Anne Boden, founder and CEO of the Goldman Sachs-backed UK FinTech Starling Bank has doubled down on criticisms of crypto, calling digital currencies a threat to the safety of payment infrastructure. Cryptocurrencies are a threat to the safety of our payment schemes and very dangerous, she said at the Money 20/20 fintech conference in Amsterdam. Starling Bank offers fee-free checking accounts and loans through an app. The firm was last privately valued at $3.1 billion and counts the likes of Goldman and Fidelity as investors.
While other FinTech unicorns like Revolut embrace crypto and include it in their offering, Anne Boden and her Starling Bank have always been skeptical about digital assets. “Customers are being scammed,” the Starling CEO said. “We’re spending far more of our time protecting customers from the scammers than we are trying to promote crypto.”
Boden specifically pointed to the danger of linking crypto wallets to payment processing companies, which can make those companies and their consumers more vulnerable to scammers. A lot of crypto wallets would be connected directly to payment schemes and this would be a threat to the safety of our payment schemes around the world.”
Major payment processors are adopting cryptocurrencies. Visa and Mastercard opened their networks to digital assets, and PayPal recently announced that it will let users trade bitcoin and other cryptos.