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  • @fintechna 12:18 am on March 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , bitcoin, , , , ,   

    Bitcoin Is Now Worth More than Gold 

    : $ 1,252.91. : $ 1,239.20. Guys. That’s right: currently, bitcoin is an ounce of gold (but you should probably keep buying gold). Gold, upon which we pretty much based our entire system of financial exchange. The only other time this has happened since bitcoin’s creation by anonymous legend Satoshi Nakamoto—who may or may [&;]
    Bank Innovation

  • @fintechna 12:18 pm on February 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , bitcoin, , , , Halted,   

    Halted BTC Exchanges Could Lead to Chinese Mt. Gox 

    $ 1K is no more &; this barely a day after three of the most popular currency issued statements warning users against exchanging with the currency. The exchanges BTCC, OkCoin, and Huobi issued identical statements on their sites warning users of the high risk of bitcoin and citing theirRead More
    Bank Innovation

  • @fintechna 12:18 pm on February 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Altcoins, bitcoin, , Hash, ,   

    Investors Bet on Altcoins by Buying Hash Power 

    is notoriously volatile, making it dangerous to use it as a currency. That fraction of a coin that buys you a pizza this week might bring two the next (though you would starve if you waited that long.) Bitcoin&;s value began 2017 around $ 430 and is now around $ 960. ThisRead More
    Bank Innovation

  • @fintechna 12:18 am on January 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bitcoin, , , , Trademark,   

    What’s in an Ethereum Trademark? (Money) 

    It turns out, brand recognition is one of the few things that works the same on or off a . Grayscale Investments, the Digital Currency Group investment company in the news for publicly listing its investment trust or GBTC fund on the NYSE, is in the spotlight again. ThisRead More
    Bank Innovation

  • @fintechna 12:18 pm on January 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , bitcoin, Bursts, , ,   

    Bitcoin Bursts onto NYSE in $500 Million IPO 

    Start the line now, people— is now available on the New York Stock Exchange. Grayscale Investments, a New York based subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, today filed to list its fund, Bitcoin Investment Trust (look for GBTC on the ), on the exchange for a public offering of $ 500 .Read More
    Bank Innovation

  • @fintechna 12:18 pm on January 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: #Bitcoin1000, bitcoin, , , ,   

    How Long Will #Bitcoin1000 Last? 

    certainly celebrated the New Year right. Crossing over into 2017, the original topped $ 1,000 US in value, just in time for its birthday (yesterday marked the anniversary of the day the genesis block of the bitcoin was created by the still-elusive Satoshi Nakamoto.) This also marks theRead More
    Bank Innovation

  • @fintechna 11:35 pm on December 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , bitcoin, , , , ,   

    The Blockchain explained to my VP (and my President-CTO) 

    The Blockchain explained to my VP (and my President-CTO) Blockchain

    Last week I was contracted by my last employer before I retired, a world-class satellite operator in Luxembourg, to do a training on satellite business and — it’s always a pleasure to meet old friends again. I had the opportunity to discuss with 2 VPs who asked me about the and how it can be useful for the satellite and space industry. It was a nice opportunity to discuss about what the blockchain is useful for, instead of the usual speech on what the blockchain is.

    I made a 1-minute elevator pitch, which proved itself interesting enough that we chained on a 15-minute coffee explanation immediately after that. Note: This has also been checked by my former President 🙂

    Executive Summary – 1-minute elevator pitch

    • Today’s services bookkeeping and reporting rely heavily on the double-entry ledger.
    • This method of bookkeeping is a kind of manual checksum that has been invented in 13th century to support the lucrative wool trade across Europe. Doing this, each of the parties maintain their view of the ledger and the counterpart’s view, and both views must balance (“reconciliation”)
    • Mathematically speaking, the number of links among n parties grows as n-square in a peer-to-peer organisation, while it grows much more slowly (only logarithmically) in an hierarchical organisation.
    • So the double-entry ledger favoured a centralised model of trade, with layers of intermediairies, but also generated a need for regulations and auditing. Today’s entire financial world actors, regulators and auditors are organised from this double-entry ledger of the 13th century.
    • The blockchain brings back the simplicity of the single-entry ledger (journal) and peer-to-peer transactions protected by cryptographic primitives from glitches, from errors in operations sequencing or from deliberate frauds. We take full advantage of the speed of communication and of the calculation accuracy of computers.
    • But despite its great promises of simplification and cost reduction, its adoption may be hindered by the threat of disruption of the existing organization (actors, regulators, auditors).
    • Outside the finance world, every day-to-day activity that would be essentially peer-to-peer may benefit from the blockchain. The has the most success currently, but its blockchain is dedicated to crypto-currency transactions, while Ethereum and other blockchain platforms, being Turing-complete, have more potential.
    • Some examples of peer-to-peer activity: housing swaps, hotel rooms or airplane seats booking, spare parts tracking in airliners maintenance, tracking freight containers load, individual healthcare history, real estate transactions, proficiency certification of non-commercial pilots, mutuel pension funds, mutuel health funds, micro-insurance, micro-finance etc.

    What are the problems that the blockchain solves?

    The blockchain is best known through its impact on financial services, so we’ll start with this application before moving to other fields.

    The of keeping accurate records of commercial transactions existed since the Egyptians, but was not solved satisfactorily until back in the Middle Age. At that time, Flanders was the center of the wool textile industry. Merchants all over Europe bought the finest wool clothes there and retailed them to the richest families in the rest of Europe. Payment was done partly with various currencies, partly in kind. Some were done cash, some were paid at term.

    Let’s take the example of a wool merchant located in Munich, with subsidiaries in Paris, in Frankfurt, in Warsaw, and local representatives and warehouses in Bruges, in Brussels, in London. At that time, communication was done at the speed of a walking man, at best of a galloping horse.

    The problems were:

    • how to keep track of the amounts owed by customers, as well as owed to suppliers, in different locations?
    • how to keep accurately inventory of goods at different warehouses with their delivery status and synchronise the information among locations?
    • how to make sure that the same piece of cloth in Bruges warehouse is not sold simultaneously by both the Paris agent and the headquarters in Munich? accessorily how to make sure that the same piece of cloth has not been smuggled out and falsely booked as sold to someone?

    One could use a single-entry ledger per location, a journal, to record each operation. But it was very difficult to detect when and where an error would occur, until it would create an inconsistency with the rest. During the 13th century the double-entry ledger started to be used (the Farolfi ledger of 1299 in Nîmes, France). In such a ledger, each transaction would appear twice, once in the column of credit (where the article came from) and once in the column of debit (where it went). With this method, each transaction could be double-checked, making sure that any flow of goods or money has a starting point and an ending point, and that the total of both parties were equal (balanced). We can see it as the ancestor of a checksum :-).

    In practice, the journal would still be used to record the transactions and, at the end of the day, the accountant would copy and dispatch the transactions in the double-entry ledgers, identifying the origin and destination of each movement, making sure that all accounts were balanced after each operation and matched the journal (reconciliation).

    In 1495, an Italian named Luca Pacioli formalised in a printed book the details of the method and made it popular (Gutenberg’s first book was 1439). So popular that this double-entry ledger is still the basis of today’s accounting practices, of today’s official regulations, and of today’s financial processes. It is so deeply embedded in the commercial practices that the most recent payment settlement automation efforts of the Bank of England, of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and of the Australian New Payment Platform faithfully reproduced this process.

    I met concretely the reality of this kind of issues when I accepted to be treasurer of the Luxembourg Air Museum in Mondorf. This non-lucrative association has one bank account, one petty cash box for operations, one petty cash box for the Museum (selling tickets and souvenirs). It has also an inventory of postcards, DVDs, catalogs and wine bottles bearing the logo of the Museum. I use the bank account to receive subsidies and to pay suppliers. I use the cash boxes to feed the bank account, and I track the inventories. Considering the limited activity of the Museum, we do the bookkeeping ourselves instead of hiring an accountant. I discovered thus the mysteries of manipulating double-entry ledgers, inventories and journals.

    What are the steps involved in a financial transaction?

    To follow the steps of a transaction, let’s imagine I received an SMS from the president of the association “let’s take 100 € from our account to the petty cash box of the Museum“.

    • Step1 – submission: the president sent me a transaction request. In this case it is a SMS. For a bank transaction it could be submitted either with a check (in France or in UK), or a money transfer in the other countries. Generated from paper or directly by web banking, a formatted electronic message is sent to the bank’s payment system. For large amounts between , the interbank SWIFT messaging network would be used (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication).
    • Step2 – validation: I checked that the SMS came indeed from the president. A bank would check that the accounts of the payer and beneficiary indeed exist. It would check the syntax, verify that the amount is within some threshold, control an authorised signature etc.
    • Step3 – confirmation: I checked that Museum’s bank account had enough balance for me to withdraw 100 €. In real life, the bank would check the account balance, the regulatory status of the transfer (reporting threshold, exchange control etc.)
    • Step4 – settlement: I withdrew the amount and fed the Museum petty cash box. For a bank transaction, one account would be credited and the counterpart would be debited.

    Now that the payment is settled, comes the serious job: I have to record the operation in my journal, update the double-entry ledgers of the Museum’s account and of the petty cash box (in my case they are simply 3 worksheets of the same Excel file) and make sure that both have their double-entry balanced. At the end of the month, I’d verify that the bank statement carries the same amount as in my journal.

    On the bank’s side, in addition to keeping the equivalent books for the Museum’s account (journal, general ledger) it has also to keep an archive of the transaction, add it to the monthly reporting to the authorities for Anti-Money Laundering purposes etc.

    • Now what if I, the Museum M, have to pay a supplier S; and if M has an account in Bank A and S has an account in Bank B? In its simplest form, in cascade, Bank A would debit M and credit Bank B, and Bank B would debit Bank A and credit S. The double avalanche of updates and archives and reporting as above would also be unrolled.
    • What if between Bank A and Bank B there is no commercial relationship? The would be to involve a Bank C who would have relationship with both Bank A and Bank B. There comes another avalanche of updates and archives and reporting.
    • What if Bank B goes bankrupt before S is credited but after having received the credit from Bank A or Bank C? The answer is to involve a Central Bank that would never go bankrupt. We have another avalanche of updates and archives and reporting.
    • What if at the end of the day, there has been 200 billions Euros worth of transactions between the nation-wide set of 200 banks? Would all the 20’100 possible pairs of banks proceed to the mutual transfers knowing that the total compensated amounts will be much smaller? The solution is a common Chamber of Compensation (for example Clearstream) that would simply debit each bank of the difference. We have another avalanche of updates and archives and reporting.

    All this complexity was progressively built because initially the double-entry ledger was invented to do somehow a manual and medieval version of a checksum.

    Side note: all payment services Fintechs actually handle steps 1, 2 and 3, the easiest and most lucrative ones. Step 4 and the actual burden of complexity are still left to banks. This is why the European Payment Directive (PSD2) calls these services “Payment Initiator Services”, not “Payment Services”.

    Today the computing power is such that an iPhone 6 has 115 GFLOPs while a Cray-2 (a super computer of 1989) had only 2 GFLOPs. A GFLOP is one billion floating-point operations per second. And with the Internet, information travels at the speed of light, not at the speed of a galloping horse. In the same time we are still doing banking operations as if calculations were done manually, and indeed hundreds of thousands of accountants are still employed to verify manually on the double-entry ledgers the tricky cases generated by manual entry. Let’s go back to the initial questions and see how the blockchain solves them.

    How does the blockchain solve these problems?

    To start with, by definition the blockchain is a set of data that is shared by all computers (“nodes”) that participate as peers to a blockchain network and use the same blockchain protocol executed by a “client” software.

    How to keep track of the amounts owed by customers and owed to suppliers in different locations?

    Each participating node receives a copy of all transactions. It executes steps 1, 2, 3 and 4 above and share the result with peers.

    • Step1 – submission: this is solved with the blockchain by purely data network transmission.
    • Step2 – validation: cryptographic primitives are used to validate signatures; they involve heavy computing. It is part of the blockchain protocol and done by all nodes.
    • Step3 – confirmation: checking that there are sufficient funds to pay the transaction is part of the blockchain protocol and done by all nodes.
    • Step4 – settlement: the updated balances (or outputs of the transaction) are broadcast over the network to all other participating nodes and a consensus is build to record the settlement.

    How to keep accurately inventory of goods at different warehouses and their delivery status and synchronise the information between locations?

    Because the computation is now done electronically by the same “client” software, any discrepancy between nodes may come from a computing glitch, or from a difference in the sequence of execution of transactions: some nodes may receive transaction B before transaction A and other nodes in the reverse sequence.

    Addressing a computing glitch is easy: the faulty node is isolated and the corresponding result is rejected by peers. Handling a discrepancy in sequence is more subtle because there may be a minority subset of nodes that agree on a diverging sequence.

    The blockchain protocol states that if nodes achieve different results, they would all agree to chose randomly one of them to be right. This is called the “consensus”: the others discard their calculations and use the result of the chosen one. There are many ways to achieve consensus, the most widely used is the “proof of work”: the competing nodes try randomly to find a number that satisfies a given property. It may takes billions of billions of trials before finding it. The first node who finds a solution wins the consensus.

    How to make sure that the same piece of cloth in Bruges warehouse is not sold simultaneously by both the Paris agent and the headquarters in Munich?

    This can happen by coincidence in time, or by deliberate fraud. It is called “double-spending”. The blockchain protocol solves this problem by using a cryptography primitive called a “hash”. A hash of a document proves that it has not been modified. It is very difficult to forge but very easy to verify. We talked above about the “proof of work”: it consists of collecting a number of transactions together in a “block” and calculating a hash of it, as part of the work of finding a random number. If a block is modified, a verification of the hash will reveal it immediately. The blocks are “chained”, i.e. each block contains the hash of the previous block. If this previous one is modified, its hash changes and therefore the content of the next block also is, as well as the hash of this next etc. As a result, the whole (block)chain would reveal this single change.

    If the double-spending incident happened by coincidence, the problem is similar to the above: it is a matter of sequencing, so the transaction that gets first its block approved by the general consensus is the only one valid.

    If the double-spending was done on purpose for fraud, subsequently to the first spending being approved, the cheater will issue a second spending of the same good and this must also be approved, and at the same time somehow the block containing the first spending needs to be invalidated.

    However, because this previous block has already been approved by consensus and chained to other blocks, the cheating node that wants to invalidate that block must build a variant chain faster than the rest of the community. This means it needs more computing power than the rest of the community. It is not impossible, but economically very unrealistic because of the cost versus benefit of such cheating.

    As a result, there is a minimal need for auditing and verification from a higher authority because of the consensus is always achieved among all actors.

    So is the blockchain only good for financial transactions?

    If we take a step back and look at the big picture, the general problems that the blockchain solves are:

    • how can we track the inflows and outflows of something (money or token), among a large number of peer actors?
    • how can we protect against a quasi-simultaneous commitment (spending) of this “something” by 2 or several actors or by a same fraudulent one?

    Does it sound familiar to you?

    • have you ever been victim of an airline seat overbooking?
    • how can a tour operator makes sure that a hotel room has not been booked twice?
    • how can a peer-to-peer Uber reservation avoid that the same taxi be booked to 2 clients?
    • how can an air traffic controller be sure that another flight sector has not assigned the same flight level and same route than his, to another plane?
    • how to track over the lifetime of an liner aircraft the spare parts replaced gradually and independently by different airlines and repair shops? Airbus has 7000 subcontractors.
    • how to simplify registration and declaration of all customised add-ons equipments to homebuilt and kit aircrafts made by passionate “homebuilders“, instead of today’s heavy process of paper work and local inspection made by Civil Aviation delegates or private Quality Control agencies.
    • how about letting each private pilot log their hours in a blockchain and letting the doctors log the medical certificates of these pilots, both of which naturally confirms their proficiency for flying, instead of spending time and effort of all national aviation agencies to certify them, controlling an activity that is non-commercial.
    • how to track individually the placement of identified satellite parts in subsystems by subcontractors?
    • how to make sure that the same KWh from a solar array has not been sold to 2 different clients?
    • how to guarantee that a house has not been sold simultaneously by 2 remote real estate agents?
    • how to keep track of the loading of a fleet of container ships by peer forwarder stations?
    • etc, etc.

    All these problems have already been solved today by introducing some central coordination and distributed databases, which may be suited below a certain number of stakeholders and become polynomially complex when this number grows. But such centralisation is a source of failure, is of error-prone complexity and is a target for attacks. Above a certain volume and number of more or less independent actors, these problems would benefit from a peer-to-peer solution, and the resulting system would gain in flexibility, efficiency and resilience.

    Why did the financial services become the first application of the blockchain?

    • Since beginning of mankind, everybody uses some sort of financial service, every day. It’s an ideal peer-to-peer candidate application.
    • The lack of a satisfactory technology to detect and correct distributed mistakes fostered the creation of a multi-layered centralised system.
    • Then the centralisation and aggregation of transactions lead to huge movements of funds…
    • … and huge financial flows created a need for strict regulations, to detect and punish frauds.
    • A transformation into a peer-to-peer model needs significant changes in regulations and may deeply transform the financial industry.

    Which one of the above use cases are better candidates than the finance industry for blockchain transformation? Probably none. That’s why the first applications of blockchain were in this field. But all the other examples can at some stage take profit of the blockchain technology.

    The Bitcoin, the first well known blockchain platform, has been designed specifically for monetary transactions with a remarkable incentivizing scheme to support its use. This is why it is so successful. The Ripple blockchain platform has also been designed for monetary transactions. The Ethereum blockchain platform is more ambitious and targets to be universal. The task is huge and the product takes time to mature, but ultimately, it would not be limited to financial transactions and support the other use cases cited above.

    What else?

    If Ethereum succeeds, the question is “would it make sense to store in the same public blockchain the information of all the above use cases, and more (for example trading Pokemon-Go characters)“? Probably not. This is why there would be most certainly in the future

    • one public (Bitcoin or Ethereum or other) blockchain that supports public peer-to-peer trading Pokemon tokens, DVD cassettes, antique stamps, collector vynils, house swaps (AirBnB), car transportation services etc.,
    • and a number of private and restricted Ethereum-based (or not based) blockchains to manage more confidential matters.

    To cite only the current contributions to the open source Hyperledger project, that pave the road for different types of blockchains, we have today:

    But talking about them will be another discussion, that I’ll have with the same ex-colleagues VPs of the space industry, or with others.

    is Blockchain & Ethereum practitioner and this article was originally published here.

  • @fintechna 3:35 am on December 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , bitcoin, , Common, Diamonds, , , , , ,   

    Diamonds, UNICEF and The Music Industry, What Do They Have In Common? 

    Luis Carranza, founder of Worldwide and organiser of London Blockchain Week discusses and Distributed Ledger (DLT) in 2017

    There’s been a lot of talk about blockchain over the past year. Sometimes I think back to when I opened the first Blockchain Conference back in 2015, and the look of bewilderment on people’s faces as tried to get their heads around my chosen focus. ‘Don’t you mean ?’ they used to say.

    But the distributed ledger technology that was initially overlooked as the underlying tech that facilitated bitcoin transactions soon rose to prominence and is now being discussed at a global level by key players and not just in the financial sector. Investors, developers and entrepreneurs have recognised the versatility of Blockchain and its potential for greater transactional speed, security and simplicity.

    PSD2 and Blockchain

    As the relationship between countries fragments, blockchain will take a leading role in financial services, notably cross border payments and trade finance, and leading concepts that have been in the making will see the necessary investment that lifts them off the page and into fruition. The planned revisions to PSD2 in 2018 will undoubtedly lead to stronger relationships between and fintech start-ups over the coming year.

    Closer to home, the UK government will take centre stage as the driving force behind blockchain development. This year saw Credits awarded the first G-cloud blockchain platform-as-a-service agreement by the government &; a major step forward in public sector acceptance of the technology.

    Diamonds, UNICEF and The Music Industry, What Do They Have In Common? fintech

    Luis Carranza, founder of Fintech Worldwide and organiser of London Blockchain Week discusses Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) in 2017

    There’s no doubt more UK government funding will be pumped into blockchain, in a report on the subject, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Mark Walport, wrote: &;distributed ledger technology has the potential to redefine the relationship between government and citizens in terms of data-sharing, transparency and trust,&; which accurately sums up the benefits for wider society, from healthcare to pensions.

    Something that’s impossible to miss is the wide variety of sectors that blockchain is applicable to. Supply chain transparency and simplicity of asset transfer make it a popular point of focus for industries that rely on provenance, such as the diamond trade. To have an immutable ledger that traces the authenticity of precious materials all the way back to their inception is of obvious benefit and investors will no doubt be pouring money into platforms that confirm attribution and improve logistics.

    Cut out the middle men, Brexit and Trump&8230;

    Systems that cut out the middle men, streamline processes, cut costs and prevent fraud are of natural interest to sectors that count the pennies. With charities, large scale aid and infrastructure projects always see a percentage fall through the cracks. The digitisation of aid will continue as organisations like work on projects (e.g. Donercoin) to increase transparency in global aid.

    Additionally, the creative industries, historically underfunded and plagued by complex revenue streams, will look to the support of big names to promote blockchain as a means for ensuring artists are paid fairly and digital content is accurately measured and attributed to the right parties, taking blockchain into the mainstream.

    2017 is set to be a year of many uncertainties: Article 50 & Brexit, global markets, Trump… but the one thing that you can be sure about is that fintech will play a big part in helping to overcome some of the bigger obstacles that we face, and London will lead the way, as it always has, with innovation and expertise in developing new technology.

    Diamonds, UNICEF and The Music Industry, What Do They Have In Common? fintech

    Blockchain Week kicks off with the Hack-The-Block Blockchain Hackathon at Launch 22. Followed by a two day conference at The Grange Tower Bridge Hotel. The first day will focus on Crypto/Bitcoin/Public Blockchain, while the second day will focus on Blockchain/DLT in hybrid and public ledgers. Get 20% Discount With Code: &8220;FTSW&8220;. Register NOW!

    The post Diamonds, UNICEF and The Music Industry, What Do They Have In Common? appeared first on Fintech Schweiz Digital Finance News – FintechNewsCH.

    Fintech Schweiz Digital Finance News – FintechNewsCH

  • @fintechna 3:35 pm on December 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , bitcoin, , Books, Christmas, , , , , ,   

    12 New Fintech Books To Offer This Christmas 

    is coming and if you are a junky, you might want to ask your friends, boss and relatives for one (or more) of the following fintech .

    These books, which have all been released in the past six months, cover every aspect of fintech from digital payments, mobile to and Big Data.

    For books that were released earlier, you can check article or have a look on our Fintech Book Page.

    12 New Fintech Books To Offer This Christmas fintech

    Blockchain: Blockchain, Smart Contracts, Investing in Ethereum, FinTech

    by Jeff Reed

    12 New Fintech Books To Offer This Christmas fintechBlockchain: Blockchain, Smart Contracts, Investing in Ethereum, FinTech by Jeff Reed combines four of his best-selling books, all covering blockchain technology and fintech. These are:

    Blockchain: The Essential Guide to Understanding the Blockchain Revolution

    Blockchain is far more than technology, and even in its infancy, it is taking the world by storm, from major to the U.S. Department of Defense. This book is a comprehensive guide to blockchain, helping you understand what it is and why it matter.

    Smart Contracts: The Essential Guide to Using Blockchain Smart Contracts for Exchange

    This book explains the fundamentals of Smart Contracts and how they work. The practical uses of Smart Contracts are enumerated in this book and you will also learn how you can make your own Smart Contracts in the Ethereum system. You will also get tips on how you can make your Smart Contacts easy to understand and user-friendly. This book also covers some of the myths surrounding smart contracts and the reasons why they exist.

    Investing in Ethereum: The Essential Guide to Profiting from Cryptocurrencies

    This book explains the reasons to invest in Ethereum and not just because of the potential ROI, but also the benefits of cryptocurrencies in themselves. The overall risks, obstacles, and major changes in Ethereum will also be addressed. There are over 1,000 cryptocurrencies that currently exist, it’s important to choose wisely and understand everything you can if you’re going to be putting real money into the blockchain.

    FinTech: Financial Technology and Modern Finance in the 21st Century

    This book will introduce you to the basics of FinTech and equip you with the knowledge to get on the cutting edge of age we live in today. It covers the impact of fintech on the global economy, the payment ecosystem, fintech solutions in the business-to-business sector, fintech and investing, and much more.


    FinTech: The Beginner&8217;s Guide To Financial Technology

    by Jacob William

    12 New Fintech Books To Offer This Christmas fintechThe term “FinTech” is shrouded a mystery, even to more tech-savvy individuals. Since it’s such a new innovation, much about it, as well as where it’s heading is still unknown.

    In FinTech: The Beginner&8217;s Guide To Financial Technology, Jacob William explains what FinTech is, why it matters to everyone, future predictions about it, possible dangers, and its origins and history.

    This book will give you the information you seek in a digestible and easy-to-follow format. No prior knowledge of technical subjects is necessary because understandable examples are given throughout.

    Learning more about something that is so prevalent in our society is undeniably beneficial whether you are a business owner, technology enthusiast, or just a curious layman.


    FinTech: The Impact and Influence of Financial Technology on Banking and the Finance Industry

    by Richard Hayen

    12 New Fintech Books To Offer This Christmas fintechWe’re in the middle of the FinTech revolution, and it’s a big one. Everything that we know about the world of finance is changing before us. Innovation is constantly happening. FinTech: The Impact and Influence of Financial Technology on Banking and the Finance Industry is going to help you get up to speed on all of the change that’s happened and the things that are important right now.

    This book is going to teach you about several things, including the fintech sector and its impact on traditional banking, on the global economy, and on the world at large.

    It will teach you about cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, blockchain technology, -advisors, peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding, but also about the state of FinTech and where it is heading.


    Blockchain: 4 Manuscripts—Blockchain, Fintech, Investing in Ethereum, and Smart Contracts

    by Oscar Flynt

    12 New Fintech Books To Offer This Christmas fintechBlockchain: 4 Manuscripts—Blockchain, Fintech, Investing in Ethereum, and Smart Contracts combines four of Oscar Flynt&;s books covering blockchain technology, fintech, Ethereum and smart contracts:

    Blockchain: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding the Hidden Economy

    Blockchains are changing everything from banking, shopping, peer-to-peer exchange, and our daily lives as a whole. Those who learn blockchain and how to utilize them will have a preemptive jump on their competition. You’ll discover how to use them, their shortcomings, all about smart contracts, and much more.

    FinTech: Understanding Financial Technology and its Radical Disruption of Modern Finance

    This book covers everything from future trading, online banking, conducting business, daily living, and much more. You’ll discover the exciting opportunities that await in the coming years and how you can capitalize on them.

    Investing in Ethereum: The Ultimate Guide to Learning—and Profiting from—Cryptocurrencies

    Ethereum is one of the most profitable and promising platforms to trade cryptocurrency on to date. In this book you’ll learn all about this amazing platform, how to trade on it, how set up smart contracts, and how to program the right software to use it.

    Smart Contracts: How to use Blockchain Smart Contracts for Cryptocurrency Exchange

    Smart contracts are speculated to lower legal disputes, re-structure banking and finance, and change the way people shop and make money forever. This book will teach you how to create them.


    Bankruption: How Community Banking Can Survive Fintech

    by John Waupsh

    12 New Fintech Books To Offer This Christmas fintechCommunity banking can flourish in the face of fintech and global competition with a fresh approach to strategy. Bankruption: How Community Banking Can Survive Fintech offers a survival guide for community banks and credit unions searching for relevance amidst immense global competition and fintech startups.

    Author John Waupsh is the Chief Innovation Officer at Kasasa, where he helps spearhead financial product development and implementation across hundreds of institutions.

    In this guide, he draws on more than a decade in the industry to clear, practical advice for competing with the megabanks, direct banks, non-banks, and financial technology companies.


    Fintech: Financial Technology Beginner Guide CherryTree Style

    by Mark Jobs

    12 New Fintech Books To Offer This Christmas fintechFinTech, or financial technology, a financial technology service industry, is defined as &;innovation in financial services&; by National Digital Research Centre. With $ 138 billion market opportunity in the United States, FinTech has become a hot topic for entrepreneurs, visionaries and investors. However, with it&8217;s rapid growth, little in-depth information can be found regarding to FinTech, especially the relationship between FinTech and wealth management.

    Fintech: Financial Technology Beginner Guide CherryTree Style aims at demystifying fintech, providing a comprehensive overview of the industry, the impact of fintech in different sectors, the leading fintech players, among other things.


    Blockchain: Blueprint to Dissecting The Hidden Economy!- Smart Contracts, Bitcoin and Financial Technology

    by Tony Scott

    12 New Fintech Books To Offer This Christmas fintechBlockchain: Blueprint to Dissecting The Hidden Economy!- Smart Contracts, Bitcoin and Financial Technology provides informative and easy tips that will let you know everything you need to know about the hidden economy and how to capitalize on this amazing technology.

    The book covers blockchain technology, smart contracts, fintech, among many other topics.

    It breaks training down into easy-to-understand modules and starts from the very beginning of blockchain, so you can get great results &; even as a beginner.


    Digital Banking Tips: Practical Ideas for Disruptors! 2nd Edition

    by Tolga Tavlas

    12 New Fintech Books To Offer This Christmas fintechDeveloping a digital banking presence is a daunting task, especially when you consider the financial resources and education needed to achieve telephone, online, mobile, and other digital banking capabilities.

    Digital Banking Tips: Practical Ideas for Disruptors! 2nd Edition is a quick and easy read that provides you with tips that are simple to implement, and which will help you through the process.

    Even if your company has been offering digital banking services, this book can help you build out that part of your business further by assisting with areas such as identifying users&8217; needs, increase usage, improve systems, multi-channel business needs, among other topics.


    Blockchain: The Comprehensive Guide to Mastering the Hidden Economy

    by Timothy Short

    12 New Fintech Books To Offer This Christmas fintechBlockchain: The Comprehensive Guide to Mastering the Hidden Economy provides you everything you need to know about blockchain technology including how it was created and where it is likely to be headed in the near future.

    You will also learn how to tell if a blockchain distributed database can replace your current database as well as how to create one and common mistakes to avoid while doing so.

    In this book, you will find:

    • Arguments against blockchain and how and why they are misguided
    • The best ways to put blockchain to use for you
    • The many impressive uses for smart contracts and even how to make your own
    • And much more…


    Frontiers of Financial Technology: Expeditions in future commerce, from blockchain and digital banking to prediction markets and beyond

    by David Shrier (Author), Alex Pentland (Editor)

    12 New Fintech Books To Offer This Christmas fintechFinancial technology innovation has exploded in the popular consciousness, and promises a radical transformation of the global financial services industry. Over US$ 20 billion is expected to be invested in fintech projects in 2016.

    MIT Professor Alex Pentland is joined by fintech intrapreneur and educator David Shrier in curating an exploration of several major trends and technologies that are changing the face of financial services.

    Co-authors include Deven Sharma, the former President of S&P, and Alex Lipton, the former head of quantitative analytics for Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

    From blockchain to artificial intelligence, this series of articles helps the reader grapple with this exciting area of technology innovation.


    Blockchain: Quick Start Guide to Understanding Blockchain, the Biggest Revolution in Financial Technology and Beyond Since the Internet

    by Seth Ramsey

    12 New Fintech Books To Offer This Christmas fintechBlockchain is a revolutionary technology that was created for bitcoin, but has since found a wide variety of other applications from ecommerce and retail, to securing health care records, to maintaining all kinds of important databases.

    Chances are your life has already been impacted by a blockchain database. The influence of blockchain continue to grow exponentially in the coming years, leading some people to call it the greatest technological revolution since the internet.

    Blockchain: Quick Start Guide to Understanding Blockchain, the Biggest Revolution in Financial Technology and Beyond Since the Internet provides a quick start to understanding how blockchain technology works. The book explores the opportunities and challenges related to distributed ledgers and what&8217;s to expect in the future for the technology.


    Fintech: Financial Technology &8211; 2 Manuscripts &8211; Bitcoin & Blockchain

    by Luke Sutto

    12 New Fintech Books To Offer This Christmas fintechFintech: Financial Technology &8211; 2 Manuscripts &8211; Bitcoin & Blockchain combines two books:

    Bitcoin Trading &8211; A Complete Beginner&8217;s Guide

    Bіtсоіn Trаdіng: A Beginner’s Guіdе to a Strategic Trading & Invеѕtіng offers іnѕіghtѕ into this vital subject mаttеr rеlаtіng to financial іndереndеnсе. Thіѕ book рrеѕеntѕ an exploration into thе іntrісаtе but profitable wоrld оf Bіtсоіn trаdіng thrоugh аn еxрlісіt аnаlуѕіѕ оf the nіttу-grіttу as wеll аѕ expounding on its mоduѕ operandi ѕо as tо bеttеr еduсаtе trаdеrѕ аnd investors аlіkе оn thе bеѕt роѕѕіblе wауѕ tо mіnіmіzе thеіr rіѕkѕ whіlе аt the same tіmе, rеwаrdѕ аrе bеіng mаxіmіzеd.

    Blockchain &8211; A Complete Beginner&8217;s Guide

    Bitcoins as a game changer have virtually set people&8217;s imagination into flight. Bitcoins are based on the blockchain technology. Increased exploration of the further uses of blockchain technologies have showed that there is immense promise in blockchain technologies.

    The post 12 New Fintech Books To Offer This Christmas appeared first on Fintech Schweiz Digital Finance News – FintechNewsCH.

    Fintech Schweiz Digital Finance News – FintechNewsCH

  • @fintechna 4:54 am on December 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , bitcoin, , , macro, , , ,   

    2017 Fintech Predictions – the year of macro risks 

    It is this time of again where most of us willingly and willfully make fools out of ourselves trying to predict the future of our industry. The momentous electoral events we have witnessed and those coming up in remind me that, even more so for the next 12 months, will rule and influence the state of financial services and . I will limit myself to comments pertaining to the US and Europe.

    2017 Fintech Predictions - the year of macro risks fintech

    I have already attempted to decipher a Trump presidency in a previous post, see here. Suffice it to say there will be winners and losers in the five sectors of the industry &; lending, capital markets, asset management, payments and insurance. Regtech may be impacted the most if the US experiences a wave of deregulation. Although I still ascribe to a secular and long term trend towards regulatory harmonization, we may see deviations at the margin, especially within sectors that are more domestic than international by the nature of their activity. I would not be surprised if US domestic lending regulation, compliance and enforcement be loosened while European consumer protection remain tight for example. Another area where one may see changes at the margin would be domestic payments. Still, when it comes to such sectors as capital markets, cross border payments, interbanking activities I do not expect much deviation from one jurisdiction to another and certainly no loosening up when it comes to clamping down on illegal activities, fraud. Hence cybersecurity, AML/KYC and reg/compliance thereof should be interested ecosystems with plenty of investment and operational activity. On another regulatory note ,2016 was the year of the FCA with it&;s sandbox. The FCA&8217;s initiative was so popular we ended with more than 8 regulators launching their copycat initiatives. I will make three in the sandbox space for 2017. First, regulatory sandboxes will be renamed &8211; sandbox is just a poor name everybody dislikes. Second, the US and the EU will see their own &;sandbox&; initiatives launched (where in the EU is a mystery) as hybrid collaborative efforts between regulators, technologists and incumbents. Third, there will be more collaboration at the &8220;sandbox&8221; level between regulators. Be that as it may I also expect the FCA to go from strength to strength given its clear leadership and first mover advantage (same for MAS, the Singapore regulator).

    I continue to worry about alt-lending or marketplace lending as rising interest rates will benefit first and while there is some room to increase the cost of lending, in a competitive market with regulatory oversight there is a limit to how high the cost of borrowing can go. On the other hand banks cost of capital will not rise as fast as those of alt-lenders. Therefore the next 12 months will prove delicate for this industry. I expect banks flexing their muscles and acquiring some platforms as well as mergers between alt lenders while the weakest competitors close shop. Whether this pattern will evolve in sync across the US and Europe I do not know. It depends on how US, UK and EU yield curves will behave. I certainly expect this pattern to occur in the US. On the other hand, infrastructure spending, if it is on a massive scale in the US, will have a positive impact on lending and fintech lending actors will benefit. One might even see fintech startups funded on the basis of infrastructure services for example.

    In the retail asset management sector we have witnessed a wave of consolidation in the US, notably with roboadvisors. Most incumbents have placed their bets and the few remaining independent startups have survived, so far. We have yet to see consolidation in Europe. Arguably, there are fewer roboadvisors in Europe than in the US and most are younger so we might not see full consolidation yet. I would not be surprised if a European incumbent or two makes an acquisition though. I remain interested in roboadvisor models, especially those that will make effective use of ETFs, micro investing or micro saving and build a social layer that enables high engagement. I think there is still space for these types of models. Additionally, there is still much to be done to modernize incumbents and to date few fintech startups with a b2b model have emerged in asset management. Some are due to pop up.

    In the payments sector I will go out on a limb and call for the rise of micro payments platforms in 2017, most probably powered by a distributed ledger . Most startups addressing micro payments have failed so far but it is only a matter of time before a startup or an incumbent hits the right note. Given the rise of m2m, p2m transactions with IoT and the continued growth of p2p as well as the explosive growth of other types of activities (esports, different models of media consumption from a la carte to subscription) it is only a matter of time before micro payments make it big. My bet is on both platform plays that provide backbone and infrastructure and front end models. Other than micro payments, I continue to be interested in b2b payments and services to SMEs. We have barely scratched the surface and financial services to SMEs are still antiquated. The prospects of a global trade war will not play well with trade finance and supply chain finance activity though.

    As for the ecosystem, 2016 was a fascinating year. We now have a pretty good picture of the landscape with up to 10 companies being the potential winners. Most of these winning companies have opted to open sourcing their code, collaborating with standards setting bodies, or working as a consortium with many incumbents. Other than a few financing rounds for some of these leaders, I do not expect much investment activity. Indeed I expect many casualties, acquihires or outright failures for the other weaker competitors. 2017 will be a year of consolidation in the DLT space while the winners go about their deployment business quietly. I expect further standardization efforts to bear their fruit &8211; &8220;yesterday and today&8221; in the capital markets arena, &8220;tomorrow&8221; in the insurance space. Finally I expect the start of the patent wars in the space. Most serious contenders have filed patents &8211; incumbents and startups alike &8211; and it is only a matter of time before some try to enforce these patents. Sooner rather than later is my bet.

    In the insurance industry, I expect more of the same, both in terms of level of activity and types of insurtech startups. I also expect emphasis on cyber risk coverage and on climate change given both are top of mind and material risks going forward. Cyber risk coverage is particularly interesting to me, given the rise of IoT and the security risks associated with both hardware and software in the space.

    On a more general level, I expect five themes to pick up steam in 2017. First, all the business models we have seen created and funded in fintech over the past 8 years will be revisited with an AI component &8211; be it machine learning, deep learning or other. This is bound to happen as AI is sweeping the business world. If mobile is eating the world, AI is the chef that is orchestrating the menu. Whether in lending, asset management or any other sector, I expect to see much activity in this domain and this includes new fintech startups getting funding, especially in b2b. An inevitable trend towards the cognitive financial services firm. Second, the convergence of software robotics, AI and automation will be applied at scale in what is called robotics process automation for banks and insurance companies alike. This is a pure b2b play for sure and I expect this sector to be a fertile ground investment wise. Third, platforms and ecosystems will continue to take shape as various banks further build their API strategies, their marketplace strategies, or even their bank as a service strategies. Whereas 2016 was the year industry thought leaders spoke about platforms, 2017 will be the creative phase for these types of business models. Some startups are already picking up funding. Expect more over the coming 12 months. One should note that platform business models require standards and interoperability. As such, I expect the beginning of standardization and open source in the field of bank as a platform or bank as a service, in a similar vein to the movement we have seen in the DLT/blockchain space. Fourth, the messaging platforms wars will be in full swing as Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft vie for dominance and expand their respective ecosystems. I expect more financial services incumbents to jump on the bandwagon and more startups to build their own apps. The lure of reaching millions of users &8211; customers and potential customers &8211; is strong. To me AI powered chatbots fall in this fourth category as few will be successful on their own and most will want to align with at least one messaging platform. In as much as PFM startups were not particularly successful and neither were account aggregation models, the messaging platform wars with their myriads of skills or applets or bots (voice or text or voice+text) present both an opportunity and a threat to the financial services industry. The threat is well known and lies with being further disintermediated and removed from the end customer. The opportunity is less obvious. Indeed, most fintech startups focused on retail use cases have failed to make any significant traction because either the service did not generate excitement and engagement (simple aggregation of data or accounts), or was too obtuse (too complex) or was too superficial (giving you options to consider) whereas what works usually hits on at least one of three dimensions: enhance an experience, accelerate a process, simplify a process. You can bet that the bots within the messaging platforms that will win the day will enhance, accelerate and simplify. It is up to fintech startups and incumbents to emulate best of breed as they will coexist within the same ecosystems. Else, fintech AI chatbots will  fail to impress much like PFM models did before. I should add that the messaging platform wars will be a wedge for GAFA to further encroach in the payments sector. Fifth, 2017 will be the year of digital identities. By that I mean most of the investment activity will be focused on identity business models. Some may consider this field not part of fintech. They will be wrong. there is no identity without trust and vice versa. Further identity and trust impact and influence payment methods and enable or disable currencies. I view digital identities as the corner stone of the future of financial services industry. I expect the investment pace to pick up in the identity space.

    A few random thoughts in closing. Should a Trump presidency usher an era of instability and trade wars, we will undoubtedly encounter currency wars. Should the EU further weaken in 2017, currency turbulences will be exacerbated. Should the renminbi further weaken, capital flows leaving China will accelerate. Thusly, it is not inconceivable that cryptocurrencies will benefit, notably , along with its ecosystem. In this macro case figure, and assuming legal and regulatory house sorted out with the SEC, I expect much activity with Initial Coin Offerings in 2017 (ICO).

    Finally, I expect subdued venture investment activity in Europe and the US in aggregate, especially in the first year of a new US administration which is still an unknown for many.


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