Emerging Trends in Finance 2024: DeFi, Digital Currency & more

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What drives us to talk about financial technologies? ensun aims to speed up global business progress. Our web crawlers gather data, and our text-based algorithms organize it systematically. By combining our internal data with external sources, we offer insights into the latest technologies and spotlight the top innovators behind them.   

For this report, we've analyzed over 1964+ relevant companies within the finance sector.  

Let's start by clarifying the concept of financial technologies, often shortened to fintech. The Michigan Technological University defines it broadly “as a technology used to provide a financial product or service to financial markets.” With a more specific definition that to “truly be fintech, a technology must be far more sophisticated than what is considered standard in a particular market.” For example, while ATMs were innovative upon their introduction, they do not fall under the fintech category because they eventually became commonplace. 

With this in mind, let’s dive into forecasted developments for robotics.  

Projected Developments in Fintech

The global fintech market has grown rapidly over the past decade as more technologies disrupt traditional financial services. According to recent data, this trajectory of expansion and innovation shows no signs of slowing. As of early 2024, the Americas led the world with over 13,000 fintech companies, representing nearly a 10% increase from just the prior year. The United States specifically dominated the global fintech unicorn landscape, holding roughly five times as many private fintech firms valued over $1 billion as the next highest country. 

As the fintech industry expanded rapidly over the past decade, the global user base of cryptocurrencies also grew tremendously. Statistics suggest, between 2018 and 2020, cryptocurrency users surged by almost 190%, and this growth accelerated even faster in 2022, fueled by increased adoption from companies like Tesla and Mastercard as well as regions in Africa, Asia, and South America. However, precisely knowing the number of individual cryptocurrency users like Bitcoin remains challenging due to the decentralized nature of currencies, which aim to avoid tracking. While the overall cryptocurrency user base witnessed remarkable expansion, obtaining an accurate count of specific currency users remains difficult given privacy designs. 

The rise of fintech and cryptocurrencies could revolutionize how we manage money. Imagine seamless mobile payments, instant cross-border transfers, and financial tools for the unbanked. This translates to greater financial empowerment, new investment avenues, and a more efficient global system. However, navigating crypto volatility and unclear regulations remains crucial for a future that benefits everyone. 

Still, Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, predicts that the crypto market doubling in value this year. Suggesting significant implications for fintech's future and its impact on daily life. With increased investment and innovation in the sector, cryptocurrencies are poised to become even more mainstream, potentially reshaping how people conduct financial transactions daily. This shift could lead to greater financial inclusion, especially in areas with limited banking infrastructure, as digital currencies offer accessible and convenient alternatives. 

Moreover, the economic ramifications of this growth could be substantial, with the emergence of new job opportunities and heightened economic activity centered around cryptocurrency-related businesses. However, the realization of these potential benefits hinges on regulatory developments, particularly in the United States, where positive regulatory momentum is seen as a key driver for sustained growth and adoption of cryptocurrencies and fintech advancements. 

New Financial Technologies and Their Top Innovators  

Given the established connection between economic growth and the fueling of financial sector innovation, what exactly are some of these innovations beyond typical buzzwords? This paragraph aims to introduce several relevant topics gaining attention within the industry but not widely known publicly. At the same time, it will give recognition to leading companies in innovating each technological trend.  

Let's examine some very promising technological directions receiving focused development currently within the financial sector. 

Crypto Mining

The process of Crypto Mining involves verifying transactions and adding them to the blockchain ledger. Miners use powerful computers to solve complex mathematical puzzles, requiring significant computational power. The first miner to solve a puzzle adds a new block of transactions to the blockchain and receives a reward in newly minted cryptocurrency.  

While home mining on a personal computer is possible, specialized hardware called ASICs are more efficient for Bitcoin mining. A powerful GPU may work for other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum. Considerations before mining include electricity costs, hardware expenses, and potential profitability. Joining a mining pool combines resources and increases chances of rewards. 

Top Innovators

  • RenewaBit innovates by repurposing wasted energy for crypto mining, driving sustainability and efficient investment. 
  • Wundercoin pioneers decentralized finance via Web 3.0, partnering with renewable energy suppliers for sustainable Bitcoin mining, leveraging AI for efficiency. 

Embedded Finance

Embedded Finance seamlessly integrates financial services like payments, lending, and insurance into non-financial platforms through APIs. This provides businesses convenient ways to offer customers access to financial products within their ecosystems. For businesses, embedded finance can increase customer retention, commitment, and unlock new revenue streams. It also promotes innovation in financial services. Consumers benefit from personalized options tailored to preferred platforms in a more convenient way. Examples include buy now pay later in e-commerce or insurance on travel sites. Overall, embedded finance gives people power through simplified, affordable products that reshape how they access and view financial services.

Top Innovators

  • ezbob is a pioneering digital lending provider that has automated financial processes for over a decade, allowing institutions to rapidly launch compliant products.
  • Prestatech is a domain expert in digital credit with years of experience. Through partnerships, it provides innovative open API platforms and embedded finance solutions to automate lending processes.
  • infinant provides a flexible platform for financial institutions to compose tailored offerings that address individual customer needs, enabling them to control customers, products, and controls while distributing through multiple delivery providers beyond their own apps.

Open Banking

Open Banking allows banks to securely share customer data with third parties. This gives customers access to a wider range of products and services from various providers in one place beyond their own bank. Unlike traditional banking, Open Banking fosters competition and innovation by letting customers easily compare and choose the best tailored solutions. 

Consumers benefit from greater transparency, convenience, and control over their financial data. Open Banking may also lead to better rates and personalized offerings as banks and fintechs compete. For the industry, it encourages innovation and collaboration by promoting new product development catering to evolving customer needs. Strict rules and security protect data, easing initial security worries around Open Banking systems. 

Top Innovators

  • Pelvo AB helps companies modernize technology while prioritizing customers through a culture of security, transparency, and improvement. 
  • Open-Finance.ai empowers institutions and businesses to unlock customer data potential through open banking, AI and data, transforming decision-making and experiences in banking and fintech. 
  • tell.money enables financial institutions to securely access customer data through built-in open banking and regulatory compliance solutions, empowering them to focus on core services. 

Digital Currency

Existing purely online, Digital Currency differ from traditional government-issued money. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum operate using decentralized blockchain networks, enabling uses like online transactions, investments, and value storage. While frequently associated with cryptocurrencies, digital currencies are not interchangeable terms. 

Relying on networks of computers called nodes, digital currencies transparently and securely record transactions in a public blockchain ledger. Cryptocurrencies function on a peer-to-peer basis, whereas other digital currencies may be issued or overseen centrally. The benefits include reduced costs, enhanced security, accessibility, and anonymity relative to traditional finance. With the field continuing to evolve, keeping informed is important for both individuals and businesses navigating this changing financial landscape. 

Top Innovators

  • M10 enables banks to increase financial agility and offer improved international money transfer services through its digital banking infrastructure platform, allowing seamless global transactions.

  • Bitt is a leading provider of central bank digital currency and stablecoin solutions, offering digital currency infrastructure and management systems to facilitate instant settlements globally.

  • VeroWay Group offers a self-custody digital vault platform for secure access and storage of various currencies through encrypted technology.

Decentralized Finance

Decentralized Finance or DeFi refers to financial products and services built on blockchain technology without traditional intermediaries like banks. It aims to democratize access to finance by allowing anyone online to participate. DeFi uses smart contracts to automatically execute transactions when conditions are met, providing an open, transparent system with reduced costs and greater user control.  

These platforms enable lending, borrowing, trading, and investing in cryptocurrencies directly from wallets. Popular examples include decentralized exchanges where users trade assets without middlemen. Unlike traditional finance, which has geographical and documentation barriers, DeFi operates globally and is accessible to anyone online. This decentralized nature sets DeFi apart by offering innovative alternatives that empower individuals over their financial futures. 

Top Innovators

  • Aquanow powers next-generation digital financial services by providing its flexible crypto infrastructure platform, deep liquidity pools, and global compliance and licensing expertise to institutional clients. 
  • Securrency transforms financial services through institutional grade blockchain technologies that automate compliance and enable global digital asset markets. 

Navigating Technological Evolution

In conclusion, the landscape of financial technologies is evolving at a rapid pace, driven by innovations such as DeFi, digital currencies, and embedded finance. These advancements hold the promise of greater financial inclusion, efficiency, and empowerment for individuals and businesses worldwide. However, realizing their full potential requires navigating challenges such as regulatory clarity and technological adoption. By staying informed and embracing these emerging trends, companies can position themselves to thrive in an increasingly digital and interconnected financial ecosystem. But fintech is not the only field evolving. Our B2B search engine unveils you suppliers for the exact technology you are looking for – globally and inter-industrial.

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FAQ about Fintech

One example of fintech is mobile payment apps like PayPal or Venmo, which allow users to transfer money electronically. Another example is robo-advisors, such as Betterment or Wealthfront, which provide automated investment advice and portfolio management services.

A fintech professional typically works on developing, implementing, or managing innovative financial technologies. Their responsibilities may include designing and improving digital payment systems, creating algorithmic trading platforms, or enhancing user experience in banking apps. They often collaborate with software developers, financial analysts, and regulatory experts to ensure the effectiveness and compliance of their fintech solutions.

Fintech and banking are related, but not the same. Banking traditionally refers to the industry of providing financial services like deposits, loans, and investments. Fintech, on the other hand, involves the use of technology to innovate and improve financial services, often disrupting traditional banking methods. While fintech companies may offer banking services, they typically do so through digital platforms and innovative technologies, distinguishing them from traditional banks.

The title “godfather of fintech” is attributed to several individuals who have played pivotal roles in shaping the landscape of financial technology. Among them, Chris Skinner, a prominent author and commentator, is recognized for his insightful analysis and contributions to the fintech industry. Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape and a notable venture capitalist, and Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, are also acknowledged for their early involvement and investments in fintech, cementing their influence in the sector.


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