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.
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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, Flowers.com, 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.


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