Curiosity about peer-to-peer lending, blockchain and fintech spiked among investors in 2016

By Moriah Costa on Friday 6 January 2017

Alternative Lending

Investors were keen to find out more about Trumponomics, peer-to-peer lending, blockchain and fintech during the tremulous year of post-truth.  

Peer-to-peer lending gained traction among investors last year, along with fintech and blockchain, after the Lending Club scandal plunged the sector into a crisis.

The three digital terms were among the top 10 financial terms selected by financial content site Investopedia for 2016.  

"2016 was a year of surprises – between the outcome of the U.S. presidential election to the Brexit vote in the U.K. And in times of uncertainty, people seek answers,” said David Siegel, CEO of Investopedia.

Interest in peer-to-peer lending has skyrocketed, with search term popularity doubling since last year, the site announced on Thursday. The term was ranked number four. Fintech, ranked fifth, is set to increase in popularity in 2017 as traditional financial institutions have explored and invested in the new technology.  The digital transformation of the financial world is “poised to be another winner for industry,” the research site stated.

Blockchain was ranked second and is one of the top 50 terms on the website as banks and institutions explore ways to use the ledge technology to ease financial transactions. Bitcoin, which uses blockchain technology to create a digital currency, jumped to over $1,000 per virtual coin on Jan. 3.

The number one term was Trumponomics, sparked by U.S. Presidential-elect Donald Trump’s promise to make America great again.

These terms are likely to set investment strategy in 2017 with many flocking to understand Trump’s policy proposals or lack of, said Caleb Silver, editor in chief at Investopedia.

"Trump's legacy is yet to be determined but his impact on investing and economic policy is unmistakable," he said.

The terms are selected annually by Investopedia editors and take into account investor interest, trends and news. Other words selected for 2016 include NAFTA, the U.S. Dodd-Frank regulatory reform bill, and Trumpflation.

Globally, the interest in terms like blockchain and fintech also rose, according to Google Trends. Interest in blockchain doubled in 2016. Fintech interest also rose but was relatively lower than interest in blockchain.

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