Episode 56 (podcast)Innovation, FinTech, and the Future of Investing

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The future of digital currencies is here, and it’s most likely here to stay. Today Peter Kerr, Yieldstreet CFA and Director of Product Marketing, sits down with Richard Turrin, Serial Innovator, to discuss how technology, finance, and regulation come together to impact innovation. He breaks down the advanced state of digital currency in China, possibilities for the future of digital credit and central bank digital currencies, what Bitcoin is doing right, and what exactly it all means for today’s investors.

Richard has been at the intersection of money and machines since the ’90s and has seen an incredible amount of change over the last 30 years. But it’s the expectation of what’s coming next that has him more excited than ever.

Richard currently lives in China and has great insights into the advanced state of their digital currency. He shares just a few of the lessons that can be learned from their forward-thinking. They are clearly rearranging their efforts and working with big tech companies to make themselves more compatible with the future. They are transitioning away from a dependence on credit growth while also fostering their government target growth numbers, and most importantly, disruption has come as companies crack the code to digital lending.

Fintech is continually changing, including how we invest, and it’s clear to see that the relationships most of us have with money are going to change dramatically in the near future. The increasing opportunities to place your money where you may want are going to open up possibilities that were previously unobtainable.

But what is the difference between digital currency and the mobile apps that we all use to access and transfer money today? If you’ve ever wondered what the next iteration of central bank digital currency looks like, Richard breaks it down in a simple way. Tokenization of money is not the same as transferring money from account to account online. Instead, digital currencies take currencies and literally digitize them — and that series of ones and zeros can transfer from phone to phone, even without a signal. Simply put, rather than becoming an entry in a database, it becomes a long string of zeros and ones that is actually getting transferred from one physical place to another. And this simple process may have the power to change everything we currently know about and do with money.

The US dollar is currently the reserve currency, but what changes will come if the Federal Reserve moves to digital reserve currencies? While the US is not as advanced in designing a central bank digital currency as it could be, the potential inevitable still holds true. A digital revolution is likely coming soon. And according to Richard, it’s not going to happen in the next 10 years, he believes it’s going to happen in the next two years. While there is currently no digital payment system, once the US figures out how to regulate them effectively, Richard predicts that we’re going to be using stable coins everywhere.

To wrap up this eye-opening conversation, Richard dives into the role that banks and global financial institutions will play in this transition to digital currency, and the bottom line is that Richard believes the future looks bright. He believes hidden fees for credit card swipes will disappear and late fees for late checks will become a thing of the past. According to Richard, access to money will become instantaneous, and a fully digital currency life is going to be a good one.

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