Happy New Year! 2017 was a great year for FinTech (Financial Technology), but we have a sneaky feeling that 2018 is going to be even bigger and better. Here are just a few things you can expect from the industry in the year ahead.
If you haven’t come across this term before, a cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that isn’t issued by any central authority or government.
You’ll probably have heard a lot of buzz around Bitcoin in 2017 – the most popular cryptocurrency. Bitcoin broke USD $1000 right at the start of 2017 and was worth around USD $14,000 on the 31st of December – an increase of 14 times!
Cryptocurrencies, including Ripple, NEO, Ether and LiteCoin could gain further popularity in 2018. On the other hand, many people think that cryptocurrencies are sitting in a bubble and could burst into nothing soon. Either way, we’re confident that 2018 will bring huge moves in the crypto space as the world comes to grips with the phenomenon.
Blockchain technology is also something to watch in 2018. Blockchain is the technology that underpins all cryptocurrencies, and is basically an open, decentralised ledger where individual transactions are recorded in permanent and verifiable ‘blocks’. The ledger itself can be programmed to trigger transactions automatically. This means that blockchain technology can be used to digitise contracts, share transfers, land registration or even elections – making them faster, more transparent and cheaper than ever before.
Blockchain technology was overshadowed by the cryptocurrency hype in 2017, but it’s pretty game-changing and we can’t wait to see it start to gain traction in 2018 in all sorts of innovative ways!
You may have heard that robotic financial advice (robo-advice) had a big year in 2017. Robo-advice is financial advice conveyed through a digital interface, using complex algorithms that understand your financial situation to create a personalised financial plan.
Robo-advice has been recognised in Australia for a few years but is currently illegal in New Zealand. Don’t worry too much though – the Financial Markets Authority has announced that it will legalise it in 2018, through an exemption to the current rules. This is a pretty cool development and means that we’re moving closer to a world where our computer or smartphone can tell us anything we need to know.
International Money Transfers
In 2018 we expect more and more consumers to start questioning the fees they pay when transferring money overseas. Online technology-based solutions such as OrbitRemit are completely disrupting this space, providing rates that can be up to 90% cheaper than the banks and traditional money transfer services. With the rate of change in the FinTech space, you can expect these services to get even better in the year to come! Head to OrbitRemit now to see how much you could save.