Fintech and financial innovation
The fintech sector has grown significantly in recent years. This has created new opportunities for consumers and businesses, which now have access to a wide range of innovative financial products and services. Xavi Viñolas, editor of 11Onze, details some of the new technologies related to fintech.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is a financial innovation that has grown in popularity in recent years. That is, through P2P lending platforms such as crowdfunding, investors can lend money to other people or companies without the need for a traditional financial intermediary, such as a bank.
Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that use cryptography to secure transactions and control the creation of new units. They are digital assets that continue to gain prominence in the financial world, with Bitcoin as the best known example. They offer advantages such as security, privacy and decentralisation, but also present risks, such as the volatility of their value.
Blockchain technology was popularised with the creation of Bitcoin. It is a technology that allows transactions between two or more people without the need for intermediaries. It is a digital ledger where all transactions are stored in computers interconnected through a P2P network, without the need for a central server. This technology has proved to be key for fintechs, as it reduces costs, speeds up processes and improves security when making international payments, verifying the digital identity of users or facilitating micro-patronage.
APIs, which stands for Application Programming Interfaces, are a set of protocols, mechanisms and tools that enable communication between different computer applications. In the fintech sector, APIs are a key tool for connecting different platforms and systems, allowing data to be transferred securely and efficiently. For example, a fintech offering payment services could use an API to connect to an online banking platform so that its customers can transfer money directly from their bank account.
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