After two-plus years of mostly attending webinars and other knowledge-building events via Zoom, Teams, or other virtual platforms, Fintech Nexus celebrated the 10th annual festival, bringing together 4,500 like-minded professionals in New York from May 25 to 26, 2022.
In his opening remarks, Mayor Adams chose to praise the fintech space, its history of activity concerning innovation, pushing the financial landscape, and the unique opportunities shown in New York.
“New York has always been a place where smart money comes to grow. And we see that in this area, when you look at the new startups in this industry have $41.1 billion in startups. Forty-six percent of those startups are right here in New York, double the amount in Silicon Valley and eight times more than Miami. We are leaning into blockchain and digital assets with our blockchain center here in New York and blockchain week,” Mayor Adams said.
New York and fintech
Research from Accenture reinforces this. Technology plays directly into New York’s strength as a world financial center.
It’s driving dramatic changes in the city’s financial services through new digital technology, regulatory changes, consumer behavior, and reduced costs. With its vast financial center, a key advantage of New York is that banks, capital markets firms, and insurers have increasingly begun to see the benefits of having a fintech cluster there.
Additionally, Mayor Adams is looking at how the industry will affect all aspects of public infrastructure, “this is a great opportunity to teach the skills needed in our public school system. So we could have an even playing field and in some of the inequalities when it comes down to these new methods of paying for goods and services and using technology to manage our records better. Everything from birth certificates to using Blockchain for real estate deals. These are great opportunities for all of us.”
Mayor Adams has been a vocal supporter of fintech, and specifically cryptocurrency. He converted his first paycheck as mayor to cryptocurrency to demonstrate his openness to technological innovations.
After receiving payment in U.S. dollars, the mayor converted it into crypto and deposited it into his account. The conversion is needed due to labor regulations that do not allow NYC to pay its employees in digital assets.
“We clear that fintech blockchain, all of these new digital assets, will find their way to the city. We believe this industry is the new frontier,” Mayor Adams said.
This collaborative view of fintech and its place in New York was also reinforced by the founders of Fintech Nexus, Peter Renton and Bo Brustkern, as they opened Fintech Nexus. Renton explains, “we all know that New York City is the world’s finance capital.”
Overall, Mayor Adams had one real request. “If you are from out of town, please spend money; once you spend much money here in the City of New York.”
” Let’s continue to expand this industry. This is the place to do it.”
Helen Femi Williams is a freelance journalist and podcaster interested in fintech, politics, economics, and their intersections.
She is the host of the letsgetlitical podcast, a fortnightly show interviewing guests from all different sides of the political spectrum, in partnership with the Mozilla Foundation.
Prior to this role, she worked as an innovation consultant developing insurtech and fintech products and ideas for brands, startups, and major corporations.
She studied International Relations at the University of Nottingham (UK and Malaysia).