Written by Logan

On November 10, 2021

Money20/20 Recap – big ideas, new partnerships, and more

The Metal team recently traveled to Money20/20 US – one of the largest FinTech events of the year, acting as a global meet-up of some of the biggest players in the world of finance. Investment funds, banks, payment processors, and cryptocurrency companies all mingled with each other, shared ideas, and shook hands on exciting new partnerships.

Metal stood out as a company that is perfectly positioned for the future of finance.

Massive enthusiasm for Metal

Each time our executives hosted a summit or spoke before an audience, we had a massive turnout – standing room only, in fact! With over 300 attendees from some of the most influential financial companies, we held the attention of an audience that are the movers and shakers of this space. Outside of these presentations, our team spoke with countless state and federal regulators, banking company executives, investors, and finance start-up founders who all expressed high enthusiasm and keen interest in Metal Pay, Proton, and everything we’re building here at Metal.

The Line-up

We brought some heavy-hitters to Money20/20 to discuss what we’re building and what’s coming next. Here’s a rundown of who spoke about what:

Marshall Hayner, Founder & CEO, Metal – The Intersection of TradFi and DeFi – How Blockchain Revolutionizes Banking

“Banking today is broken, it’s fundamentally broken. … Now it’s 2021, data breaches are prevalent, and we need a push-based system rather than a pull-based system.”

Banking has long been considered one of the areas of the financial system that is slowest to adapt to the changing economy. Tied down by legacy technology, the banking system is primed for a blockchain makeover that will allow it to accelerate the pace of innovation throughout our financial system. Banking is the lynchpin of countless industries, and we all benefit from better banks. Marshall Hayner, Co-founder and CEO of Metallicus, outlined exactly where blockchain technology will revolutionize banking, the key areas of opportunity for advancements in this space, and what work is already being done. Audience members took away from this presentation a deepened understanding of how banking and blockchain will coexist in a mutually-beneficial relationship in the near future.

After Marshall’s keynote, he received questions from executives of traditional financial institutions and appreciation from the attendees for explaining this future in a manner that educated them and brought ideas for growth to their companies and industries.

Irina Berkon
, CFO & Board Member, Metal – Understanding the Challenges of Blockchain Innovation for U.S. Financial Services Regulators
(Joined by: Michelle Bond, CEO, Association for Digital Asset Markets; and Bao Nguyen, Partner, Skadden.)

“Metal Pay is a digital fintech company from Silicon Valley … We have a very robust, very big, and pricey, compliance team because we are trying to do the right thing. … Just to put things into perspective: in our 60 person company, 8 of them are in compliance.”

Proponents of cryptocurrency have been skeptical of regulators since the very beginning of this industry, and it is not hard to see why. A general lack of understanding about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology has made it difficult to craft helpful regulations, and this perception has only been cemented during the most recent legislative period. In this discussion, Irina along with the panelists discussed the reasons regulation is required, how it should be perceived and followed and the roles the fintech companies play in bringing regulation to their businesses in a safe and sensible way. Also, the regulators on the panel discussed how the government organizations need to view innovation and promote its benefits within a regulated framework.

The panel concluded with a long line of curious fintech executives lining up to talk to the regulators, and regulators lining up to talk to the Metallicus team, as both see a benefit of working together.

Syed Jafri
, VP of Blockchain, Metal – How the Gap Between Centralized and Decentralized Finance is Closing
(Joined by: Neil Chopra, Business Solutions & Strategy, Fireblocks; and Trevor Marshall, CTO, Current.)

“Obviously, Proton for us can do all of these top things. We have multiple coins supported where users can stake coins, pull them in AAM type exchanges […] and all of these things have yield associated with them.”

While centralized finance and decentralized finance have traditionally been at odds with each other, this degree of antagonism is standing in the way of both financial models achieving broader success. Through the use of smart contracts, decentralized identities, and flexible blockchains, decentralized finance can secure and transmit data like never before. Centralized finance models benefit from a clear regulatory framework, decades of maturity and experience, and extremely high levels of capital. By combining the two financial models in synergistic ways, we can create a global economy that is more flexible, more accessible, and more capable than ever before.

Syed walked away from the panel being viewed as a thought leader and a pioneer of DeFi products, which resulted in a lot of interest in the Proton blockchain from the audience of the summit that quickly spread throughout the conference.

Lee Woolley
, Senior Executive, Metal; and Don Berk, Senior Executive, Metal – Old Bankers Discuss New Challenges in Crypto

“I think it should be easy. I really think this process should be easy. I was fortunate enough to have a breakfast audience with a United States Senator last week and this is what I said, that it should be easy. I said, if you look at a traditional bank […] on the crypto custody side, that’s a permissible activity too. And yet, why is a combination of the two of them so difficult?”

No strangers to the world of banking, Lee Woolley and Don Berk sat down to discuss how banking offers fresh challenges to the world of cryptocurrency, and how crypto companies interested in banking can prepare for what’s coming next. Their decades of experience shined through during this discussion, and banking officials in attendance who knew Lee and Don before their time at Metal were pleasantly surprised to see how these seasoned banking veterans are influencing the future of banking more now than ever before.

Having these banking experts on the Metallicus team brings us credibility and offers new perspective into the world of banking as we continue to pursue our goal of becoming a fully licensed bank. In return, bank executives are turning more and more to companies like Metallicus to make sure they are ahead of the game on understanding how banking will be innovated by new technology.

New partnerships in the works

Our team was thrilled to see how many companies came up to us after our talks, eager to discuss partnerships. For many of them, they had heard of Metal before this conference, and had been waiting for the perfect opportunity to start these conversations.

Some companies are interested in ways to integrate Metal Pay and Proton into their payroll system, offering their employees a way to be paid in cryptocurrency or cash while keeping their funds more accessible and flexible than ever before. Banks and financial service companies were interested in how we can help them expand their services to incorporate cryptocurrency investing and custody, something we were well-positioned to discuss.

New features on the way

We came away with ideas of our own, too! All of these discussions with industry experts and visionary teams inspired us to offer new features for our users. While we can’t give too many details yet, we want you to know that our team is already building new ways to use cryptocurrency in both Metal Pay and Proton Wallet – stay tuned to learn more!


There are more discussions happening about cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, and the future of finance than you could possibly imagine. Every financial company – even the ones that pretend not to care – have noticed what is happening in crypto and are making plans.

At the center of all of these conversations at Money20/20 was Metal and Proton. Our team was ready to answer questions, we had products to demonstrate live and hands-on, and our executives successfully shared our vision with anyone that would listen: a future where all forms of money are flexible, accessible, and safer than ever. Anyone who heard our vision understood that this wasn’t a far away dream – it was happening now, and they wanted to be part of it.

Interested in learning more about the world of Metal and Proton? Be sure to check out the blogs for both Metal and Proton, where you can read past analyses, quick how-to’s, and so much more. Be sure to follow Metal Pay and Proton on Twitter as well to stay up to date with the latest announcements, that’s one of the best ways to stay on top of future updates for our communities.

🤘 Your friends at Metal 🤘

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