In 2020, industry-wide transaction banking revenue reached $1 trillion . According to Samantha Pelosi, SVP of Payments and Innovation at BAFT, the largest trade association for transaction banking: “The potential efficiency gains and democratization of finance associated with DeFi are attractive to traditional financial institutions. However, DeFi negates the need for relationships with trusted intermediaries, which makes the model disruptive and somewhat alien to these banks.” Virtually all major international commercial banks have at least piloted the use of blockchain for transaction banking services – which remain slow and cumbersome – but none of these pilots have involved DeFi. Rather, they focus on making bank processes more efficient and replacing traditional financial instruments with standardized digital assets. That means the approval and execution of transactions still ultimately go through the framework of traditional banking or more established fintechs. For example, a business’ credit risk is assessed based on financial statements and only applies to that specific business, without the ability to distribute risk across its system. The infrastructure around client support is also quite extensive, which means clients his comment is here cannot be serviced without a high threshold cost. These practices hamper capital opportunities for larger enterprises and freeze out SMEs. DeFi platforms provide an alternative system, not simply a plug-in to existing banks. Their decentralized nature means transaction onboarding and market-based risk assessments are much easier to scale across a business’ wider system because access to relevant information is not dependent on centralized processing or a prior relationship. Prior to DeFi, a business would have to complete anti-money laundering and “know your customer” checks for every source of capital and convince their counterparts to onboard to the same transaction banking programmes. They also would not be able to present evidence of performance on their debt or payables outside of financial statements. DeFi allows for the exchange of trustable data across a system, mitigating these barriers to business financial services. Until now, however, most companies did not seriously consider DeFi as a viable alternative to their bank’s services because of the volatility of crypto-assets, regulatory uncertainty and the immature technology involved. Even Tesla’s purchase of $1.5 billion in bitcoin was motivated by the direct financial value of bitcoin as an asset, not by its transaction banking needs. While DeFi previously solved the complex requirements around portable digital ID for businesses and has a roadmap for providing access to financial performance track records in transaction banking, it completely lacks two crucial elements: a one-to-one exchange with fiat currency; and interoperability between different blockchains so that counterparties could freely interact with one another. The former is necessary for cryptocurrency to offer a stable store of value that can be used as currency and to have an easily accessible interface with the traditional financial system.https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/07/decentralized-finance-transaction-banking-smes/
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Advocates say energy efficiency — not gas — offers Appalachia best economic prospects
Investment in energy efficiency should be part of a transition plan to improve the quality of life for counties in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania that have had lots of natural gas activity, according to new reports from the Ohio River Valley Institute.
The reports also shed light on why the overall quality of life has lagged in seven counties that have produced the lion’s share of Ohio’s fracked gas, even as their gross domestic product has risen.
“When you do energy efficiency — not just in homes, but in businesses, workplaces, schools and other public buildings — you are also contributing to an improved quality of life,” said Sean O’Leary, lead author of the two reports released Wednesday.
First, energy efficiency work on heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and doors and windows tends to be labor-intensive, O’Leary said. “For each dollar that goes into them, they generate about three to four times as many jobs as a dollar spent or earned in natural gas.”
“These are businesses that are done by local contractors,” O’Leary continued. “When you spend money with them, the money stays in the local economy. They hire local workers, and it has a multiplier effect.”
“The third thing is that these kinds of investments have an annuity value,” O’Leary said. “That is, they cause savings on utility bills.” That translates into a lower drain on residents’ personal incomes. And, “the savings go on for decades.”
As support, O’Leary and colleagues point to Centralia, Washington, as a model for Appalachian counties to use to transition from dependence on fossil fuel industries. They describe the model in one of the reports.
Located roughly midway between Seattle and Portland, Oregon, the area had long depended on coal mining and a coal-fired power plant. At times from 1994 to 2005, the unemployment rate surpassed some Appalachian counties.
The Centralia coal mine closed in 2006. Only one unit remains operating at the power plant, and it is scheduled to retire in 2025. Yet from 2015 to 2019, the area’s gross domestic product grew at twice the nationwide rate, and it added more than 2,800 new jobs, according to the report.
In particular, TransAlta, which owned the coal mine and still owns the power plant, agreed to invest $55 million for a transition plan that supports energy efficiency, economic and community development, and education and retraining programs.
“You just walk around town, and you see this is a nicer place to live and have a business than it used to be,” O’Leary said.
“Energy efficiency is definitely the bedrock of clean energy job growth,” said Jane Harf, executive director of Green Energy Ohio, who did not work on the reports. “In 2019, almost three-quarters of Ohio clean energy jobs were in the energy efficiency sector, and the same held true across the Midwest.”
“Energy efficiency is also the low-hanging fruit in the fight against climate change,” Harf continued.https://energynews.us/2021/07/23/advocates-say-energy-efficiency-not-gas-offers-appalachia-best-economic-prospects/