Baltic Fintech Summit Started Crowded and Finished with Crypto Discussion Between Bitcoin Maxis and Boomers
Fintech is already the past. At least, its traditional branch, which mostly includes bringing financial payment services to our smartphones and smartwatches. Let’s be honest, we’ve already forgotten how fiat looks. Personally, I don’t remember the last time I held a banknote; It’s not impressive anymore.
Steve Jobs’ dream has come true.
Crypto fintech is a different story. Tons of startups are still struggling with regulators, optimal business strategies, promotion to achieve mass adoption, and so on. Moreover, the decentralized nature of crypto brings with it a different breed of challenges, the likes of which traditional fintech has never had to face.
Satoshi Nakamoto’s dream is yet to come to fruition!
Here’s the dilemma: fintech has already been divided into traditional, and future-oriented branches, And the people representing each of these branches are quite different, so their audiences, and therefore clients, also differ.
Sometimes these two worlds clash. Such is what happened at the Baltic Fintech Summit.
Lithuania Becomes a Hub of Baltic Fintech
The Baltic Fintech Summit was extremely crowded from the offset. Even the event’s main organizer, CEO of the British Chamber of Commerce Rasa Ščiukinaitė, admitted that they hadn’t expected such a high turnout.
The event was held in the heart of Vilnius, Lithuania. The country has already become the hub of Baltic fintech.
Although the Baltic Fintech Summit wasn’t crypto oriented, it rounded up with two hot discussions about security and payments, with crypto payments being a particular focus in the end.
Among the present attendees were Revolut, Paysera, GlobalPass, CoinGate, ConnectPay, Wallester, and others. Many of these names are already known worldwide.
Vibe Check – Traditional Fintech Still Need to Meet the New Wave
As the event was a summit held among chief officers of big fintech corporations, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to see their visions for the future of finance first-hand.
Several important questions were raised, such as around security issues for payments and transactions from Iran and select African countries, problems in relation to businesses with regulators, and – the topic of today’s interest – financial education for the younger generations, particularly Gen Z.
The latter topic is indeed a real issue, however, the approach taken towards it, particularly in attitude, didn’t satisfy me, personally. First of all, some speakers mentioned that Gen Zers tend to overuse technology, and live half of their lives “outside real life,” with slightly negative connotations. In this case, this view doesn’t take into consideration what it’s like to be raised in the modern age, surrounded by technology. Thus creating conflicting paradigms – but as is commonly said, “it’s not a bug, it’s a feature!”
Secondly, their understanding of the future of money seemed a little distorted. Here’s why…
Round 2 – Bitcoin Maxis vs Boomers
As a representative of Gen Z myself, I believe that the answer for a lot of fintech’s struggles lies in the decentralized nature of crypto, which doesn’t mean the absence of regulation, but the shift of the governing processes for money as a resource. “The rules of the game” can be easily changed simply by focusing on blockchain technology as the main provider of value, omitting such inflationary processes as money printing. But how can such a thing be achieved if the leaders of big fintech corporations stoically remain skeptical about crypto? And yes, they have good arguments for feeling this way!
Vice President of Paysera, Marius Pareščius, said during the final discussion;
“Small crypto transactions of several cents cost hundreds of euros for us because of that pile of documents we need to prepare for the regulators. That’s why we don\’t even [want to] start accepting crypto.”
Although he admitted to personally believing in the future of crypto. Mr. Pareščius also shared his first experience with crypto. He confessed to being burned and escaping quickly due to its complexity, and the need to use multiple swaps, exchanges, and wallets. I think we can all admit it does seem too complicated, but not for those who were raised in a technological environment!
CEO of CoinGate, Dmitrijus Borisenka, opposed his views in this discussion. As the chief executive of the crypto payment gateway, he spoke in defense of blockchain money, even admitting himself to be a Bitcoin maxi. On the other hand, he agreed that regulators are the real issue for businesses such as his.
Perceptions of the future of money have many layers. While some are already living in the future, governments and big corporations tend to remain in safe zones. The paradigm shift should be made on personal, business, and governmental levels. Though this, this will certainly take a decade or two to happen.
In order to make this process simpler, the new generations should be educated “properly,” and by “properly,” I do mean not by people who don’t have a clue about the modern world because they were born in a different time. What we need is proper direction so that we can prevent avoidable mistakes. The rest is a natural process.
On The Flipside
- Blockchain is not a “cure all.” It comes with a lot of its own issues as well. For example, gas fees, transaction speed, volatility, etc. However, it is a new, important step in the evolution of finance, just as bartering and the introduction of metal coins were. Soon enough, we’ll get more advanced technology than we see now.
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