The emergence of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum made it obvious how much traditional markets lack transparency and are stacked against the “little guy,” Jesse Powell, CEO of crypto exchange Kraken, told Yahoo! Finance in an interview published on Friday.
“Ethereum gives you access to a whole world of decentralized smart contracts, decentralized exchanges, lending protocols. DeFi is really eating the world of finance, whether people know it or not yet. I think 10 years from now, we’re all gonna be doing 90% of our financial services on a blockchain,” said Powell.
Many opportunities for bad things to happen
He explained that cryptocurrencies are very different from traditional equities markets, for example, that require so many middlemen and custodians. Because of this, traders have to rely on third parties to technically own and move their assets—and that system is rapidly becoming obsolete with the emergence of cryptocurrencies.
“It’s a very different system, and I think it’s a system that is really no longer necessary now that we have a crypto system. And I think we’d be much better off with a bare instrument system where people can take their shares, move them anywhere they want, trade them anywhere they want, and trade directly on an exchange,” Powell noted.
Furthermore, the traditional system puts the “little guy” at a disadvantage, lacks transparency, and allows for “so many opportunities for bad things to happen,” he added.
Still extremely early in the space
At the same time, Powell acknowledged that to apply cryptocurrencies’ advantages to other traditional markets such as equities, some renovation of regulatory frameworks is required.
“I think it’s going to be up to the regulators and the lawmakers to allow for this to happen. I mean, there’s technically nothing preventing this from happening today. […] So what we really need is some innovation in the regulatory and legislative space. The technology is there today,” he said, adding, “I think all of that is eventually coming to equities on blockchain.”
Luckily, there is a lot of time for that to happen since most people in the world still don’t own any cryptocurrencies and pay no attention to them, so “we’re still extremely early in the space,” said Powell.
“And I think just the more money printing that’s going on, the less trust people have in governments, the less trust people have in the financial system, the stock market, the more they will look to the crypto markets where they have complete transparency, full custody of their assets, and the ability to do what they want when they want.”