According to many experts, a battle is currently raging between the old central bank-controlled FIAT monetary system with the dollar as the reserve currency and the new decentralized, blockchain-based cryptosystem. Quantitative easing policies in the wake of various crises in recent years cast doubt on the FIAT system’s sustainability. 2020 was also the year institutional investors got into Bitcoin (BTC). In 2021, FinTech unicorn TransferWise is planning a billion-dollar IPO – a FinTech that rejects the cryptosystem.
In its Acceptable Use Policy, TransferWise outlines that it will not accept transfers from companies involved in cryptocurrencies. This applies to the U.S. crypto exchange Kraken, for example, registered as a Money Services Business (MBS) with U.S. FinCEN, the Canadian FinTRAC, and regulators in other jurisdictions. Despite being regulated, TansferWise rejects wire transfers from Payward Inc or Payward Ltd – the Kraken platform’s legal operators. TransferWise is a FinTech within the FIAT establishment with no crypto ambitions. Its business model is old wine decanted into new glasses, i.e., transmitting money deploying innovative technology. That’s not exactly revolutionary, right?
According to a Sky News report and other media outlets, TransferWise, founded in London by Estonians Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, plans a billion-dollar IPO in 2021. Goldman Sachs is reportedly in talks to lead the syndicate with other banks in the “blockbuster IPO” in the post-COVID era. With its traditional FIAT money transfer business, the FinTech is profitable, unlike other FinTech unicorns such as Revolut, Monzo, or Starling Bank. In 2019, TransferWise‘s net profit reached £10.3 million ($12.8 million), up 66% from the previous year. The company employs well over 2000 people, boasts more than 9 million customers, and has £4.5 billion in monthly cross-border transaction volumes.