I'm on an endless quest to better understand what cryptocurrencies mean for my generation and the next ones. We can't deny that it got tens of thousands of millennials interested in finances and money – something banks have been trying to do for decades.
Thomas Lee of Fundstrat, who was lead equity researcher for JP Morgan, shared a great document that he presented at the recent Up Front Summit 2018. It's a bit heavy but skimming through the first slides will reveal an interesting story about trust and Millenials.
Objectively, my understanding is that crypto is a financial asset for millennials who distrust banks. The technology behind it, the blockchain, allows trustworthy exchanges between users without the need for a third party.
The crypto user's pain point is simply put, trust: 92 Percent of Millennials Don’t Trust Banks. The market for a product that adds trust in banking is huge and mostly outside of the U.S. And the organizations that deliver such product are new – they are decentralized and have weird names like Litecoin, Bitcoin, Monero, etc.*.
The desire to bypass the middleman was an extremely powerful driver in the growth of e-commerce. And what I'm reading here is that it is also a powerful driver in cryptocurrencies.
And that's the reason why I'm skeptical that banks will simply implement blockchains in their backends systems and that Millenials will line up to deposit their money there. If trust is the pain point, then being a decentralized system and not a proper company is not a bug, it's a feature.
*Since we're strictly talking about money here, I'm excluding cryptocurrencies that are trying to solve other pain points. Ethereum, for example, is trying to achieve something else than adding trust in banking. But that's another story.