Web3 in Financial Services Explainer

A Grounded Look at the Promise and Pitfalls for Payments, Lending, and Insurance Leaders

Executive Summary

Web3 promises a blockchain-based iteration of the internet that is decentralized and gives users control over personal data. Financial services incumbents risk getting left behind as fintechs flood the space—but they first must understand what Web3 really means and where it’s currently falling short.

In this report, we weigh financial service providers’ real Web3 opportunities (like institutional DeFi applications and serving as trusted fintech partners) against its significant barriers (like inherent cryptocurrency ties).


  1. What is Web3?
  2. What is the size of the Web3 opportunity for financial services providers, and how should they approach it in 2023?
  3. What are the most important use cases explored by front-runners today in payments, lending, and insurance?

KEY STAT: VCs fled crypto and piled into Web3 last year. Cumulative investing over Q1–Q3 2022 reached $13 billion, more than double the same period in 2021. But Web3 access requires crypto wallet usage, blurring the line between each space.

Here’s what’s in the full report


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1expert perspective

Insights from industry and company leaders.

    Table of Contents

    1. Executive Summary
    2. What is Web3?
    3. Hundreds of companies are building Web3—but not all are decentralized.
    1. Sizing Web3 shows a nascent but promising opportunity.
    2. What’s keeping Web3 from mainstream financial services adoption?
    3. How will Web3 impact different areas of financial services?
    1. Insider Intelligence Interviews
    2. Sources
    3. Media Gallery

    Interviewed for This Report

    Huy Nguyen Trieu
    Centre for Finance, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (CFTE)
    Interviewed January 27, 2023

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    Grace Broadbent, and Eleni Digalaki


    Tyler Brown
    Senior Analyst
    Caitlin Cahalan
    Researcher, Financial Services
    David Morris
    Principal Analyst