Tag Archives: Digital Currencies

LFP085 – The Nature of Money, Economic Imbalances & will Central Bank Digital Cash alleviate them? With David Clarke Positive Money

Money may or may not be “the root of all evil” but it is the root of FS and the economy – both of which are problematic.  The nature of current money is absolutely part of this equation.

In this special episode we review what money was, what it is now (created by private organisations as debt), the problems that leads to (esp asset price inflation, pyramids of debt, widening inequality, and exacerbated economic cycles) and central bank digital cash – what it is and whether it can help.

A recent Bank of England publication stated that the nature of money is widely misunderstood including in one respect in university textbooks (!). Couple this with a recent survey showing that only 1 in 10 MPs understand where money comes from and it’s no wonder we are adrift.  A slogan in the recent general election was “there are no magic money trees” but in fact there are.

Positive Money are “a movement for a money and banking system that works for society and not against it.” Positive Money’s founder Ben Dyson is now Economic Research Lead, Digital Currencies at Bank of England which I think tells you that these guys are thinking along the right lines.

I’m delighted to be joined today by David Clarke Positive Money’s expert on central bank digital currencies.

Needless to say “money” is at the heart of FS and an understanding of money is at the heart of understanding FS. If the BoE identified common misconceptions there was an even bigger one at the start of the Fintech era that somehow the Fintechs could “beat the banks”. This was always nonsense for many reasons but the biggest of which is that if we say abolished banks overnight then we would also abolish 97% of all the money we own – money being mostly “bits in bank computers”.

We cover a huge territory on the show, principally as its in a sense more important to first understand the context to Central Bank Digital Cash than it is the as-yet-unworked-out details of how it might work.

With such misunderstanding amongst our great leaders is it a surprise that the economy keeps toppling over and FS crises have been pervasive in recent decades?

Topics discussed on the show include:  Continue reading

LFP042 – Bumper Fun-Packed New Years Show On Fintech & Star Wars, Beer, Media, 2015 review & 2016!

source: focusrs.org

source: focusrs.org

This is London Fintech Podcast episode 42, the answer to life, the universe and everything. Well a bit of everything anyway. And I have the pleasure to be joined today by – er – myself.

In the now traditional (um – can doing something twice be a tradition?) first podcast of the year step away from diving into a topic with an esteemed guest and take a more top of the mountain view of the landscape.

As it’s a bumper funpack we will cover a whole range of topics all of which pertain to Fintech.

So we start today’s show with the relevance of Star Wars; move on to beer and deep dive into a topic that applies to Fintech and to the whole of our perception of the world, the media – mainstream and indie.

Next a review of key themes from 2015 UK Fintech and finally we wrap up with some thoughts about the future.

In the next episode I’ll be back to the far easier task of asking folks smarter than I the answer to life the universe and everything or at least what’s going on in their corner of the Fintech phenomenon

Share and enjoy!

Happy New Year to all 🙂

~~~

Links I reference are:

LFP022 – 30,000 Feet Overview of Payments with Dave Birch of Consult Hyperion

david-birch-presents-mobile-payments-11-728

Having done a few Alternative Finance shows recently it’s important to recall that there is another hardcore Fintech sector that is already changing the world (as opposed to threatening to in the future). This is payments.

One quarter of the Fintech50 are payments companies and when I looked a little while ago there were well over a thousand on Angelslist. So we definitely need a super sherpa to guide us through this landscape.

Consult Hyperion are an independent technical and strategic consultancy that specialises in secure electronic transactions. For two decades they have been working with technologies ranging from smart cards and mobile phones to contactless tickets and electronic ID in mass-market systems that include global payments, national and regional ticketing, international settlement, national identity and corporate  services.

So I think they might know a bit 🙂

Dave – besides being a member of the Amalgamated Union of Wheeltappers, Shunters and Podcasters was a founding director of the Consult Hyperion, is now their global ambassador and has decades of experience under his belt.

A very rich show with plenty about what is really going on with payments – especially from the strategic big picture perspective which certainly helps put the semi-infinite number of payments startups into some kind of context.

Topics discussed include: Continue reading

LFP016 – New Year’s Special – Behind the Scenes, UK Fintech 2015 and Occupy Fintech!

LFP016 banner

The New Year is a time of reflection, a time for looking forwards and a time to take stock. So in this light this will be a special, somewhat off-piste episode with just me at the microphone. This episode has three parts:

In Part 1 I talk about some of the behind the scenes stories that go into making the LFP and share some of my thoughts about the challenges of the creative journey – a journey which many fintechs will have been through and are going through.

In Part 2 I discuss the five themes that I expect to see in UK Fintech in 2015.  These all go under the overarching banner of “2015 – The Year When Fintech Grows Up”.

  1. Less Spin
  2. A Shake-Out
  3. Fintech Maturing and Breaking-Up into Subsectors
  4. Group-Think in the Subsectors
  5. #NewFS Getting More Solid

If Xmas is a time for traditional rituals like family, over-eating, and hitting Amazon Prime bigtime 😀 it’s also a time for thinking of those less fortunate than ourselves.

If you work in Canary Wharf you will probably never see a homeless person there (I never have – are they kept out?). Meg Hillier the MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch points out that in Hackney a staggering 47% of children live in poverty :-O 🙁

In Part 3 I discuss the wider societal impact of Fintech and its media narratives.

Will Fintech, driven by the “billion dollar IPO narrative” end up being just another “get rich quick scheme” for a tiny few and become self-centred and greedy like the existing widely-disliked banking system?

Is Fintech just about creating some new mega-corporates that will live in tall shiny buildings?

Can Fintech be more than this?  Can it have a social conscience, can Fintech contribute to society and make the world a better place?

 

Let me know what you think!  In my pre-Xmas mode of thinking of those less fortunate than ourselves I tweeted a few socially pertinent tweets under the hashtag #OccupyFintech.  For those of you interested in this topic please feel free to use and amplify.  You don’t even have to sleep outside in the cold in a tent 😀

In the next episode  Continue reading

LFP005 – Innovating in Fintech & Emerging Market FX with Jon Vollemaere of R5FX.com

R5 730_90_banner_white 3

There are some huge misunderstandings in the Fintech scene right now.  Innovation is (often) misunderstood. The importance of domain expertise and experience is (often) misunderstood.  Also what’s happening with emerging market currencies and the London Fintech scene as a whole?

On this show today I am delighted to welcome a serial FX entrepreneuer – Jon Vollemaere CEO of R5FX.com (which is all very synchronicitous as this is episode 005 :-)) – to discuss all of these issues.

Wearing his day job hat, upcoming regulation requires Foreign Exchange trading banks to radically change their current trading channels for emerging markets. In essence this is to increase transparency in a market which has around $100bn turnover every day. R5 is leading that change by creating an electronic trading platform for emerging market currencies which is focused on moving the market from voice to screen.

Above and beyond this current incarnation, Jon is an excellent person to discuss innovation, FS, FX and Fintech with as he has 20yrs experience in FX markets and is a serial entrepreneur having worked, in essence, with Fintechs before “Fintechs” existed as such. So he brings great practical experience to the show.

Additionally Jon is a top bloke. Having lunch with him recently I was reminded of the City in the ‘80s – when everyone had something interesting to say outside of Financial Services as well as within it. Indeed it is no surprise that the most creative folks do have the widest horizons. Very tough to be creative if you wear blinkers.

 

The Importance of Experience and Domain Expertise in Fintech

This is especially valuable in Continue reading

LFP003 – Lifting the bonnet on Digital Currencies with Dr James Smith of elliptic.co

Should have gone to Specsavers?

Should have gone to Specsavers?

Hysteria

The Daily Mail hasn’t yet written about how Bitcoin causes cancer. I’m rather surprised given the hysterical tone of much Bitcoin coverage. “It’s going to a million dollars!”. “It’s going to zero!”. “It’s the future of money!”. “It’s a scam!”. “It’s for drug dealers and terrorists!” .  And those comments are just from the sober broadsheets 😀

[And just in passing the currency accepted by terrorists and drug dealers worldwide is a wad of US$ bills – nothing is going to displace that soon ;-)]

Oh dear.

In this episode I am very glad to welcome Dr James Smith, CEO and co-founder of Elliptic – a company founded by three PhDs – which has recently raised £2m to grow it’s business as a digital custodian of digital currencies.  As per the photo above even the Chancellor George Osbourne is happy to be photographed at a Bitcoin ATM.  So we can assume there must be something more to Bitcoin than hysteria if hommes serieux are coming to the party. Continue reading