BRUSSELS, MARCH 27, 2018 - As the European Commission published its Action Plan on Fintech, finance professionals and professional accountants are looking at the opportunities and challenges of the new Fintech, Blockchain and ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) landscapes, to guide their clients and organisations. Hence this joint conference organised by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and EY to discuss the latest policy and technology developments.
After a welcome by Maggie McGhee, Director of Professional Insights at ACCA, Delphine Leroy, Team leader of the Fintech team, DG FISMA kicked off the panel. She pointed out that the Fintech Action Plan proposes to identify and address the challenges brought about by technologies such as blockchain, while a strong cooperation between various services is a must. This is achieved through expert groups, an EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum, and a EU Fintech Lab.
Ken Timsit, CEO of CONSENSYS France, shared his objectives with the EU Blockchain Observatory as a forum to look at possible use cases and barriers to be overcome to make the blockchain opportunity a reality.
Our own Fabian Vandenreydt applauded the increasing collaboration between Fintechs and financial institutions, "as they acknowledge Fintechs help them enrich their offerings with new functionality for specific user segments and business domains". This is echoed by Marcello Topa, Chairman of the EBF Blockchain Task Force and Director, EMEA Market Policy & Strategy Citi - Markets and Securities Services, who said that Banks' best friends are Fintech start-ups.
Fabian then shared B-Hive's credentials and on-going projects in the Blockchain space (e.g. KYC), highlighting the importance of looking at business models and market structure alongside technological merits.
The panel also discussed the positioning of Europe in terms of fintech innovation and put forward the importance of collaboration between fintech hubs in Europe to strengthen the innovation and financing landscapes.
With the advent of GDPR, Fabian mentions there is an opportunity for European startups, scale-ups and financial institutions alike to turn data privacy into a specific European asset in the way we design and run operations of platform businesses.