both provide convenience to the end user, i.e., the customer.