I am following the macro trend of changing access to financial products and I am trying to understand what this means for blockchain applications. We do not operate in a vacuum, but in a dynamic market where manufacturing, sales and the financial services value chain are linked and influenced by politics and society.
The way people use investments and bank accounts outside of cryptography is starting to change fundamentally. For example, if you have to buy aspirin because of a headache, you don’t go to the aspirin store. You go to the supermarket or the pharmacy which offers thousands of products. Today’s social and e-commerce platforms also offer their customers thousands of functions. Amazon Prime subscribers will receive diapers and toys the next day, along with a catalog of free movies to watch. WeChat users can send SMS, buy, move money and invest using the same phone application. In the world of attention platforms – be it Google, Facebook Inc., YouTube or other platforms of Alphabet Inc. supports – the attention of consumers is crucial. Financial products are only functions in this panoptic.
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Just as Walmart Inc. can sell you both branded and generic versions of Aspirin or Charmin branded toilet paper and generic house brand, so should the company be able to sell you a generic financial product. I predict that we will soon enter an era of financial generics. These products are not white featured high-end versions of Goldman Sachs and Apple Inc., which together offer a credit card.
Rather, it is the equivalent of non-Foxconn brand smartphones, which have been developed based on knowledge of the iPhone. As the financial world becomes increasingly open and transparent, largely thanks to data aggregation and a block-based infrastructure, inexpensive generic solutions will be increasingly used. The manufacturing cost of financial assets will be considerably reduced by tokenization and the barrier to access to financial assets will disappear.
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