Fintech is the hot new thing. It’s the industry that will carry the UK through Brexit. It’s the latest wave of startup mania in NYC. It’s becoming the darling of Silicon Valley. Chinese tech investors are all over it. It’s fresh. It’s sexy. But, wait a minute. What is Fintech?
Recently I attended MIT’s Fintech conference (#MITFinTech). We heard Brad Peterson, CIO of NASDAQ, talk about his firm as the original Fintech founded 45 years ago. Brad told us that NASDAQ no longer thinks of itself as an exchange, but as a Fintech company. A couple MIT professors told us there are 1800 Fintech companies out there today, and that number is quickly growing. There are some that promote robo-advisors as autonomous correctors for investor freak-out during volatile markets, and others that collect live market data from the web in order to predict real economic indicators, as opposed to statistics collected by government technocrats. Blockchain, we were told, is like the Internet was back in 1993.