FINTECH: Digitization of All Asset Classes

  Source: Roofstock

Source: Roofstock

So here's the good news. While we wait for blockchain to change the infrastructure of financial services, amazing things are constantly happening across the financial front office. The Fintech change is really here and we can see it -- especially if we look past cashflow and to customer experience. Using last decade's innovation of mobile and web, platforms have created access to previously expensive financial products. Digitization has led to the democratization of each and every asset class.

Here are a few data points, more of which you can always find in the body of the full email. First, digital lending -- 2017 saw increasing online lending activity. Even companies like Goldman Sachs are boasting about $2 billions of loans originated and $5 billion of deposits in their Marcus platform. That's Goldman, not Lending Club, but the consumer shouldn't care. The other side of the balance sheet, neobanks, are also maturing and growing their offering.Revolut has added insurance to its product portfolio, as did SoFi and N26 earlier. Monzo is opening up current accounts, while Tandem gets its banking license after buying Harrods. Such European startups have over a millions of eager users, which is why a $45 million check just went into an American neobank called Varo.

In digital wealth, Vanguard peaked over $100 billion in AuM, and the hybrid roboadvisor platforms (those where a human and algorithms are combined) are booming. Venture investors keep pouring money into the combination of traditional and digital -- see for example NextCapital's $30 million round. Access to and manufacturing of alternative investment products is moving along too. Real estate marketplace RoofStock gets a $42 million funding round on $1 billion transactions moving through its platform. And Wealthforge, a private offerings platform announced more than $500 million in investments processed. Insurance is not far behind -- take of example how insurtech Betterview used drones and machine vision to assess damage for claims during hurricane Irma.

  Source: Betterview

Source: Betterview

  Source: AdvisorEngine

Source: AdvisorEngine

So this is Fintech -- multifaceted, difficult, working with industry to impact the most people possible. Access and democratization are its core values, even if it is not decentralized nor truly disruptive. For the Crypto movement to have the most impact, it needs to retain this driving spirit to create services that help all people access better financial services to live better lives.