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The Banker’s Guide to the Metaverse.

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Although it’s still unclear yet what precisely the metaverse will include, it is sure to affect banks. Like any innovation or technological advancement, financial institutions must make the necessary changes today to be prepared to take on the metaverse once it is revealed.

The metaverse is a term that results from the convergence of ideas and technologies that are in use and growing exponentially. Like all significant innovations, the possible evolution of the metaverse is yet to be discovered and should not be overlooked. Due to the increasing hype about the metaverse, few organizations know how much impact it could affect engagement and experiences.

Despite the uncertainty about what kind of metaverse could be revealed, financial institutions must start to explore the technology and experiences that may turn into more quickly than most people think. Similar to how the mobile phone revolutionized the role of digital delivery in the financial sector, The metaverse will offer new opportunities for credit unions and banks to combine physical and virtual experiences with their products and internal processes.

The most exciting aspect of this metaverse is the potential to transform customer and employee experience and alter how they interact and work. By combining technologies like VR, virtual reality (VR) and AR, augmented reality (AR), Web3, 5G, and reimagined design thinking the blockchain and other digital assets, the boundaries between physical and digital are likely to rapidly change.

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Transforming the Banking System Metaverse Interview with Ray Wang:

History of the Metaverse

It’s been 30 years since the word “metaverse” was used by Neal Stephenson in his science fiction novel Snow Crash. In his 1992 novel, Neal Stephenson imagined the virtual world where virtual avatars could escape from the world of reality. Before that, the very first VR machine was invented around 1956 by Morton Heilig. This machine was able to combine 3D video, smells, audio, and a vibrating chair to simulate the experience of riding a motorbike in Brooklyn. Heilig also invented his first display mounted on the head in 1960 by combining stereo 3D images with stereo audio.

In 2010, the 18-year-old Palmer Luckey created the Oculus Rift VR device prototype, which sparked an interest in immersive technology that has since grown. Following Oculus’ acquisition by Facebook in 2014, Oculus from Facebook at the end of 2014, and a number of other players in the tech industry joined the virtual reality (VR) market by launching their own VR devices, such as Sony, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft. Microsoft is the first company to combine VR with augmented reality (AR) by blending reality with holograms.

Before many headsets were made available, the games were released that let players get immersed in virtual worlds, make digital currencies, and engage with many other players. The more advanced platforms followed that provided users with an enhanced experience to interact with vast numbers of other players on games like Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox.

“In the time since the rebranding of Facebook, the idea that it is “the metaverse” has served as a powerful vehicle for repackaging old tech, overselling the benefits of new tech, and capturing the imagination of speculative investors.”

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Many companies, both inside the banking sector and beyond, are experimenting with new ideas connected to the metaverse, expanding into the trade of non-fungible currency (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies that rely on blockchain technology. However, the description of what the metaverse could mean shortly is unclear and confusing due to the sheer number of players who have stakes on the field.

The Metaverse Economy

In the Constellation Research report Financializing the Metaverse Economy, there are five parts of the metaverse economy’, which include the integration with the innovative web, the development of new ways of transferring value through NFTs and cryptocurrencies, the development of a new model of government, experiences within digital realms, as well as the application technology such as AI (AI) and mixed reality technologies. Constellation claims that the market value could reach $21.7 trillion in 2030 and the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the range of 38.6 percent.

With the metaverse economy being a bit ambiguous (at the very least), Constellation Research recommends that businesses focus their initiatives on researching the possibilities and drawbacks of the metaverse. Constellation also suggests that the executives have access to the latest technology to comprehend the effects of the metaverse economic system on a personalized basis.

Ways the Metaverse Changes the Future of Work

The metaverse holds the potential to broaden the scope of interactions, mobility, and collaboration within a digital universe that builds on the shifts that took place in the aftermath of the pandemic. This is due to the capability to create more immersive ways of collaboration that were not feasible in the past and with collaboration occurring regardless of geographical place. Collaboration can be a complete 3D experience through headsets or a heightened holographic experience with life-like virtual workspaces.

Another benefit for workers in Metaverse technology is the creation of more dynamic and interactive opportunities for learning and development. Every traditional user manual or manual is being transformed into AI-driven, immersive engagement experiences in the metaverse. Gamification is also a way to measure the progress of your skills and help make learning more enjoyable.

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According to McKinsey, another way that the metaverse can influence how work will be conducted shortly could happen with the rise of AI-powered digital assistants, also known as digital twins, who can act as virtual colleagues, taking on most of the repetitive work and freeing humans to focus on more productive tasks.

The metaverse offers a way that financial institutions can dramatically enhance the remote and hybrid working environments that emerged from the epidemic. With the advancement of technology, the future will see increased engagement, efficiency, and new ways of defining the work experience for workers everywhere work is conducted.

The Metaverse Changes the Customer Experience

Beyond the potential to change the way we play, work, or shop, the metaverse world opens up a wealth of possibilities to provide exceptional customer experiences and increase engagement. Like the way we engage with customers today, the goal of meeting with customers in the metaverse is to delight customers emotionally through added value engagement. This will require customized and contextual interactions on a large scale. This will be powered by analytics, data, and innovative forms of employment.

Engagement is not only about transforming the physical space into a digital replica but also providing customers with an experience that is beyond the scope of what’s possible in the present. Imagine the possibility of putting customers in the virtual home dreaming of, the island of their dreams where they’d like to spend their take vacation, or in the driver’s seat of the car they’d like to buy. Also, let users use AR to discover the advantages of the service before purchasing, just as Warby Parker does with its glasses.

A positive experience for customers in the metaverse will involve a seamless experience where customers can easily navigate from branches and mobile devices or the VR or AR experience in the virtual world. Financial institutions will eventually offer customers experiences that they wouldn’t be able to provide within the actual world.

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Preparing for Metaverse Banking

A seamless experience in the metaverse is still a long way off, and the definition of metaverse could evolve as time passes. Financial institutions shouldn’t overlook the enormous amount of resources being poured into by the tech giants creating immersive technologies and experiences. While the precise date may be debated, the concept of virtual engagement will be an essential component of the future.

Credit unions and banks which have experimented with new technology and have already completed scenario planning are most likely to offer an experience for customers that is similar to the one provided by a metaverse shortly. Be aware that banks and credit unions that are innovating through innovative omnichannel engagement strategies enjoy increased customer satisfaction and retention. Apart from standing out from the crowd, the metaverse is an effective tool for engagement that has the potential to provide the value of a lifetime.

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What is Centralized Decentralized Financing (CeDeFi)?

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In our current world, blockchain technology is utilized in various industries, including the finance sector. CeDeFi is an abbreviation that stands for “Centralized Decentralized Finance.” CeDeFi is a financial system that employs both central and decentralized mechanisms. It blends the best features of traditional finance and Decentralized Finance (Defi).

The basics of CeDeFi

CeDeFi can be described as an acronym for “centralized financing decentralized.” CeDeFi refers to the Ethereum-based protocol class that seeks to offer the same advantages as Defi protocols but with more control and central decision-making.

While Defi protocols are permissible and accessible to anyone who wishes to utilize the protocols, CeDeFi protocols are generally run by one entity or a limited number of organizations. This means that CeDeFi protocols have greater control over their functions and governance than Defi protocols.

CeDeFi protocols typically have similar features as Defi protocols, like loans and lending systems, secure currencies, and token swaps. Yet, CeDeFi protocols tend to be quicker and simpler to utilize than Defi protocols due to their centralization. The speed and ease of usage come at the expense of decentralization. CeDeFi protocols are not as resistant to censorship and have lower community involvement than Defi protocols.

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The most popular models for CeDeFi protocols include MakerDAO, Compound, and Synthetix. These protocols have provided similar features as Defi protocols but remain centralized.

The centralization of CeDeFi protocols is more prone to attacks and hacks than Defi protocols. However, the usage of CeDeFi protocols is increasing because they provide a more comfortable experience for users than Defi protocols.

The Binance Company and its Role in the creation of CeDeFi

CeDeFi is a unique type of financial system that is built upon the Ethereum blockchain. CeDeFi was developed by a consortium of the top businesses in the crypto industry, including Binance, MakerDAO, and Kyber Network. CeDeFi gives users access to an open platform with access to a range of financial services like lending, borrowing, and payment transactions.

Binance is among the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. It is also playing a significant role in the creation of CeDeFi. Binance has provided its knowledge of blockchain technology and security to the CeDeFi consortium. Furthermore, Binance Labs, the venture division of Binance, has invested in several CeDeFi initiatives.

In 2022 in 2022, the CeDeFi system is still in the early stage of growth. But with the support of major companies such as Binance and Binance, CeDeFi could become a significant player in cryptocurrency finance.

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The features of CeDeFi

CeDeFi is a decentralized finance protocol that allows the creation and trading of synthetic assets. In contrast to other protocols, it does not depend on borrowing or lending platforms. Instead, it utilizes the smart contracts system to create new tokens, which track the underlying value of the underlying assets. This lets users trade derivatives and not have to be able to trust a significant party.

CeDeFi protocols also have numerous other benefits that include:

  • CeDeFi protocols are based on Ethereum, which means they are not vulnerable only to one point of failure.
  • CeDeFi protocols are available to anyone who has access to an Ethereum wallet.
  • CeDeFi protocols are compatible with other Ethereum-based protocols providing a broad range of applications.
  • CeDeFi protocol can be modified to make various derivative products.

The primary drawback to CeDeFi protocols is that they are complicated to grasp for those new to the field. But as the industry grows, it is expected that user-friendly interfaces will be created. In general, CeDeFi represents a significant improvement in the decentralized financial sector and could transform the way trade financial instruments.

CeDeFi protocols can transform the trade of derivatives. Removing the need for central exchanges will lower the risk of counterparties and allow traders to trade the products. Furthermore, CeDeFi protocols are in the early stage of development, which means they have a vast potential to grow in this field.

CeDeFi is DeFi

The cryptocurrency industry is filled with abbreviations and acronyms, and CeDeFi and Defi are among the most popular terms used. What is the difference between the two?

As stated, CeDeFi stands for Centralized Decentralized Finance, whereas Defi is a reference to Decentralized Finance. Both CeDeFi and Defi encompass a broad spectrum of terms and refer to various financial products and services that can be developed upon a blockchain.

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However, the main distinction that separates CeDeFi and Defi is their methods of decentralization. CeDeFi, as the name implies, CeDeFi is centralized in its structure, with projects usually being developed and managed by a single organization. Contrarily, Defi projects are decentralized, typically being created and run by a collective of developers.

Let’s take a close review of the significant distinctions between them.

Centralization vs. Decentralization. As mentioned previously, the main distinction between CeDeFi and Defi is their distinct strategies for decentralization. CeDeFi projects are centrally managed; however, the Defi project is decentralized. This is evident in the governance model and development process for CeDeFi and Defi projects.

Governance model. Governance models are a significant difference between Defi and CeDeFi. CeDeFi projects are generally managed by a single entity which could be a company or foundation. Contrary to this, Defi projects are usually controlled by the communities of developers who create and manage the projects. This dispersion of governance makes Defi projects more tolerant of any changes in direction or leadership.

Development process. Development is centralized in CeDeFi, and an individual entity is typically responsible for creating and managing the project. The development method in Defi is decentralized, with various developers working on the same project. Decentralization in development results in Defi projects being more transparent and open and more resistant to changes in direction or leadership.

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Use cases. CeDeFi and Defi each have a broad array of uses. CeDeFi initiatives usually focus on offering central financial products and services, like lending and lending platforms, exchanges, and payment processors. Contrarily, Defi projects often focus on providing financial products and services that are not centralized, including smart contracts, protocols, and stablecoins.

Risk factors. It is also essential to remember that CeDeFi and Defi carry their dangers. CeDeFi projects tend to be riskier than Defi projects because of their centralization. The centralization of CeDeFi tasks makes them more vulnerable to hacks, fraud, and theft. Contrarily, Defi projects are generally considered safer because of their lack of centralization. However, Defi projects remain weak, and they are often complex and hard to comprehend.

The advantages of CeDeFi

CeDeFi is a unique form of decentralized finance that allows users to trade crypto assets without a central exchange. This means that users can deal directly with one another without an intermediary. CeDeFi also comes with a range of additional benefits, such as:

Security. One of the significant benefits of CeDeFi is its increased level of protection than the conventional financial system. It is due to transactions being performed on a distributed network, making it difficult for hackers to attack.

Speed. Another benefit to CeDeFi can be that the transactions process faster than the conventional financial systems. There’s no requirement for third-party approval, which may take weeks or even days.

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Cost. CeDeFi transactions are, in general, less expensive than traditional transactions. This is because there aren’t any middlemen with the procedure. Therefore, the costs are significantly reduced.

Flexibility. CeDeFi systems are also greater than traditional banking systems. This is because they can be customized to meet the requirements of any customer.

Privacy. Additionally, CeDeFi offers a higher amount of privacy than other financial systems. It is due to transactions being performed on a distributed network, making it harder for third parties to monitor.

In the end, CeDeFi has several advantages over traditional financial systems. As more people are aware of the benefits, It is expected for CeDeFi is likely to continue to increase in popularity.

Bottom Line

CeDeFi is a category of Ethereum-based protocols which aim to provide the similar benefits of Decentralized Finance (Defi) protocols but with more control and central decision-making. While Defi protocols are permissive and available for anyone to utilize, they are usually run by one company or a smaller group of organizations. This means that CeDeFi protocols have greater control over their functions and governance over Defi protocols. CeDeFi has many advantages, and those who effectively implement them will benefit from more management and central decision-making.

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What Investors Need to Know About ESG Investments.

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ESG investing is focused on social, environmental, and governance principles. It has seen a rise in popularity over time.

Sometimes called sustainability investing, impact investing, or socially responsible investment, ESG investing provides a means for investors to think beyond profits and think about the role that companies play in the greater good of society. This is what you need to know about it.

The ESG metrics

There are three primary measures used to judge businesses based on ESG standards. When you look at a company’s performance through an ESG lens can reveal aspects about it that you can’t be able to see when looking at financial statements, which is why it’s essential.

The environmental component of ESG examines how a company’s activities impact the environment, particularly the effects of climate change. For example, many firms contribute to climate change through excessive energy and pollution. You should be aware of this, not just your company’s role in influencing climate change and the impact climate change will have on business and the wider industry shortly.

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The social element examines how a company interacts with its customers, employees, and society in general. It can address questions like diversification and inclusiveness, worker security and security, human rights, data security, how the company invests in the local community, and many more. If you’re an investor, no matter if you’re looking at ESG indicators or not, you must be aware of the position companies are in on these issues, as they could be expensive in the future. Employers who are treated poorly result in fewer top talent being retained, security breaches cost increased costs for security and public relations, and so on.

Governance is how companies operate. It is essential to know this as you’re also a shareholder investor. When assessing companies’ management, institutions can consider the transparency, the quality of financial reporting, and the independents of the boards of directors. If a business has questionable operations, you’ll want to be aware. A few of the most prominent bankruptcy cases in the history of business were shocking to investors simply because they did not know what was happening behind the scenes.

ESG funds

Various funds focus on ESG indicators, which means it’s now easy to invest in investments that meet your sustainability goals. Certain funds have the three criteria components, and others decide to concentrate on only one or perhaps two. Some funds focus on particular topics, such as cybersecurity, clean energy, and climate change-related commitments, and general funds focus on the highest ESG standards.

There isn’t a universal rating within ESG standards, so ESG funds do not constantly evaluate ESG indicators on the same basis. Some assign different weights for each of the three ESG practices, while others may be more focused on subtopics that fall within the category. If you’re passionate about a topic, make sure you review the fund’s mission statement and how the fund’s companies were selected.

Don’t forget the basics.

If you’re planning to concentrate on sustainable investments, which is a good thing to do, utilize ESG knowledge and traditional investing wisdom and guidelines. It’s not a good idea to reach a point where ESG standards are the only criteria you need to use when making decisions about your investments. In the end, investing is to earn money. There are many ways to do this sustainably, ethically, and according to your interests. However, it would be best if you didn’t ignore the primary goal of investing. It is still essential to think about your financial goals, the risk you are willing to take, and other relevant factors.

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How can big-scale Finance be used to boost sustainability?

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The ability to raise vast amounts of money to move towards a low-carbon economy is within the capabilities of the world economy; however, it will require significant adjustments to the way financial markets operate.

The ever-growing climate issue will require the most continuous movement of capital in the history of mankind. The minimum is $100 trillion that must be invested between 20 and 30 years to switch to a low-carbon economy. Moreover, an additional $3-4 trillion in annual investment is required to reach the targets of Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and stabilize the world’s oceans.

The ability to raise these massive sums and invest them wisely is within reach for the world economy and the financial markets that exist. However, it will require significant modifications to the way these markets function. Mainly conventional financial institutions would require assistance in finding the most suitable projects, easing the process of negotiating and drafting transactions, and raising the capital needed to finance these projects.

A majority of sustainability initiatives are small-scale. This is the nature of innovation in which ideas are developed to be tested, tested, and when they are successful, copied. However, the disconnect between the people developing sustainability initiatives and traditional Finance makes scaling such initiatives not easy.

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Without risking simplifying the issue, sustainability advocates could be wary about “Big Finance” and its track record of funding nonsustainable industries. Investors, however, are likely to be skeptical of a fanciful approach that overlooks the realities of the bottom line and might not be interested in smaller-scale transactions.

With this in mind, How do we grow sustainable initiatives from small investments up to the $100 million range that starts to draw big Finance and billions required to create a world-changing impact?

Three specific steps are required. The first is that securitization methods are an excellent way to combine several smaller projects into one with enough critical mass to make it worthwhile. Securitization earned a bad rap in 2007 and 2008 due to its part in an economic crisis involving subprime loans which caused the entire world close to financial ruin.

If properly controlled, jointly financing many projects lowers the risk of failure, as the chance that each will face similar operational and financial concerns at the same time is very minimal. The resulting total will be available to investors in the interest market. Smaller projects must share standard features so that they can be grouped. This can’t be done in the future.

For example, we must come up with general terms of reference and terms for similar asset pools like what is being done within the US residential solar market. In addition, we must expose the basics of securitization to more local innovators via regional gatherings, which bring together financiers and sustainable project developers.

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The second is to reduce the complexity of transactional terms, making it simpler to create and negotiate the particulars of the instruments used to fund sustainable projects. In the established financial markets, replicating vital elements of successful deals in the past is much simpler than creating a new agreement for every buy. This method works because major financial players have approved many of the conditions and terms for future deals.

Making the most successful innovations more noticeable to investors is crucial. To achieve this, we must create an open-source, high-profile clearinghouse for previous sustainable projects, including those that were successfully funded and those that did not. It would be similar to the currently used databases but is openly accessible and with trustworthy third-party oversight to ensure accuracy.

Thirdly, the variety of sources of financing for sustainable projects must be increased and made more transparent. Because sustainable investments could provide lower returns based on historical market metrics, traditional asset allocation methods, in the context of “efficient markets,” would result in a lower appeal.

But the old benchmarks don’t adequately reflect the growing area of impact investing, which has different return and time requirements and is responsible for around $2.5 trillion in assets. The idea of securing tranches of various kinds of impact investment could become a significant game-changer in sustainability-focused financing.

Therefore, it is sensible to develop an open-source database of investor interest similar to the project database described above, but that can be accessed by designers and innovators of innovative sustainable initiatives. This will make it easier to find investors – whether equity, credit, or a hybrid who are willing to fund. It could also be placed by organizations such as the International Finance Corporation, the United Nations, or the Global Impact Investing Network.

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There are positive precedents. Green bond markets began around a decade ago. The total issuance amount could already reach $1 trillion by the end of this year. In November, the majority of the world’s financial community was present at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow. Under the direction of UN Special Envoy Mark Carney, the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) has pledged $130 trillion of climate-related commitments.

When he was in 1983, Muhammad Yunus founded Grameen Bank to offer banking services, specifically loans, to those (primarily women) that were previously considered “un-bankable.” By the time Yunus received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, “micro-lending” had become an international phenomenon, with traditional financial institutions securitizing the loans.

The financial revolution Yunus began transformed how retail lenders lend and how these transactions are structured and opened up an entirely new source of investment capital. To address the present environmental challenges, the financial markets, as well as their key players, must be more creative and be open to unconventional, sometimes even disruptive, ideas and voices.

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