Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum may have been in the spotlight this year, but the real stars were backstage. By June of last year, the top 10 publicly traded Fintech companies’ market cap broke past the $100 billion mark—far surpassing incumbents such as JP Morgan and Visa. And with consumer confidence waning for those stodgy incumbents—vis-à-vis Equifax’s data breaches and fraud committed by Wells Fargo—2018 may be a very challenging year for the status quo.
The blockchain is shaping up to be a rather robust technology that more and more of the banking sector is adopting. Of those recent adopters in the industry is Vanguard, which announced it would implement blockchain technology as a means to automate the sharing of index data that will allow instant communication between market participants. This will allow any changes in market indices to be reflected immediately to all investment professionals.
Wealthfront just secured $75 million in funding from an investment group, validating its unique, algorithm-only approach to wealth management. Their secret sauce—solely relying on robo advisors—has not only distinguished it from its contemporaries such as Betterment and Charles Schwab, but proven rather palatable—and successful—to its younger-skewing clientele. Fresh off this investment news, Wealthfront reported asset growth of $100 million—fueled by new deposits and gains in the market.
“Following the money” may be even easier now that organizations are turning to an accounting-first approach when rolling out an ERP. Although M3 is a hotel-specific accounting program, its modular design epitomizes the functionality of SaaS allowing organizations to enable only the components—or add-ons—it sees fit. "We're in a postmodern ERP world where not everyone buys all their solutions from a single provider," said Van Decker research vice president at Gartner Inc. By operating on this tenet that cloud-based software ought to be modular, M3 is a shining example of the changing landscape in enterprise software.
Not since ‘06 has the U.S. stock exchange started off so strong—perhaps a sign of what’s in store for 2018. Illustrating investors’ optimizing for this New Year was, perhaps, the Dow’s recent record-breaking ascent into 25,000. Analysts don't see signs of a slowdown—either here or afar. International markets started the new year with a bullish outlook, as well.
—The New York Times