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New Report Identifies Fintech Startups As Disruptors In The UK Banking Industry

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A new report has emerged in the latest crypto news, showing that the UK banking industry is ‘under threat’ of being disrupted by fintech startups. Issued by MoneyLive, the Banking Report was compiled by Marketforce LIVE and sums up the fact that Britain’s banking space sees such startups as “significant threat” to their business models.

After taking more than 600 prominent figures into account, the report polled respondents in an attempt to find out how traditional financial institutions view the prevalence of services provided by fintech companies in relation to their existing customer base and their future business prospects.

The data presented shows that 81% of the respondents think that customer experience and service quality are the major drivers of consumer acquisition and retention than trust in the institutional brands.

On top of this, 59% of the respondents agreed that customer-centric fintechs have a potential to replace the British banks and 79% of them are sure that they have “more engaging brands.”

As an excerpt from the report reads:

“Almost six out of ten (59 per cent) of the bankers we surveyed perceive new intermediaries to be a significant threat to their relationship with their customers…From Amazon to Airbnb, Netflix to Uber, the story of digital disruption has not ended well for those incumbents unable to match the personalised experience and compelling cost savings of the newcomers.”

In the meantime, UK banks expect that fintech adoption will continue to race towards a critical mass of majority usage. The key fact that more than 93% of the respondents agreed upon was that over the next five years, the banking business and revenue models will have to undergo fundamental changes if they are to survive and co-exist with fintechs.

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Blockchain News

16% Of The Biggest Crypto Exchanges Got Rated A Or A-

According to the latest Exchange Security Report conducted by the ICORating analysts, 16% of all the major crypto exchanges in the world got rated with A or A- but surprisingly enough neither of them got rated A+. Let’s find out why in the latest blockchain news below. The report shows that Kraken and Robinhood were rated A, and Poloniex was rated A- as top three most secure trading platforms worldwide. More than 135 crypto trading platforms were assessed which their daily trade value exceeds $100,000. They were rated for registrar and domain security, web security, DoS attack protection, and user account security. More than 50 percent of the exchanges got rated with B+ or B- and the remaining with C- or C+. There was not a single exchange that got A+. All of the categories were divided into sub-categories for more transparency. For example, for the user security category, password security and two-factor authentication were assessed where only 22 percent met all the criteria. For domain and registrar security, the sub-categories consisted of six-month expiration window for the high-profile domains and only 3 percent satisfied the criteria. All of the exchanges turned out to be protected from MITM attacks and Heartbleed attacks and 37 percent of the exchanges were found to be using HSTS header. ICORating’s data shows that Coinbase PRO has A- rating on number nine, BitMEX on the fourth position with A- and HitBTC ranking 13th with A-. On the other hand, Binance which is the world’s largest exchange by daily trade volumes was ranked 34th with B+ and Gemini was ranked 84th with B-.
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Blockchain News

New Crypto Wave Will Focus On Stablecoins: Swiss BTC Association Board Member

Luzius Meisser, the board member of the Bitcoin Association of Switzerland believes that the next innovation wave in crypto will focus on stablecoins and security tokens so we decided to found out more in our blockchain news today. Meisser is actually a computer scientist and economist but also a co-founder of the Bitcoin Association in Switzerland back in 2013 but more importantly, he plays a huge role in the local crypto industry where he is a member of the board of directors of brokerage company Bitcoin Suisse AG. When he was asked how what is his long-term opinion on crypto, he pointed out that initial coin offerings should undergo a massive change with the protection of the investors becoming more tangible. He also predicted that security tokens should be up for a stricter regulated wave:
 “I would say payment and utility tokens are more or less over, sometimes they make sense.”
Talking about stablecoins, he explained that their decentralized mechanism is what makes sure that they are legally considered to be payment tokens rather than securities:
 “Stablecoins are a precondition to enable average companies to bring their equity onto the blockchain, because if they issue bonds or shares they want to do so against U.S. dollars, euros or Swiss francs, because those are the currencies they calculate in, not Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH).”
Meisser also pointed out that the banks in Switzerland still don’t attempt to try crypto but local startups do use them as a way to avoid banking difficulties in the country.
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Blockchain News

Bitfury Enters Music Industry With Blockchain-Based Open Source Platform Launch

The blockchain and Bitcoin mining giant Bitfury recently announced the launch of a dedicated venture that will open-source the music industry in a official crypto press release on January 16th. The spin-off, which is dubbed Bitfury Surround, will focus on tackling the complex and often unfairly proportioned flows of revenue between the artists, fans and middlemen using the blockchain technology. As the post explains:
“The Surround platform will enable the entire music entertainment industry to streamline operations through secure transfer of copyright assets, streamlined connectivity as well as better monitoring and management systems."
The launch of this new service marks the expansion of Bitfury onto various aspects beyond mining. Within the ecosystem, this week also saw the company bringing off-chain payments through the Lightning Network (LN) to their first exchange environment thanks to a partnership with Poland's BTCBIT. As the CEO of Bitfury commented about the Surround project:
"The music entertainment industry has evolved into a complex, competitive, technology-driven environment that suffers from a severe lack of transparency.We want to champion artists and help incentivize the growth of the entire industry through the creation of this open, blockchain-based ecosystem."
There are many blockchain entities which are tackling the music industry transparency for several years, with ideas such as blockchain-based streaming service being revealed in 2018.
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Blockchain News

HSBC And Its Blockchain-Based Transactions Surpassed $250 Billion In 2018

A new crypto press release is in the latest headlines on our DC Forecasts crypto news site. In it, the Financial Times quotes HSBC, one of the largest banking institutions in the world by total assets, reporting $250 billion in settled transactions in the past year using the blockchain technology. As the press release outlined, during the last calendar year, HSBC settled over 3 million blockchain-based foreign exchange transactions. All of them were processed through the blockchain platform "FX Everywhere" in which the bank says that it has processed 150,000 payments since the platform launched in February 2018. At the time, the financial services group used the technology to issue a letter of credit to agriculture firm Cargill, which covered the transportation of produce from Argentina to Malaysia and issued by the Netherlands financier ING. FX Everywhere is a platform that helps with “orchestrating payments across HSBC’s internal balance sheets,” while the reports suggest that it saw heavy adoption over the last year. The company also revealed that the settlements were made easier thanks to this blockchain-based platform. Meanwhile, this is not the first attempt by HSBC to explore applications of blockchain technology over the past year. Last year, it partnered with Standard Chartered, BNP Paribas and other banks in order to finance a blockchain trade finance platform.
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