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Why banks must focus on DeFi, with Metal Pay


One of the profound challenges that faces the digital assets ecosystem, is how difficult it is to buy, hodl and sell these digital assets. And whether banks will help with this. Potential customers of digital assets face challenges at every step when it comes to acquiring or selling their crypto. Then there is the fear of missing out too. Not to mention DeFi. One of the companies attending Money 20/20 in Amsterdam this year has a solution. Metal Pay are making the purchase of digital assets easy and compliant.

One of the panels that drew the attention of our editorial team at Money 20/20 was about ‘how far you can go with crypto FOMO’. The speakers included representatives of the Bank of Lithuania, Kraken, SEBA Bank, CryptoUK and Metal Pay. Quite a line up.

Whilst many readers will be familiar with Kraken, once touted as the third largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by turnover. They may not be as familiar with Metal Pay, which was represented by Irina Berkon, CFO at the Panel about FOMO:

At the panel Irina shared several key insights with the audience. She shared how the Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve in the U.S. recently said that stable coins are the way forward for entrepreneurs and users around the world. How stablecoins need to be embraced by banks, especially the technology that drives them.

“We believe in reserve backed stable coins,” Irina explained. She also hinted on how she thinks that multiple stable coins could be issued by different banks across the world. Perhaps created by these individual banks themselves. However, more importantly, she sees that this is where regulation will be most acutely felt. And that we should not ignore this.

If you want to learn about what some of the other speakers shared on the panel. Disruption Banking’s editorial team were fortunate enough to have covered the talk:

FOMO is not so much about crypto but about DeFi

When it comes to the feeling of FOMO that the title of the panel suggested, Irina argues how this won’t necessarily be felt between crypto firms and banks. She thinks that it will be banks competing with other banks not to have FOMO. As to where the banks will focus. Irina explained how the race is for mastery of the world of DeFi, by the banks.

DeFi has a lot to do with finance, but first and foremost it’s about technology,” Irina shared. “There are devs all over the world building DeFi products that are potentially better than any bank can offer. They don’t know regulation. But they can launch these products and people will use them, if they are good and convenient. There is no way to fight it, but to embrace it.

Irina pointed to recent discussions by the UK government to modify a proposal. A proposal that would have required crypto firms to collect personal data from individuals holding unhosted wallets that were the recipients of digital asset transfers.

“Those who understand what is happening in the space will be much further ahead than those who don’t,” Irina explained. “They can partner with companies like Metallicus that understands which services can remain in DeFi / unhosted wallets and which should comply with regulation. For example, on the blockchain, you can have an unhosted / non custodial wallet. But if you’d like to use services on the proton blockchain, such as proton swap, loan, fiat, or otc services that interact with financial products or other people, you have to pass a certain level of KYC, depending on the product.”

In Irina’s opinion there is no way around this conundrum. Non custodial wallets and DeFi products are not going anywhere, she says. “But interactions with them can be regulated properly,” Irina shared. “However, having a non custodial wallet doesn’t mean you are hiding something. It is good to see regulators understanding this too.”

“Which one of these DeFi products will banks embrace? And, which of the banks are going to be ahead of the game so the rest of them will have FOMO?” Irina asked.

“I think the most important thing for banks to look at is to partner with a DeFi product that has the ability to integrate things like KYC, things like regulation, AML.” Irina explained.

Finally, Irina shared how she believes telecommunications companies have become technology companies over the years. How developers are more interested in working in the telecommunications sector than they used to be. And how, “I think that banks will become technology companies and technology companies will be more and more integrated into banks.”

Find out more about the plans that Metal Pay have. As well as Irina Berkon’s vision for the company going forward in our video interview from Money 20/20 Amsterdam:

Author: Andy Samu

Metal Pay, not just another App

Metal Pay is something a little different, although it is part of the same group that includes Proton. Launched across the EU and EEA this June at Money 20/20 in Amsterdam, Metal Pay is a simple, secure, and free financial app where you can buy and sell over 65 cryptocurrencies and link directly with your cash balance.

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