Solarisbank has recently ventured into embedded crypto or crypto-as-a-service. The Berlin-based FinTech firm offers crypto-related services such as secure custody, brokerage, and collateralized loans. Its unique 'B2B2X' business model will provide crypto-as-a-service products to corporate or FinTech partners instead of offering these directly to businesses or clients. The pioneering strides taken by Solarisbank exemplify the intersection between embedded finance and cryptocurrency.
What is Embedded Finance?
Embedded finance is revolutionizing the traditional banking landscape. Unlike conventional banking services, embedded finance integrates financial offerings into non-financial platforms and experiences. This transformation erases the boundaries between financial and non-financial sectors, offering customers the convenience of financial services within the applications and platforms they use daily.
Many Binance users might not realize they are actively engaged with embedded finance each time they interact with the platform. Clients typically link their credit cards or bank accounts to make cryptocurrency purchases, which enables them to acquire digital assets without exiting the platform. This is a prime example of embedded finance in action, demonstrating how financial services integrated into everyday user experiences.
The Role of Cryptocurrency in Embedded Finance
An article by Bruce Norton and Abhilash Kaduthanum of Tata Consultancy Service states a significant portion of the population is poised to embrace new payment methods, including cryptocurrency, biometrics, contactless payments, and QR codes. Many individuals are planning to incorporate cryptocurrency payments into their financial routines, even trying novel payment methods they might not have considered previously. Cryptocurrency payments for cross-border transactions are gaining momentum, and crypto payment services can enhance payment system efficiency and foster financial inclusion.
Early adopters are expanding their offerings to include cryptocurrency payments. The article further says a leading U.S. bank, for instance, has launched its blockchain-based peer-to-peer network. The growing demand for diverse payment options, including crypto, is compelling businesses to adapt, with some major players already accepting cryptocurrency payments. Major card networks are also planning to introduce crypto payment options for their customers, merchants, and businesses.
Challenges and Risks
The integration of cryptocurrencies into embedded finance, while promising, comes with its share of potential challenges and risks:
1. Crypto adoption-While there is no shortage of buzz and excitement surrounding cryptocurrency technology and products, most people are not yet incorporating cryptocurrency into their daily or even weekly routines. Majority of those involved in the crypto space view it primarily as an investment opportunity rather than a conventional means of conducting financial transactions.
2. Regulatory uncertainty-Cryptocurrencies often operate in a regulatory gray area. Varying global regulatory approaches can lead to compliance challenges for embedded finance providers. Navigating evolving regulations, obtaining necessary licenses, and ensuring compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) requirements can be complex and costly.
3. Security concerns-The security of cryptocurrency transactions and storage is critical. The risk of theft, fraud, and hacking is ever-present. Ensuring robust security measures, such as secure Monero wallet solutions and strong authentication methods, is essential to protect users' digital assets.
4. Volatility-Cryptocurrency markets are known for their price volatility. Sudden and significant price fluctuations can pose challenges for embedded finance solutions that involve cryptocurrencies. Users may be exposed to financial risks if the value of their crypto holdings fluctuates drastically.
5. Scalability-Scalability remains a concern for some blockchain networks. As embedded finance solutions gain popularity, the capacity to process a high volume of transactions efficiently becomes crucial. Scalability issues can lead to slow transaction times and increased fees.
6. User education-Many users may not be familiar with cryptocurrencies or how to use them safely. Educating users on the basics of cryptocurrencies, security best practices, and the potential risks involved is essential to ensure a positive user experience.
7. Market fragmentation—The cryptocurrency space is fragmented, with thousands of tokens and coins. Deciding which cryptocurrencies to support in embedded finance solutions can be challenging, as user preferences and market demand may change over time.
The fusion of embedded finance and cryptocurrency represents a transformative force reshaping the financial ecosystem. The financial sector is undergoing a significant evolution, opening new possibilities for businesses and consumers alike. However, we must remain vigilant and informed, recognizing the potential challenges and risks associated with the emerging partnership. Payment systems are expected to evolve, as major shifts often do, but the process will likely be gradual.
Readers must stay engaged, keep learning, and adapt to the evolving financial world. Staying informed and adaptable will be key to navigating this exciting and rapidly changing realm of finance, whether you are an entrepreneur exploring innovative solutions or an individual looking to optimize your financial choices.