Blockchain and Crypto, Member Exclusive

What would it take for FIs to embrace DeFi?

  • At Tearsheet's upcoming Big Bank Theory Conference, traditional FIs and upstarts will explore the emerging world of DeFi.
  • Publicis Sapient's David Donovan shares his thinking around how incumbents can compete in this new world.

Email a Friend

What would it take for FIs to embrace DeFi?

The Big Bank Theory is Tearsheet’s most ambitious conference yet. We’ve brought together the best in digital banking with the best in embedded finance to talk about the future of banking products and services. Firms like Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Square, Intuit, Cross River, N26, and Galileo will be there in attendance and presenting. Get your ticket here.

To whet our appetites, I spoke with David Donovan, head of financial services for the Americas at Publicis Sapient and a sponsor of the event, to talk about the DeFi opportunity for traditional banks and FIs. 

The Biden Administration’s moves in crypto are telling in terms of where the market may be headed.

David Donovan, Publicis Sapient: I don’t think anybody would question the fact that we need regulation. The important thing to understand is that the crypto market/DeFi is different from your equity market or fixed income market. You want to put in smart regulation that creates investor protection, but you also want to consider that it’s a unique asset class. It’s an alternative asset class that’s going to be very exciting. The real power of what DeFi will unlock is creating a better financial system — if done and regulated correctly. Just like the internet, where there was this incredible growth in this incredible unlock; but within that journey of the internet, there were also some fits and starts, where some companies that had crazy valuations went to zero. I can think CMGI,, and all those different companies that actually came public and went to zero. That’s part of markets: there are going to be companies that rise and fall. When you fast forward to today, from the year 2000, the world is better off with the internet. It unlocked some incredible companies. I see a similar evolution in DeFi.

This content is available exclusively to Tearsheet Outlier members.

Tearsheet Outlier information and signup Missing out? Subscribe today and you’ll receive unlimited access to all Tearsheet content, original research, exclusive webinars and events, member-only newsletters from Tearsheet editors and reporters and much more. Join Outlier now — only $49/mo. Already an Outlier member? Sign in to your account

0 comments on “What would it take for FIs to embrace DeFi?”

Outlier OpinionsMakers

Member Exclusive, Payments

Payments Briefing: ‘We penetrated the blue ocean opportunity of the Spanish-speaking market’ – NovoPayment’s Anabel Perez

  • This week, we take a look at Miami-based BaaS provider, NovoPayment.
  • We also discuss Bumped, a firm that rewards customers with equity in the brands they shop from.
Ismail Umar | May 12, 2022
Member Exclusive

Lending Briefing: How fintechs are digitizing the mortgage process

  • Shifting consumer preferences are incentivizing mortgage banks to digitize other outdated, paper-based or manual parts of the business. But most of the innovation is happening outside the legacy system with fintechs taking the lead.
  • Given the current macroeconomic environment, uncertainty and dwindling margins in the mortgage sector, digital processes can help weather the storm by reducing costs.
Iulia Ciutina | May 11, 2022
Data Snacks, Member Exclusive

Data Snack: Real-time payments contribute a meager 0.9% to US transactions, FedNow expected to change that

  • The US real time payments industry is small, with just two networks, neither of which span across the country.
  • Federal Reserve’s country-wide real-time payments network initiative, FedNow, is expected to become one of the biggest payment clearance settlement systems in the world upon release.
Subboh Jaffery | May 11, 2022
Member Exclusive, New banks

Banking Briefing: Interest rates, big banks, and Revolut’s bumpy road to super-app-dom

  • The Central Bank raised its benchmark interest rate by half a percentage point. But with more fintech competition than ever, can major banks afford to respond the way they have in the past?
  • Meanwhile, Revolut’s super app strategy is hitting some bumps. What does that mean for the firm?
Rivka Abramson | May 09, 2022
Data Snacks, Member Exclusive

Data Snack: US fintech lenders down 30% on average in Q1 2022

  • Macroeconomic trends loom over the fintech sector and pressure public market stocks - most fintech lenders are down 30% or more in the first three months of 2022.
  • This could be a reaction against higher interest rates, which can grow the risk of defaults - driving investors to reevaluate fintech valuations, especially those with aggressive growth strategies.
Iulia Ciutina | May 06, 2022
More Articles