Traditional banks deeply regret not taking the cryptocurrency turn, according to the founder-CEO of Switzerland’s oldest online bank with an outlet in Singapore. He also says banks are not genuinely using artificial intelligence.
Financial companies which held themselves back from getting into crypto for ideological reasons or because they lacked the technological know-how are now suffering, Chief Executive Marc Buerki tells «Le Temps» (behind a paywall, in French) on Monday.
«Traditional banks have at times gone into panic mode,» trying to catch up Buerki says. Those scrambling to offer cryptocurrencies now are late to the party, he adds. He co-founded the Swissquote financial platform with Paolo Buzzi in 1996.
If a banking provider fails to give access to cryptocurrencies to those who request it, it will likely lose them, Buerki says. He concedes that the proportion of regular bank customers who invest in cryptocurrencies is still relatively small.
«Bitcoin has digested an incredible amount of bad news,» neither its trading ban in China nor miners having to relocate to Texas have been able to stem the run on the cryptocurrency, Buerki says. Swissquote gained a banking license in 2000 and was one of the first movers among institutions in Switzerland to manage the shift towards digital assets.
Besides crypto, artificial intelligence (AI) is another area in Buerki’s view where the financial industry is working hard to make inroads. Few of the systems which claim to use AI when generating buy or sell recommendations actually do so, Buerki says.
Although AI might be in its early stages in finance, it represents a paradigm shift for the industry as it has the advantage of machine learning over traditional computing, Buerki says. He explains that the latter is predictive, delivering results that correspond to assumptions previously introduced. By contrast, machine learning processes information that isn’t prejudged.