Small Business Finance Industry Mulls Crypto, NFTs
As the crypto craze roars on, NFTs are starting to stake a claim in the finance world as a legitimate option for those looking to invest or stash money in a virtual space. The sports world recently took their swing at NFTs, and here at deBanked we minted NFTs of our own early this week. It seems that NFTs have sparked the interest of the media, athletes, and art enthusiasts— but in small business finance, the conversation is only in the early stages.
“I think of it more not so much as a currency, but from what I’ve been reading, more of an investment vehicle,” said Noah Grayson, President of South End Capital, when asked what he thinks an NFT represents. “It’s a way for people to put tangible items in a digital format to get ownership from.”
Grayson says those in his industry have brought up the topic around the office, but it hasn’t made its way into any type of business practices yet. “It’s tough to see how [NFTs] would affect the lending industry at this time, cryptocurrency is something a little more probable in the long term.”
Grayson stressed how difficult small business lending can already be with dollars, and it seems as though the industry just isn’t ready to start conducting business in other types of currencies. “When you consider that many small business owners have no credit score and a large portion of those still pay for things in cash, I think it’s going to be a long time before the industry as a whole considers [crypto] an option to make loans with or compensate partners [with] as a whole,” he said.
“I’d describe it as a digital asset that can be purchased, owned, and used by an individual, giving that individual exclusive rights to the asset,” said James Webster, CEO and founder of ROK Financial when asked how he would define an NFT. “Like any other asset, the price can go up or down over time.”
Although his company has never created an NFT themselves, Webster won’t eliminate the possibility for one in the future. With the interest of the industry and his employees being focused around crypto as of late, Webster can’t keep the crypto and NFT talk out of the office.
“We have a [clever] and nimble-minded staff at ROK. NFTs and crypto like other tradable assets are always being discussed and invested in here,” said Webster. “The team has been buying crypto for years now and I don’t see that slowing down any time soon.”
Webster believes it’ll inevitably make its way into the business with positive effects. “I see it streamlining, as well as making lending and banking for that matter more efficient over time,” he said.
At Velocity Capital Group, crypto has already seeped into the business. The company began offering commission payments to brokers this past August with an immediate positive reception. Velocity Capital Group CEO Jay Avigdor attributes “speed” as the primary use-case of crypto in his business.
“The feedback has been fantastic!” Avigdor said.
With crypto on the minds of fintech gurus everywhere, it’s evident its interest comes from the ability to put the technology in practice. Until these types of things can be borrowed, used to buy goods, or seen as a means of collateral at a mainstream level, the small business finance community will continue to eye their development and evolve if necessary.Last modified: October 22, 2021
Adam Zaki is a Reporter at deBanked. Connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter.