The big headlines in finance these days are all about Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and other cryptocurrencies being minted by unknown sources through computers and the internet. As every aspect of our lives becomes attached to the internet, it was only a matter of time before our currencies began the transition. With the instability of the dollar rising, is it time to switch to a different currency? Below we take an in-depth look at financial technology and its effect on commerce.
What is Financial Technology?
Financial technology, or Fintech, is anything regarding finances and technology. It not only encompasses the new age of cryptocurrencies but can be found dating back to the first plastic credit card in 1959 and even further.
The idea of combining technology and commerce is nothing new. Banks have been using the technology not only for ATMs, but for counting money, keeping track of finances for all customers, and even allowing their customers to control how their money moves with the touch of a few buttons.
The world of money extends far beyond the gold and silver tokens of our ancestors. Now, we can pay by just tapping our phone on a register. We can scan our goods as we go and pay in an app. As society advances technologically, so does commerce and those still relying on cash and checks may soon be left to flounder.
A History of Financial Technology
Credit lines have been around far longer than 1959. In the days of ancient Babylon, people were extending credit and even had rules in place for charging interest. The first printed checks come from a British bank in 1762 before the United States was founded, though businessmen had been using checks against the mortgage of their lands since 1681.
In the last hundred years, technology has progressed quickly. We have gone from needing paper records everything to plastic. From there, we have progressed to keeping most of our information stored in databases hundreds of miles away. We can have wallets with millions of dollars of cryptocurrency that fit in the palm of our hands.
Some people have a hard time wrapping their heads around the idea of a bit of code is worth that amount of money. As more businesses begin allowing cryptocurrencies as payment, we are progressing towards these digital currencies becoming more widely accepted by not only those adventurous techies who piloted the idea back in 2009. In just 13 years, cryptocurrency has come from being a nerd’s investment plan to a widely used currency mined just as commonly as silver and gold.
Keeping Tabs in Tabs
As our currency evolves into a digital platform, so should our ways of financial information. Using a fintech blog makes staying in the know about up-to-date technological information easier than checking the stocks in the paper 20 years ago. The best tech blogs give you information on more than just cryptocurrency. They can be used to spread awareness on the latest scams to watch for and how commerce is evolving to keep up with the digital world.
Using the internet, you can check decades worth of stock prices, buy cryptocurrency, and pay your bills. That may be without leaving your bank’s website if you choose the right one! With access to this information, you can update your financial plan.
A good bank is not the only place you can access this information. Online, you can find information from investors that once could only be heard on the trading floor. Now we have blogs, vlogs, and stories that can be updated the moment something happens. With the evolution of technology comes the evolution of information which allows us access to information much more quickly than we ever thought possible.
Unfortunately, with the ability to post nearly anything to the Internet of Everything, people have been known to post false statements that seem just as legitimate as the truth. How do you navigate the information when there is so much of it out there?
Accessing Everything in an Instant
Having access to this information can be overwhelming, but you also have access to experts in every field imaginable. If you want to learn how to trade stocks, you can look up a step-by-step instruction video on YouTube. You can find live feeds on TikTok of people teaching others how to become financially literate. Live streams are going on as long as the stock market is open on Twitch that shows top trades for the day and has constantly updated information on a variety of areas. Navigating this much information can be overwhelming. With so many inputs, how do we know what is reputable information and what isn’t?
The problem with having information about everything at our fingertips is people can also post information about anything just as quickly as people can post false information. Instant information can be unreliable, and it is up to the consumer to delve deeper into topics and figure out if the information is reliable or not.
You should understand the information being relayed and if the information is coming from a reliable source. The fastest way to decide if a source is reliable is by asking if they make money by providing the information in their favor. If a certain company owns this news site, is the news site going to skew the information given in their favor? The answer depends on the source.
Some companies pride themselves on being able to report the negative just as much as the positive. Unfortunately, those companies are few and far between. Finding reliable and unbiased information can be like cracking a code. Luckily, once you find a method that is reliable to you, it can be a lot easier to use the same or similar methods to find out if other information is reliable.
One of the most easily accessible methods for testing the reliability of a finance website is Google. If you were to come across https://www.investopedia.com/ in your research into digital finance, you could take just a few steps to find if the information provided was accurate or not. This page consists of a blog and stock ticker. Each aspect of a page should be checked separately.
For stocks, it is as simple as pulling up either Yahoo or Google finance and checking the tickers on the webpage to those. If the webpage you are looking at does not have accurate stock tickers, you can assume the rest of the information will be unreliable.