Blog Post|Executive Insights

The Financial Future of Crypto: Q&A with Joaquín Ayuso, Head of Nium Crypto

Crypto is changing the financial ecosystem, and this disruption means evolving regulations, rising transaction volumes, and increased global demand. This also raises questions: Is crypto secure? Is it auditable? Are real-time payments possible?  

Joining us today to help find the answers is our Head of Nium Crypto, Joaquin Ayuso. With over a decade of experience in the world of crypto, he’s at the forefront of expanding payments solutions, with an avid passion for investments.  

Let’s dive into a quick chat about the future of crypto, what to look out for, and how Nium Crypto helps businesses with their payments. 

1) On a personal level, what makes you so passionate about crypto?

It’s an exciting time- we’re able to trade through digital devices without the hassles of a credit card, loans, and other complicated financial products. I see these blockchain technologies as building blocks for a new financial economy; blockchain offers transparency- so no more sneaky terms of services that don’t tell you what they’re truly doing with your data. Also, there is the ownership. In web3, the users own their information and control who can access and process their information. 

Crypto is bringing a new paradigm on how we do business, how we interact, how we work, and the metaverse is also on that avenue. There’s a shift in how we transact with each other for value, goods, and services- it’s a whole new ecosystem. For me personally, it’s powerful- the impact crypto has on the world, and how it’s changing the way people view the economy! 

2) What do you think will be the impact of crypto payments on the world in the next 3 to 5 years? 

There is $2 trillion worth of crypto assets in the world today; it’s becoming an established ecosystem. This economy and payments are on their way to being heavily regulated- the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has just issued a warning that it will be putting regulations to make all decentralized exchanges register as brokerage houses in the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission). The distinction is that brokerage houses keep the order books between different parties and ensure to SEC that they’re in a protective place and cannot be misused. Meanwhile, the decentralized exchanges have no central order book; everything is on the blockchain.  

The SEC currently doesn’t have the tools to monitor and control these distributed exchanges or audit them as they currently do with the more traditional brokerage houses.  It will be a long journey for both the decentralized exchanges and the regulators to find common ground where investors can leverage the power of these tools with the protections of the regulated industry. 

Slowly, the world will get into a commonality where all the regulations begin to look alike, for e.g., payments regulations and licenses in the world today. Fine-tuning can take 3 to 5 years, or maybe 10, but crypto works fast and will expedite the process.  

3) What role does crypto play within the payments space? 

Many forecasts today talk about how crypto will take over the remittances space, but I think this is a far-fetched prediction. Crypto does accelerate the settlement time, and brings a more agile solution for transferring value between wallets. However, converting this crypto into actual currency by the end-user is still a complex area to navigate. Moreover, the current blockchains are overwhelmed and the fees to execute transactions on them are quite expensive, making the remittance use case unappealing to the average consumer.  

Crypto will undoubtedly play a significant role in the B2B space, where large amounts of money get settled internationally. It will also impact the central banks and their international settlements with other central banks. Lastly, interbank payments can benefit from blockchain technology, with many big players already making the moves to position themselves for the future of crypto payments.  

4) What do businesses need to know about crypto? 

Each organization has its subject matter expertise they excel at and third-party providers handling noncritical parts of the business. A lot of companies delegate their payments to us because they don’t want to worry about integrations – the same approach applies to crypto.  There will be companies like Nium that will hold the subject matter expertise for crypto and be reliable. Businesses will trust us to manage their dealings as they currently do with payments. 

How much do they need to know?  The same they know about finances, but not as a core competency of their knowledge space. It all boils down to them making the right choice when selecting whom to partner with to succeed. 

5) How does Nium Crypto help businesses? 

We understand the ecosystem- we support it, and ensure simplicity, by leveraging our platform’s financial capabilities that connect it to the crypto world. How we do it is an extension of the platform; firstly, our API allows any fintech to buy, sell and hold crypto. If you’re a fintech with a consumer base demanding crypto, you can integrate our APIs enabling you to buy, hold and sell crypto to end-users without dealing with any KYC or regulatory aspects- we take care of everything!  

Secondly, we’re enabling companies to accept payments in crypto. The third scenario is crypto pay allowing companies to disburse salaries in USDC. Lastly, we’re offering Wallet as a service; crypto wallets in all the web3 world run on the concept of wallets and tokens. This enables industries to build business logic on top of our platform in terms of tokens making crypto payments transparent, and easily auditable, on the blockchain. 

About Nium 
Nium is a leading embedded fintech company that provides banks, payment providers, and businesses of any size with access to global payment services. Its modular platform powers frictionless commerce, helping businesses pay and get paid across the globe with services for pay-outs, pay-ins, card issuance, crypto, and banking-as-a-service. Once connected to the Nium platform, businesses have the ability to pay out in more than 100 currencies to over 190 countries – 85 of which in real time. Funds can be received in 27 markets, including Southeast Asia, UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, India, and the US. Nium’s growing card issuance business is already available in 34 countries, including Europe (SEPA), the UK, Australia and Singapore. Nium’s license portfolio covers 11 of the world’s jurisdictions, enabling seamless global payments and rapid integration, regardless of geography. 

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