Dominik supports the Business Engineering Institute St. Gallen as a consultant since August 2021. He looks back on many years of banking experience and, among other things, was involved in various roles in the implementation of the digitalization strategy of a major Swiss bank as well as in the further development of the blockchain banking services of a Liechtenstein private bank. To promote fintech innovations in Switzerland, he is a member of the Fintechrockers Club. He also does educational work as a co-founder of bots don't cry, a startup for fintainment games that presents financial topics to its customers in a playful way and has already released the standalone game "Token Economy".

Opportunities & Challenges for Banks in the Context of Decentralized Finance

The term decentralized finance (DeFi) refers to a decentralized, blockchain-based architecture for processing financial transactions without intermediaries. we will show in this article why offering access to digital assets and DeFi business models is worthwhile for financial institutions and what challenges they have to overcome in order to provide such an offering to their customers. Based on practical examples, positioning possibilities for regulated institutions will be presented as well as concrete opportunities and challenges.

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What Exactly Is “Decentralized Finance”?

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) has been one of the dominant trends in digital assets at least since the DeFi summer 2020. Since the summer of 2020, the digital assets community’s gaze has turned towards the possibilities of a decentralized financial ecosystem, DeFi applications have become highly popular and the prices of corresponding tokens have multiplied. Why is DeFi seen as having such great potential and what does this mean for regulated financial institutions? In the next three blogposts, I will outline these and other questions, show different perspectives and provide an outlook on the opportunities for regulated financial institutions in the context of DeFi. To get started, this blog post will outline the functionalities of DeFi applications, present selected use cases, and highlight opportunities and risks in this context.

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Target Models for a Digital Asset Offering in the Regulated Space

The topic of digital assets has finally reached the mainstream. The potential for services that make it easier for customers to acquire digital assets is great, but so far only a few financial institutions offer such services. According to the banks, there are many reasons for the lack of a comprehensive offering, e.g. concerns about the value of digital assets, high scepticism regarding money laundering or a lack of know-how in the operational handling of the new asset class. This blog post addresses the last point and aims to show that there are various operational implementation options for a basic digital asset offering for regulated banks.

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