Since last year, we have seen a big surge in the demand for blockchain technology with more and more financial institutions and corporations being interested in the technology but also in (certain) cryptocurrencies. However, we have seen some traditional banks, with the most ones being some of the biggest in the world, "attacking" blockchain technology. We all know the reason behind this. Concentration of financial power has enabled the world's largest banks to increase their profits at the expense of other (smaller) banks and other financial institutions. SWIFT's system was built exactly for this reason and that's why the top banks don't want to say goodbye to the current old system. So, what is really happening right now?
Thousands of (blockchain) startups have been created the last couple of years, and companies/digital banks that are focused on financial services are getting to grips with the new systems. We have seen some of them, which now have become very known, offering much better rates than banks do.
So, on the one hand, we have all the banks that are being threatened by these startups/companies that are offering more competitive services. And on the other hand, we have the top banks vs all the other banks and financial institutions. Let's analyze that.
We have the smaller banks and FIs wanting to use blockchain technology (and cryptocurrencies) to lower their costs, to be more secure, for more transparency and all the benefits that we know of. We know that Ripple is the leader of blockchain technology, having the most advanced one for the financial and banking sector. Ripple has one product, xRapid, that helps FIs to have a low-cost and on-demand liquidity source without the need of any intermediary bank as there is no need of having nostro/vostro accounts that cost too much money. That's why the major banks are worried. If they lose their customers then they will lose too much money. As mentioned by CNBC few months ago, the blockchain technology and other cryptocurrencies is a threat to the existence of major financial firms. Blockchain eliminates the need for a third-party intermediary like a bank by creating an instant, permanent and secure record of transactions. Also, Bank of America stated, Such increased competition may "negatively affect our earnings" or affect "the willingness of our clients to do business with us". Most of the banks pretend to be calm but they are not. The regulatory uncertainty helps them for now and maybe that's why we don't see a clear answer yet. They need SWIFT for a little longer to make as much profit as they can. Because when regulations are done and are in favor of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies then there is nothing stopping the smaller ones and other FIs using them. That will mean the end of an era for the major banks, especially, if they don't move fast on blockchain. It is certain that the belated will lose.
Day by day, the worry for the banks is increasing and the need to decide when they will move to the new technology make them worry even more. With Ripple signing more than one bank a week, and with more and more financial institutions moving into blockchain, the other ones must decide quickly. The next 2 years will be decisive for the entire financial and banking sector.