The recent excitement around the growth of Bitcoin’s price — stemming from a rise in institutional interest — is also predicated on the fact that payments and money are digitalizing at a rapid rate.
There is a clear technological revolution on our hands that is impacting the way we pay, transact, save and use money — and Bitcoin is playing apart in this narrative. However, the question remains if Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies will be just one of the new ways we use money — or will it be the only way?
Looking at the interest in Bitcoin from institutions, there is growing excitement but none of these major players is thinking of replacing Bitcoin as their only investment opportunity. But will it be different for FinTech and usage of digital money?
More and more, we are seeing payments portals, banks and fin techs all turning to cryptocurrency, but are they willing to go all in?
American Express jumps on the bandwagon
According to Bloomberg, American Express’s venture arm has invested in the FalconX cryptocurrency trading platform, a sure sign of another large financial service turning to the digital-asset sphere.
The credit-card provider didn’t disclose the amount invested in the startup, which raised $17 million in May from the likes of Accel, Coinbase Ventures and a fund affiliated with Fidelity Investments’ parent company but AmEx has been investigating cryptocurrencies for years.
This follows on from competitors Visa and MasterCard who are also heavily invested in blockchain and crypto — as well as FinTech competitors like PayPal, which are giving access to Bitcoin.
“Amex Ventures invests in startups as a way to better understand emerging areas of the payments ecosystem,” Harshul Sanghi, global head of Amex Ventures, said in a statement indicating that they are still in the experimental stage of adopting such technology.
What does the future hold?
While it appears as if cash is becoming outdated — especially with Covid-19 making people go even more digital. It would seem that Bitcoin will not be replacing cash any time soon; more than that, cash is going digital without the need of blockchain.
We have seen MasterCard and Visa corner the market with digital payments, and this is well established and structured meaning it will be hard to displace, but easy to work alongside.
The opportunities that cryptocurrency offer in the traditional payments space is different enough to be appealing, but also too different to be the next normal, especially in only a few decades.