3 post-COVID-19 fintech trends you should know about

Iwo Hachulski

29 Jun 2020
3 post-COVID-19 fintech trends you should know about

It is no doubt that fintech has been gradually implementing successive stages of the revolution in the banking services sector. The main beneficiaries of this state of affairs are, apart from fintech itself, consumers. Traditional banking adopts various strategies regarding the existing status quo, some banks, including Santander, are constantly investing heavily in the most promising fintech startups in order to then implement their solutions for their customers. Others - try to create their own unique products, which are then implemented by other players in the market. One of the best examples here is Bank PKO BP and the contactless payment system BLIK developed by the bank's IT department. The constantly ongoing time of the epidemic has changed many behaviors and habits. What mark has COVID-19 left on the modern financial services sector, a popular fintech? What prospects should we expect from a full opening of economies in a global context?

Extraordinary times require extraordinary solutions

Revaluation of priorities - this is probably the simplest and most rational way to describe the changes introduced by the coronavirus in our lives. Sanitary restrictions have forced the financial sector, like many others, to a new opening - and a look into the future from a completely different perspective. The need for full mobility introduced along with the full compatibility of the solutions used became, within a few weeks, a determinant of the effectiveness of the adaptation of both traditional banking and the fintech giants. 

However, it would be unfair to put them next to each other in this context - mainly due to the fact that it was not so much an unimaginable challenge for fintech to move almost 100 percent of their business into the digital world. This state of affairs is primarily due to the fact that the vast majority (and very often 100%) of fintech services offered within the framework of retail banking, for example, are available only online. The vast majority of them have decided on such a business model from the very beginning - on the one hand, they have focused on reducing the costs of running branches together with minimizing fixed costs and, as a result, full mobility, and on the other hand, they have often closed themselves off to clients currently almost exclusively connected with traditional banking. However, such a strategy has brought the expected results. Fintechs, although also often forced to make cuts - among others, Revolut announced the introduction of restrictions in the cheapest plan offered to customers and numerous layoffs in the Polish branch of the company - usually did not have to face the complicated task of transferring several thousand employees into remote operation almost overnight. Thus, they were able to focus on introducing specific solutions offered to their clients instead of dealing with their internal problems in the first place. For example, Starling Bank launched the "combined card" function, which enables the transfer of a second, "back-up" debit card linked to the customer's account to someone who can spend on their behalf. A team of developers from Fronted, Credit Kudos and 11:FS created Covid Credit for the self-employed, allowing access to financial aid for the most vulnerable people who are not covered by government support. A significant role is also slowly being played by fintech software houses, which offer IT services using the latest Fintech solutions such as Blockchain or AI.

Mobility and security above all

Due to health restrictions and recommendations, the volume of both card and phone payments increased slightly, for instance, in India it was about 5%. According to many experts in banking and social psychology, such a trend may last longer. According to the Mordor Intelligence report "Mobile Payments Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecast" (2020-2025) The use of m-payments will continue to grow strongly with an annual cumulative growth rate of as much as 26.93%. In Central Europe, this is mainly due to the still very young banking system, often developed from scratch only in the 1990s. For this reason, many behaviors are not so deeply rooted in society, which is thus much more susceptible to all kinds of innovation.

Another element that is hard not to mention is budgeting apps, i.e. applications for planning and controlling the budget. Although their popularity in Poland and other Central European countries is not as impressive as in the United States, this may gradually change due to the inevitable economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Full control over one's own budget due to the difficult social and economic situation will undoubtedly become one of the priorities - thus bringing the possibility of a structured review of one's own spending to the fore. The applications differ in many ways, so that everyone can find something for themselves. Mint automatically categorizes transactions from credit and debit cards connected to the system and tracks them against a budget that can be adjusted and adapted to user's needs. Goodbudget, on the other hand, is mainly dedicated to couples - it is possible to share and fully synchronize the budget with another person in both iOS and Android.

Tandem and natural competition

Despite all the turmoil, the post-pandemic outlook for the coming months seems stable, although not as promising as previously expected. According to Ron Shevlin, Managing Director of Fintech Research at Cornerstone Advisors, the era of fintech experimentation is slowly coming to an end. The indicators that will gain in importance are primarily the number of accounts funded and their percentage in relation to the total number of application downloads. In his opinion, in the case of mainly B2B-oriented fintechs, the crucial benchmarks will be more operational, such as improved speed, cycle time and lower costs.

Moreover, there is a large disparity within the banking sector environment itself. There is continued optimism among the largest fintechs. By February 2020, Revolut already had less than 11 million users. According to the owners' forecasts, the number of users is expected to reach 13.07 million by the end of June, and then increase by about 20%, to reach 16.45 million by December 2020. The second largest player, N26, has already exceeded 5 million users in January, thus maintaining almost exponential growth and significantly exceeding the company's forecasts.

The situation is different for traditional banks, whose financial situation has often deteriorated. According to analyses of the International Monetary Fund, in addition to the immediate challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, the relentless period of low interest rates may put further pressure on bank profitability in the forthcoming years. This may be a cause for concern, mainly due to the fact that it is the constant development of both traditional and modern banking that may be the key to recover from the crisis. A unique banking tandem also guarantees a greater choice of available services for the customer, and thus more competition and increased innovation in the fight for each costumer. 

What is more, smaller fintechs also face considerable problems. According to the latest CB Insights report, the value of contracts signed by fintech in Q1 2020 decreased by as much as 35% compared to Q4 2019. Better-invested and profitable fintechs are in a much better position, especially in the context of depletion of investment funds and hence increased competition in the fight for any funds for further development. The problems of some may paradoxically become a pain for others, thus worsening the situation of the sector and, consequently, often of the entire economy. 

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The Economy of Aleph Zero (AZERO)

Karolina

22 Feb 2024
The Economy of Aleph Zero (AZERO)

The evolution of blockchain technology has brought forward numerous platforms aiming to solve various challenges in the digital world. Among these innovations, Aleph Zero stands out with its unique approach to creating an economically viable ecosystem through thoughtful tokenomics and incentives. This article delves into the economy of Aleph Zero, focusing on its native token, AZERO, to understand how it sustains growth, incentivizes participation, and ensures long-term viability.

MUST READ: "What is Aleph Zero"

Understanding AZERO Tokenomics

Key Metrics and Distribution

  • Ticker: AZERO
  • Type: Utility
  • Circulating Supply: 257,990,631
  • Total Supply: 354,678,137
  • % Staked: 71%
  • # of Wallets: 207,370
  • Inflation: 30,000,000 AZERO per year
  • Market Cap: $410,598,781

Allocation and Use Cases

  • Aleph Zero Foundation. 23% of the tokens are allocated for research, development, marketing, operations, ecosystem incentives, and other expenses.
  • Team Allocation. 10% of the tokens, with 80% locked for one year and vested over four years.
  • Funding Rounds. Details on the pre-seed, seed, Early Community round, public presale, and public sale distributions.
  • AZERO Utility. The AZERO coin powers the Aleph Zero ecosystem by being used for validator node staking, DEX swap fees, collateral for wrapped assets in Liminal, fees for asset-wrapping and bridging on Liminal, network fees, and governance voting processes.

The Role of Inflation in Aleph Zero's Ecosystem

Inflation is often viewed negatively in traditional economic contexts, associated with diminishing purchasing power and economic instability. However, in the realm of blockchain ecosystems like Aleph Zero, inflation serves as a pivotal mechanism for fostering sustainable growth, incentivizing network participation, and ensuring the long-term viability of the platform. This article explores the nuanced role of inflation within Aleph Zero's ecosystem, detailing its introduction, benefits, and governance.

Introduction of Inflation

Aleph Zero has introduced a systematic annual increase of 30 million AZERO tokens to its circulating supply, a decision rooted in the desire to sustain and nurture ecosystem growth. This inflationary mechanism is not merely a tool for increasing token supply but a strategic approach to enhancing the network's security, scalability, and development. By carefully calibrating the rate of inflation, Aleph Zero aims to balance the need for rewarding network participants with the imperative of maintaining the token's value over time.

Benefits of Inflation

The introduction of inflation within Aleph Zero's ecosystem serves multiple critical functions, each contributing to the platform's overarching goals:

  • Incentivizing Validators and Nominators. Validators and nominators play a crucial role in securing the Aleph Zero network through the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. Inflation provides these participants with financial rewards for their efforts, encouraging continued engagement and investment in the network's health and security.
  • Funding Ecosystem Treasury. A portion of the newly minted AZERO tokens is allocated to the ecosystem treasury each year. These funds are instrumental in supporting ongoing development projects, marketing initiatives, operational expenses, and other activities that contribute to the ecosystem's growth and sustainability.
  • Supporting Long-Term Holding. By distributing inflation rewards primarily to those who stake their tokens, Aleph Zero encourages long-term holding over speculative trading. This strategy aims to reduce market volatility and foster a stable economic environment conducive to gradual growth.
https://youtu.be/y-FypMbm0BM

Inflation Mechanism and Governance

Validators and Nominators

At the heart of Aleph Zero's security and efficiency are its validators and nominators, who ensure the integrity of transactions and the network at large. Inflation directly supports these roles by compensating participants for their staked tokens and the risks associated with securing the network. This compensation not only rewards current participants but also attracts new validators and nominators, enhancing the network's decentralization and resilience.

Ecosystem Treasury

The ecosystem treasury represents a vital component of Aleph Zero's inflation strategy, receiving a dedicated portion of the annual inflation to fund various initiatives. These initiatives range from research and development to community engagement programs, all aimed at bolstering the ecosystem's health and competitiveness. The treasury's role is pivotal in allocating resources efficiently to areas that promise the most significant impact on Aleph Zero's growth and user adoption.

Decentralized Governance

A key aspect of Aleph Zero's inflationary policy is its commitment to decentralized governance. The platform envisions a future where token holders can vote on critical decisions, including adjustments to the inflation rate. This participatory approach ensures that the inflation mechanism remains responsive to the ecosystem's evolving needs, balancing the interests of various stakeholders to support the platform's long-term success.

MUST READ: "Aleph Zero vs Solana"

Regulatory Compliance and Market Presence

  • FINMA No-Action Letter: Aleph Zero’s compliance with Swiss law and the implications for its operation and token issuance.
  • Market and Wallets: Insights into Aleph Zero’s market presence, including exchanges and wallet statistics.

Key Takeaways

Conclusion

The economy of Aleph Zero showcases a thoughtful approach to creating a sustainable and growing blockchain ecosystem. Through strategic token allocation Aleph Zero is poised to contribute significantly to the blockchain landscape. As the platform evolves, its economic strategies will likely serve as a benchmark for future blockchain projects.

If you are interested in utilizing Aleph Zero, Solana or other blockchain-based solutions for your project, please reach out to contact@nextrope.com

FAQ

How is the AZERO token distribution structured?

  • The distribution is designed to support the ecosystem's growth, with allocations for stakeholders and strategic initiatives.

What role does inflation play in the Aleph Zero ecosystem?

  • Inflation is used strategically to incentivize network participation and ensure sustainability.

What is the utility of AZERO tokens within the Aleph Zero ecosystem?

  • AZERO tokens power the Aleph Zero ecosystem (validator node staking, DEX swap fees, collateral for wrapped assets in Liminal, fees for asset-wrapping and bridging on Liminal, network fees, and governance voting processes).

How does Aleph Zero handle inflation and its impact on the ecosystem?

  • Aleph Zero introduces a systematic annual increase of 30 million AZERO tokens to encourage ecosystem growth, incentivize participation, fund the ecosystem treasury, and support long-term holding by distributing inflation rewards mainly to stakers, aiming to balance growth with token value maintenance.

Aleph Zero vs Solana: A Comparative Analysis

Karolina

22 Feb 2024
Aleph Zero vs Solana: A Comparative Analysis

Blockchain ensures unparalleled security, transparency, and efficiency across various sectors. Within this innovative landscape, Aleph Zero and Solana have carved their niches, emerging as leading blockchain platforms. This article delves into a comparative analysis 'Aleph Zero vs Solana', aiming to illuminate their distinct features, technological advancements, and potential applications.

Understanding the Basics

Aleph Zero

ALEPH ZERO WHITEPAPER

  • Brief History and Development: Originating from a vision to enhance privacy and scalability in blockchain, Aleph Zero quickly ascended as a notable contender. Its development team focused on creating a platform that merges traditional blockchain benefits with advanced privacy features.
  • Core Technology and Consensus Mechanism: At its core, Aleph Zero utilizes a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) combined with a unique consensus algorithm. This innovative approach not only ensures transactions are processed swiftly but also maintains high security and privacy standards.

Solana

SOLANA WHITEPAPER

  • Brief History and Development: Solana was born from the ambition to solve the blockchain trilemma: achieving scalability, security, and decentralization without compromise. Its rapid growth is attributed to its ability to cater to high-demand applications, from decentralized finance (DeFi) to non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
  • Core Technology and Consensus Mechanism: Solana introduces the Proof of History (PoH) consensus mechanism, a groundbreaking innovation that allows for timestamping transactions in a sequential manner. This, combined with its underlying blockchain structure, enables Solana to process transactions at lightning speeds, setting new standards for efficiency in the blockchain domain.

The journeys of Aleph Zero and Solana, though distinct, converge on a shared goal: to redefine the capabilities of blockchain technology. Through their innovative approaches to consensus mechanisms and core technologies, both platforms offer unique solutions to the challenges facing traditional and digital markets today. Their contributions to the blockchain landscape not only highlight their individual strengths but also underscore the diverse potential of blockchain technology as a whole.

MUST READ: "What is Aleph Zero - Key Features"

Key Features Comparison - Aleph Zero vs Solana

Scalability

  • Aleph Zero: Tackles scalability through its DAG-based consensus, allowing parallel transactions that increase scalability.
  • Solana: Achieves high scalability with its PoH consensus, efficiently handling thousands of transactions per second (TPS).

Transaction Speed and Throughput

  • Aleph Zero: Boasts fast transaction speeds due to its lightweight consensus mechanism, aiming for efficiency without sacrificing security.
  • Solana: Known for its exceptional speed, Solana processes up to 65,000 TPS, setting a benchmark in blockchain throughput.

Fees

  • Aleph Zero: Offers low transaction fees, making it attractive for both high-volume transactions and micro-transactions.
  • Solana: Despite its high throughput, Solana maintains competitively low fees, further enhancing its appeal for developers and users alike.

Smart Contracts and DApp Development

  • Aleph Zero: Supports smart contracts and DApp development, focusing on privacy and scalability within its ecosystem.
  • Solana: Provides robust support for DApps and smart contracts, powered by its high-speed blockchain, ideal for complex applications.
Aleph Zero vs Solana

Use Cases - Aleph Zero vs Solana

Aleph Zero

  • Best Suited For: Privacy-focused applications, financial services requiring high security, and scalable enterprise solutions.

Solana

  • Shines In: High-frequency trading platforms, decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, and NFT marketplaces demanding fast transactions.

Performance Analysis

Network Speed and Efficiency

  • Aleph Zero: Demonstrates efficiency with its innovative consensus, ensuring quick and secure transactions.
  • Solana: Outpaces many with its network speed, attributed to the PoH mechanism, ensuring both rapid and consistent transaction processing.

Scalability Solutions

  • Aleph Zero: Continuously explores advancements in DAG technology to enhance its scalability solutions.
  • Solana: Plans to further optimize its infrastructure, ensuring it remains scalable amidst growing demand.

Security Aspects

Consensus Mechanisms

  • Aleph Zero: Its unique consensus mechanism prioritizes security, aiming to prevent attacks while maintaining speed.
  • Solana: Solana's PoH consensus is designed with security in mind, preventing double-spending and ensuring transaction integrity.

Known Vulnerabilities and Responses

  • Aleph Zero: Responds to vulnerabilities with timely updates, emphasizing its commitment to security and privacy.
  • Solana: Has faced challenges, including network congestions and DDoS attacks, but has responded with enhancements to its network resilience.

Through this comparative analysis, it becomes evident that Aleph Zero and Solana each bring distinctive strengths to the blockchain arena. Their approaches to scalability, transaction speed, fees, and smart contract capabilities cater to different needs within the blockchain ecosystem. Moreover, their targeted use cases and ongoing efforts to enhance performance and security underscore the dynamic and evolving nature of blockchain technology.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the comparative analysis between Aleph Zero vs Solana reveals two highly innovative and efficient blockchain platforms, each with its unique strengths. Aleph Zero focuses on privacy and scalability, making it ideal for applications requiring robust security measures. Solana, on the other hand, excels in transaction speed and throughput, positioning it as a top choice for high-frequency trading and DeFi applications.

If you are interested in utilizing Aleph Zero, Solana or other blockchain-based solutions for your project, please reach out to contact@nextrope.com

FAQ

What are the main differences between Aleph Zero and Solana's consensus mechanisms?

  • Aleph Zero uses a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) combined with a unique consensus algorithm for high security and privacy, while Solana employs Proof of History (PoH) for high-speed transaction processing.

How do Aleph Zero and Solana compare in terms of transaction speed and scalability?

  • Aleph Zero focuses on scalability with its DAG-based consensus allowing parallel transactions, while Solana is known for its exceptional speed, processing up to 65,000 transactions per second.

What are the targeted use cases for Aleph Zero and Solana?

  • Aleph Zero is best suited for privacy-focused applications and scalable enterprise solutions, whereas Solana excels in high-frequency trading platforms, decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, and NFT marketplaces.

How does the developer community size and support compare between Aleph Zero and Solana?

  • Readers might be curious about the size of the developer community, availability of development tools, and the level of support provided to developers in both ecosystems.

What are the environmental impacts of Aleph Zero vs. Solana?

  • Given increasing concerns about sustainability, potential users may question the energy consumption and environmental footprint of both blockchain platforms.