I recently had the honour of being invited by AICB to speak at the International Conference on Financial Crime and Terrorism Financing. The event was themed "The New Frontier of Compliance: Adapt, Transform, Collaborate" which sat perfectly with the topic of my panel "Banking Meets Crypto". I've summarised our discussion based on these three components below:
The breadth and depth of regulations, regulatory approaches and concerns of regulators vary across the world. Regulations are adapting and evolving in relation to crypto and are looking to strike a balance between investor protection on the one hand, and not stifling innovation on the other.
Traditional financial institutions are also adapting as they move away from seeing crypto firms as a threat towards exploration of the different ways in which they can prepare to enter into crypto services themselves whether it be to enabling their customers to invest and trade in cryptocurrency, onboarding VASPs or entering into partnerships with cryptos.
Transformation in the crypto world has been huge and continues to transform at a rapid pace. Crypto firms themselves have matured significantly over the last few years and are increasingly aligning themselves to exist within the traditional financial markets.
Crypto firms are focusing more and more on their risk frameworks and transforming their compliance programmes as they see the benefits that strong and robust compliance and control frameworks can provide including the ability to build trust with consumers, investors and other key stakeholders.
Crypto is an emerging area and it is anticipated that it will achieve wider adoption as has been seen with e-payment solutions. As a result, we will see wider collaboration in a number of areas. We will likely see more traditional bank and crypto firm tie ups as traditional banks explore ways to enter into the crypto market.
Partnerships between banks and FinTechs is another example of increasing collaboration. On the one-hand a collaboration with a bank provides FinTechs a certain level of trust and credibility, access to capital and additional knowledge and experience around compliance and risk management. On the other hand banks can leverage the technology of a FinTech to enhance customer experience especially with regard to digital banking.
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