This is a sponsored article on behalf of Money20/20.
What’s the next milestone for fintech? How will the latest wave of financial products and services alter the worldwide money landscape? When will cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology achieve mass acceptance in the payments industry?
These were among the many questions explored at Money20/20, a global conference on the future of money held from October 27 to 30, 2019, in Las Vegas. Featuring prominent thinkers and experts in payments, banking, fintech and financial services, this conference provided ample opportunities for engagement and discussion between attendees.
Among the topics that received major attention at the conference were cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. A series of well-attended workshops targeting this space was facilitated by Elizabeth Rossiello, CEO and founder of BitPesa and co-chairperson of the World Economic Forum’s Global Fourth Industrial Council on Blockchain.
But arguably the biggest attention-getter at this year’s conference was the news surrounding Facebook’s leap into the global digital currency world via Libra. Discussions were ripe throughout the event in terms of the viability and purpose of this solution.
As part of the second day lineup of keynote speakers, David Marcus, co-creator and head of Libra, discussed the complicated scenario his team is facing in getting this much-ballyhooed initiative off the ground.
“We’ve been asked and criticized for not having banks at the table from the get-go,” Marcus said. “I just want to clarify that this was not our decision; we did have conversations with banks. I’d say that a lot of them are really interested in joining, but given the very regulated nature of their businesses they want to have more regulatory clarity before joining.”
Marcus went on to say that Libra is hard at work in addressing the regulatory, licensing and oversight realities inherent in garnering approval for launch. He noted that once this occurs, bank involvement in Libra is almost certainly guaranteed.
Nevertheless, questions remain as to how the fintech space will evolve over time. Future innovation will require deft navigation on the part of business leaders, policymakers and investors in this space — and a willingness to solicit input from end-user consumers. It is at this very inflection point where Money20/20 can serve as a catalyst for change, spurring us to venture beyond current offerings and to embrace the global future of money.
Regarding next year’s Money20/20 conference, which falls in the year 2020, conference president Tracey Davies noted high enthusiasm.
“So, to be absolutely clear, Money20/20 sets out to bring everyone together to debate, shape, to reinvent the future of money,” she said. “We have always been about vision, a vision of the future — the 20/20 vision. You’ll be pleased to know, I hope, that we are going nowhere in 20/20. We’ll be here (Las Vegas), back here on this stage.”