Wednesday,22 May 2024

Sean Kiernan on blockchain: “Crypto bridges real-world capital needs”

5 min read
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Interviewed By Emmanuel Daniel

Banking innovator Sean Kiernan from Greengage discussed how they use crypto-collateralised loans to help SMEs, stressing the importance of partnerships, blockchain, and tokenisation for industry transformation.

  • Tailored lending approach to fill UK SME lending gap
  • Tokenisation reshapes the future of banking
  • Adopting Web3 hybrid banking model to empower SMEs

Sean Kiernan is the founder and CEO of Greengage, a digital merchant banking leader. The bank has some 70 accounts and GBP 100 million ($124 million) in lending, meeting diverse client needs through crypto-collateralised loans.

Kiernan previously served as COO and Interim CEO at Falcon Private Bank in London, where he launched pioneering crypto products. His career also included roles at Clariden Leu and Zurich Financial Services.

In an interview with Emmanuel Daniel, Kiernan shared insights on cryptocurrency as a vital link between the digital and traditional financial sectors. By leveraging crypto-assets, Greengage addresses real-world liquidity needs, offering innovative solutions to its clients.

Recognising the substantial lending gap of GBP 22 billion ($27 billion) for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK, Kiernan devised a solution: their advanced “credit library” matching system, a symbiotic approach that pairs lenders with SME clients, enabling small businesses to secure capital for development and expansion.

Kiernan is spearheading the integration of traditional banking with decentralised finance principles, marking a seminal initiative in the financial sector. His vision focuses on addressing the needs of SMEs, particularly in light of the challenges posed by de-banking trends. De-banking occurs when banks close or refuse accounts for clients seen as high-risk, often due to regulatory and compliance concerns. This can affect legitimate businesses, particularly SMEs, and in industries like cryptocurrency and fintech, limiting their access to essential banking services.

Greengage aims to revolutionise peer-to-peer lending by providing sophisticated underwriting solutions for larger loans ranging from GBP 1 million ($1.2 million) to GBP 25 million ($30 million).

At the heart of Greengage’s strategy is collaboration. Kiernan emphasises partnerships with regulated entities to navigate regulatory complexities. Despite challenges, Kiernan remains optimistic about the future of tokenisation in banking.

He emphasises the use of cryptocurrency to bridge the gap between digital and traditional finance. Platforms like Maple and Centrifuge are already paving the way for this emerging market, with Greengage playing a pivotal role in facilitating access.

Kiernan underscores the platform’s dedication to exploring financial products such as lending against cryptocurrency and tokenised deposits, initiatives that traditional wealth might overlook, emphasising the potential of digital solutions in finance.

Greengage’s model harnesses blockchain technology to offer secure lending solutions, reflecting its commitment to pushing the boundaries of traditional banking.  As Kiernan leads Greengage in pioneering the Web3 hybrid banking model, the company continues to empower SMEs and drive positive change in the financial landscape.


Keywords: De-banking, Fintech, Tokenised Private Credit, Anti Money-laundering, Web3, Traditional Banking, Peer-to-peer Lending, Crypto, Credit Library, Regulatory Framework, Fiat
Institutions: Greengage, Bank Of England, Coinbase, Maple, Centrifuge, Bank For International Settlements
Country: United Kingdom, Singapore
Region: EU, Southeast Asia
People : Sean Kiernan
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