What Is The State Of Blockchain In Payments? 9 Experts Share Their Insights

  • 19 September 2019
  • Sam Mire

Financial services represents one of the most promising sectors for applying blockchain technology. Security is of the utmost when it comes to exchanging assets, whether it’s money or other collateral. These industry insiders have detailed the state of blockchain technology for payments. Here’s what they said:

1. Alexi Lane, CEO of Everex

Alexi Lane“Inception stage. Lots of experiments and R&Ds are taking place from startups to central banks, however no full scale working use case has been presented at the moment. At least, not one that can be proved beyond publications in the media. Companies are trying different solutions, sometimes calling them “blockchain”, but I have not yet seen any fully operational product, where users can go to website, sign up for a service, and send money or pay for the services using actual blockchain technology, without being connected in some ways to legacy payment systems like SWIFT, card networks or physical cash.”

2. Giorgos Kourtellos, Chief Blockchain Architect of PumaPay

“Blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) has already begun changing the payments industry and slowly, blockchain technology will gain the trust of banking institutions and adopted widely. The broad implications for payments, especially improving settlements’ times, removing the middleman and security of cross-border transactions are hard to ignore. Even large fortune 500 companies such as JP Morgan and Bank of America are beginning to understand the potential of blockchain technology. The ability to speed up the payments process, improve capabilities when it comes to cross-border payments, reducing fraud and making the whole payment processes more efficient and transparent are all elements that will impact its future potential and use, as more finance professionals and lawmakers reassess its implications.” 

3. Monica Eaton-Cardone, Co-founder and COO of Chargebacks911

Monica Eaton-Cardone“Blockchain technology is usually conflated with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. However, the blockchain has widespread payments applications beyond just cryptocurrency. For instance, institutional banks like JP Morgan are just now starting to explore blockchain adoption for the purpose of interbank payments. This would allow for instantaneous payments settling within minimal risk of error as compared to the existing automated clearinghouse (ACH) process. Of course, this technology is still in its infancy. Most institutions are reluctant to embrace blockchain fully until there’s broader support for it.”

4. Nimrod Lehavi, Co-founder and CEO of Simplex

Nimrod Lehavi“I think that most of the current cryptocurrencies are not fit to be currencies and are less of currencies and more store of value types. It's complicated, and usually not cheap at all to pay with them. Telegram, Facebook and other platforms and tech giants might change that once their currencies are deployed.”  

5. Raivo Malter, Founder of Piixpay

“I think blockchain in payments today is in their early ages. Currently there are many services and banks such as ourselves that try to combine so called the old monetary system with the new one (blockchain solution based values or solutions). But in general there are no true blockchain based payments that could rise and be used also in 10 years or more.” 

6. Todd Cameron, Product Owner at Vertex, Inc

Todd Cameron“It’s David vs Goliath, with Goliath fighting back and sometimes joining forces with David. After dozens of blockchain payment startups like Ripple and Veem have launched over the past five years, it seems like every few weeks, major banks and corporations announce new blockchain initiatives. We’re seeing increased blockchain development, adoption, integration and support from established financial institutions, large companies and tech giants. 

Banks were the first to rally against Bitcoin and blockchain, but for many, that stance has shifted to an “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” mindset.” This is evident in JPM’s announcement earlier this year of its own cryptocurrency, JPM coin and major financial players like Visa and Mastercard joining Facebook’s Libra Consortium for the social media company’s foray into blockchain for payments. Financial institutions have reached the point where they recognize blockchain as something that’s not going away and realize that they have to be involved in it if they don’t want to be disrupted by other payments players that use blockchain to bypass slower-moving banking infrastructure.

7. Brendan Miller, Head of Product Marketing at Rapyd

Brendan Miller“We’ve moved past the hype into a stage of “rational practicality”. The industry knows what is possible, but also is learning what is practical given the complexity of cross-border payments. The question now is not will blockchain work, but rather how do we put it to work to create more efficiency in global payment systems and can we get regulatory bodies on-board.”   

8. Sidharth Sogani, Founder and CEO of CREBACO Global Inc

Sidharth SoganiBlockchain payments are not yet mainstream and many banks and payment service providers are just testing it. The banks are not yet completely dependent of blockchain for verifying transactions. Ripple is a good example, their payment system is in competition with SWIFT but is super fast and can settle a cross border transaction in a matter of few seconds where are SWIFT takes more than 3 days at times. Ripple is much more cost effective as well. There are few banks which are testing the network. Along with this even Corda R3 is helping financial institutions to settle payments.”

9. Yana Afanasieva, Founder of Competitive Compliance

Yana Afanasieva“Mostly focused on serving people and businesses doing cross-border payments and transacting in multi-currencies, because the most immediate benefit of blockchain transactions is elimination of foreign exchange fees and speed.”

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About Sam Mire

Sam is a Market Research Analyst at Disruptor Daily. He's a trained journalist with experience in the field of disruptive technology. He’s versed in the impact that blockchain technology is having on industries of today, from healthcare to cannabis. He’s written extensively on the individuals and companies shaping the future of tech, working directly with many of them to advance their vision. Sam is known for writing work that brings value to industry professionals and the generally curious – as well as an occasional smile to the face.