UK media boss and former banker Alexander Lebedev has revealed he is looking to launch a decentralized finance powered â€œbank 2.0.â€
Alexander Lebedev, the owner of U.K. newspapersÂ Evening StandardÂ andÂ The Independent,Â along with Russian publicationÂ Novaya Gazeta, has spoken glowingly of the potential for cryptocurrency and smart contracts toÂ revolutionize finance.
In an extensive 1800 word opinion piece published inÂ The IndependentÂ on October 13, the billionaire predictedÂ blockchainÂ tech will disrupt what he described as a parasitic global banking oligopoly, asserting that â€œblockchain technologies and smart contracts will make it unnecessary to employ the vast majority of people in the financial sector.â€
Although he thinks the current â€œexplosive growth of DeFi platforms is driven by a rapid influx of liquidityâ€ and â€œcannot continue indefinitelyâ€ he says that nevertheless:
â€œThe technologies embedded in this infrastructure open up tremendous opportunities for rebuilding the global financial system.â€
Lebedev said thatÂ smart contractsÂ allow customers to access financial services â€œwithout the participation of an intermediary in the form of the bank itself,â€ preventing â€œgreedy bankersâ€ from stealing clientsâ€™ funds.
Lebedev alsoÂ revealedÂ he has invested $100,000 into an Estonia-based yield farming protocol as â€œan experimentâ€ and seemed surprised at the quick returns. He is now looking to establish an â€œIndependent Decentralized Financial Ecosystemâ€ of his own.
The platform will seek to offer â€œthe full range of services of traditional banks,â€ including â€œcurrency exchange, deposits, lending, settlement and cash services, [and] local and international transfers.â€
The former banker noted that global regulators are increasingly warming to crypto assets, citing recent moves to recognize stablecoins and security tokens on the part of German, Chinese, Swiss, and U.S lawmakers.
â€œThe next step will be the ‘digitalization’ of real assets, including production facilities, real estate, goods and services, with their holding in distributed ledgers.â€
Part of the reason for his belief in the potential of cryptocurrency is that in its current form, Lebedev asserts that the global financial system is â€œleading the world economy to disaster.â€
Lebedev devoted 25 years to banking and purchased Russiaâ€™s third-largest private bank, the National Reserve Bank in 1995. He claims to have observed a shift in contemporary banking practices among his competitors toward â€œpocketing clientsâ€™ money.â€ Lebedev added that thousands of Russian â€œbankstersâ€ have misappropriated â€œmore than $100 million of their clientsâ€™ moneyâ€ since the 1990s.
He said that â€œbillions of people are completely cut off from banking servicesâ€ due to their reduced access to financial resources, attributing their economic exclusion to the banking class having nothing to steal from them.
â€œPerhaps we are on the verge of a real revolution in the international financial system, and the end of the bankster.â€