Latest guest post by Giuseppe Solinas, Chief Editor of Elpis Investments, The first AI Crypto-Assets Investment Fund:, [email protected]

As the year 2018 has just started, it might be worth reflecting on some of the trends awaiting the FinTech sector as a whole, in particular on the side of innovative FinTech startups. To shift the focus from issues like ICOs and crypto markets volatility, back to what really matters for startups like Elpis: focusing on innovation to build solid, efficient, transparent business models. And, in doing so, to actively contribute in building the future of investing.

As a matter of fact, the year started with a downturn that brought the cryptocurrencies market down from the picks reached in 2017 to lows that were unseen during the whole year. Alongside the Bitcoin run abruptly stopping at the end of 2017, and then partially recovering, we have seen also the booming market of ICOs going down from a market cap of over $700 to $400 billion.

But, beside the up and downs, linked to volatility issues that we have already analysed in a previous post, the simple fact that we are talking of a “ICOs’ market” in the first place, seems already troubling: Initial Coin Offering were intended to be alternative paths to gather funds for startups: alternative, and innovative, in comparison to the traditional VC channels. The purpose of an ICO is to fund a project, involving in the funding process a crowd of informed backers, able to evaluate the principles, the values, the team involved, the plan, before deciding to actually get involved.

As the “ICOs’ market” went up and down to become a $400 billion affair, we saw emerging a variety of questionable and purely speculative operations, if not some outright scams. All the attention shifted towards the massive speculations, and the incredible volume of money involved brought about a media hype in the lookout for the “next big thing.” This process resulted in a seemingly general “mass distraction” from the real purpose of ICOs.

But, for those actually executing their plans to build innovative business models and solid companies like us at Elpis, nothing could defer the focus on the actual development of the project: what really matters, at the end of the day, is to keep on working to realise the vision a startup’s set out to pursue.

The point is that an ICO, for a FinTech startup, represents a step in the process of building the company’s business and not the final objective and only purpose, of putting out an idea to be evaluated by potential backers. Otherwise, the ICO becomes an purely speculative attempt to grab the attention and the money (fiat or crypto, that is), of potential backers.

Thus, for any serious FinTech startup, beside the contingencies of the present, what is at stake now is the ability to put all the efforts and resources at the service of the vision underneath the project, to build innovative, solid and successful business models. Because the only way, at end of the day, to contribute in shaping a new and sustainable investing landscape is to build a solid and efficient business.

FinTech startups need to get the potential backers involved transparently, avoiding murky ICO’s operation and giving the potential token holders all the instruments to evaluate their visions, business plans, teams involved.

Deloitte, one of the giants of financial advisory and analysis, in the recent report “2018 Investment Management Outlook,” labelled 2018 as a “pivotal year.” Because a “vision of the future and a will to apply the resources in the present to make that future come into being could be the prerequisites for success in 2018, and the years ahead.”

For innovators like us, in this sense, the outlook of 2018 is certainly challenging, but bright at the same time. Innovation is the key to grow in a competitive and changing, at times even confusing, financial landscape. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Swarm Intelligence, the blockchain: these are the innovative technologies that the experts recognise to have a disruptive potential that has yet to be fully explored.

Another global report by Fleishman Hillard, “FinTech in 2018: The Fads, the Fears and the Future,” in this regard reinforces the perception that pushing innovation forward is the only way for a FinTech startup to be successful. The report points out that the “potential for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the immediate term may have been overhyped in 2017, but the real and lasting impact will only be fully understood in 2018, say our experts.” The 74% of the experts surveyed by the report “believe AI will have a major impact on Financial Services in 2018.”

At Elpis, in this sense, we are working relentlessly on the innovative AI-based investment system that we have created, developing the Machine Learning and Swarm Intelligence tech that will enable our system to provide automated, tailored strategies. Our trading system is completely technology-driven: large volumes of data are processed at a pace and with an accuracy that is simply unreachable to any human-based investment system.

Thanks to these AI technologies we have created an investing system to operate both in the traditional assets and in the cryptocurrencies markets: this is why Elpis is a unique hybrid company and it’s going to build the first crypto-assets investments fund in the world.

Blockchain was another word that popped out in almost every conversation about FinTech in 2017. The experts consulted by Fleishman Hillard, confirmed the trend for 2018: “many of our experts are excited to see further developments in distributed ledger technology in 2018 — making it the third biggest opportunity identified for 2018.”

The report does nothing but confirm what we were already thinking: that the development of the blockchain technology has the potential to redefine the operations and economics of the financial services industry as a whole. That is why we are going to leverage its use in our operations.

Using the blockchain technology can offer key benefits in particular on another sensitive front, the the regulatory compliance, as well as in real-time control and management over the operations, allowing for more stability and security. The application of the Smart Contract technology, is another example of the kind of innovation that Elpis is all about.

There are issues out there, like regulation of the ICOs market, the volatility of cryptocurrencies, the creation of a sustainable crypto market, that FinTech startups like Elpis are dealing with on a daily basis. But, what is more important is that we are dealing with those issues through our daily work in building a solid, innovative and transparent technology-based investing system. That’s what we have to focus on to contribute to the larger picture of a new investing landscape.

That is what also the experts are recognising as relevant in 2018: the power of innovation. Because of these reasons we will continue in pushing the envelope of technologies like AI and the blockchain. Those are our instruments to build the solid business model that we are offering the market a chance to transparently get to know and evaluate.

If you want to join the investing revolution, check our Crypto-equity ICO, to know more about Elpis ICO.

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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