inspiral + blockchain   156

In 2019, blockchains will start to become boring - MIT Technology Review
After the Great Crypto Bull Run of 2017 and the monumental crash of 2018, blockchain technology won’t make as much noise in 2019. But it will become more useful.
cryptocurrencies  blockchain  review  opportunity  growth  smartcontracts  TechnologyReview  2019 
5 weeks ago by inspiral
Bitcoin Is Ridiculous. Blockchain Is Dangerous: Paul Ford - Bloomberg
People feel compelled to make predictions about blockchains. Here’s mine: The current wave of coins will eventually ebb, because it’s a big, inefficient, unholy mess. It’s more ideology than financial instrument, and ideology is rarely a sustainable store of value. Plus, transactions are slow (everyone says they’re fixing that), and you shouldn’t have to use an aluminum smelter’s worth of power to make new currency.
blockchain  Bitcoin  review  critique  innovation  author:PaulFord  Bloomberg  2018 
march 2018 by inspiral
Why Decentralization Matters – Chris Dixon – Medium
The lesson is that when you compare centralized and decentralized systems you need to consider them dynamically, as processes, instead of statically, as rigid products. Centralized systems often start out fully baked, but only get better at the rate at which employees at the sponsoring company improve them. Decentralized systems start out half-baked but, under the right conditions, grow exponentially as they attract new contributors.
blockchain  cryptonetwork  decentralisation  opportunity  innovation  startup  author:ChrisDixon  Medium  2018 
february 2018 by inspiral
There Is Nothing Virtual About Bitcoin’s Energy Appetite - The New York Times
The total network of computers plugged into the Bitcoin network consumes as much energy each day as some medium-size countries — which country depends on whose estimates you believe. And the network supporting Ethereum, the second-most valuable virtual currency, gobbles up another country’s worth of electricity each day.
Bitcoin  Ethereum  Blockchain  environment  climatechange  globalwarming  proofofstake  NYTimes  2018 
january 2018 by inspiral
Beyond the Bitcoin Bubble - The New York Times
Yes, the blockchain may seem like the very worst of speculative capitalism right now, and yes, it is demonically challenging to understand. But the beautiful thing about open protocols is that they can be steered in surprising new directions by the people who discover and champion them in their infancy. Right now, the only real hope for a revival of the open-protocol ethos lies in the blockchain. Whether it eventually lives up to its egalitarian promise will in large part depend on the people who embrace the platform, who take up the baton, as Juan Benet puts it, from those early online pioneers. If you think the internet is not working in its current incarnation, you can’t change the system through think-pieces and F.C.C. regulations alone. You need new code.
Blockchain  Bitcoin  Ethereum  decentralisation  identity  innovation  review  NYTimes  2018 
january 2018 by inspiral
Ten years in, nobody has come up with a use for blockchain
Everyone says the blockchain, the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, is going to change EVERYTHING. And yet, after years of tireless effort and billions of dollars invested, nobody has actually come up with a use for the blockchain—besides currency speculation and illegal transactions.

Each purported use case — from payments to legal documents, from escrow to voting systems—amounts to a set of contortions to add a distributed, encrypted, anonymous ledger where none was needed. What if there isn’t actually any use for a distributed ledger at all? What if, ten years after it was invented, the reason nobody has adopted a distributed ledger at scale is because nobody wants it?
Blockchain  cryptocurrencies  Bitcoin  technology  innovation  review  critique  author:KaiStinchcombe  HackerNoon  2017 
december 2017 by inspiral
Bitcoin and Blockchain Will Reveal What They're Actually Good For in 2018 | WIRED
Those bets will continue as long as the market keeps rising. The cryptocurrency boom has been built on abundance—both in capital (because interest rates have been so low for so long) and in technical resources (because there were lots of idle CPUs before the cryptocurrency frenzy commenced). As BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen says, “Bitcoin does a very good job of wasting every available resource it can get its hands on.” The technical resources have begun to dwindle, which is why gamers have to pay more for their graphic cards—the Bitcoin miners have bought up all the hardware. The slightest whiff of a financial crisis will tighten the available financial resources, too. The real test for cryptocurrencies, next year and beyond, will be whether they can evolve to be more efficient. Remember: The Cambrian Era ended in mass extinction.
Bitcoin  blockchain  review  critique  forecast  Wired  2017 
december 2017 by inspiral
Estonia, the Digital Republic | The New Yorker
Its government is virtual, borderless, blockchained, and secure. Has this tiny post-Soviet nation found the way of the future?
tech  government  ID  blockchain  innovation  review  Estonia  NewYorker  2017 
december 2017 by inspiral
How the technology behind Bitcoin could change the music industry
MP3s, AACs and the rest, are laughably insecure when it comes to metadata. As Rogers points out, it is the work of seconds to strip out artist data from a file of this kind. But, he says, “the persistence of information on ownership is going to become really important. The bass player who played on a track that’s sampled 600 times and then played on a platform that makes money – how does that money get back to the bass player?” By hard-wiring the rightsholder information into the file, he thinks he can help to eliminate the black boxes being sat on by YouTube and their like – and, by building a system whereby rightsholders, labels, licensees and streaming platforms all transact on a blockchain, that information can be rendered immutable by anyone but the parties with the right to change it.

The blockchain technology also offers the opportunity to conduct transactions virtually in real time, circumventing an industry that, according to Rogers, still routinely conducts its business on paper. In a blockchain model, an artist might set out the terms on which they want to license a track, and any restrictions on use. A potential licensee could then use a ‘smart contract’ function to do a deal instantly, without weeks of paperwork.
music  DRM  blockchain  dotBlockchain  PledgeMusic  innovation  FactMag  2017 
february 2017 by inspiral
Trust: the inside story of the rise and fall of Ethereum | Aeon Essays
Blockchain enthusiasts crave a world without bankers, lawyers or fat-cat executives. There's just one problem: trust
Ethereum  trust  DAO  blockchain  review  critique  Aeon  2017 
february 2017 by inspiral
Bitcoin’s Rally Crushed Every Other Currency in 2016. Here’s Why - Bloomberg
“Bitcoin is coming into its own,” says Tim Draper, a venture capitalist who’s bought thousands of bitcoins over the years. “There are starting to be consumer uses for bitcoin, and if people have any concerns about their own fiat currency -- the rupee, for example -- they flee to bitcoin as an alternate currency.”

The rationale behind bitcoin’s booms and busts can be difficult to pinpoint, but here’s what might be responsible for the cryptocurrency’s stellar surge this year:
Bitcoin  Blockchain  valuation  growth  money  currency  forecast  Bloomberg  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
Blockchain Is Banks' Secret Sauce - Bloomberg Gadfly
UBS, Deutsche Bank, Santander and Bank of New York Mellon are teaming up to develop a new form of digital cash to clear and settle financial trades using blockchain technology, the Financial Times reports. This development has the potential to unleash the kind of profit growth that widespread use of computers had on the industry.While there's academic debate on how much additional money banks have made from investing in computers, any CEO will tell you it's meaningful. The trajectory of the net income of JPMorgan, the largest publicly traded lender in the U.S. by assets, is perhaps a good example. Over the past 15 years, the firm's bottom line swelled more than 14-fold while the number of employees only doubled.
banking  automation  employment  blockchain  innovation  UBS  DeutscheBank  Santander  BankofNewYorkMellon  Bloomberg  2016 
august 2016 by inspiral
Fintech – Disruptor or Saviour?
Why is the financial technology revolution happening now? Our expert on Asian financials describes the exciting technological developments that will change the way we all do business in the future.
fintech  financialservices  opportunity  review  peertopeerlending  blockchain  mobilepayments  inclusion  regulations  China  India  SouthKorea  NikkoAssetManagement  2016 
august 2016 by inspiral
Fat Protocols | Union Square Ventures
This is a big shift. The combination of shared open data with an incentive system that prevents “winner-take-all” markets changes the game at the application layer and creates an entire new category of companies with fundamentally different business models at the protocol layer. Many of the established rules about building businesses and investing in innovation don't apply to this new model and today we probably have more questions than answers.
Blockchain  venturecapital  review  opportunity  applicationlayer  protocollayer  author:JoelMonegro  UnionSquareVentures  2016 
august 2016 by inspiral
Startup Management » Why Blockchain Innovation is Hard for Big Companies and Easier for Startups
In the context of the blockchain, we should always remember that it is really about three intertwined aspects: Technology, Business and Governance.

As a reminder, the blockchain represents an innovative technology with business implications and very challenging legal and governance related ramifications.
blockchain  innovation  banking  impact  review  StartupManagement  2016 
august 2016 by inspiral
Decentralize now? - O'Reilly Media
The Web opened with an explosion of DIY openness, but over the last few years more and more of us have turned to centralized services for our needs. We still center much of our work on web technologies, but much of the "everyone their own publisher" joy has faded.

A few weeks ago, a few hundred people gathered at the Internet Archive for the Decentralized Web Summit, asking explicitly about "Locking the Web Open." Is it possible to build a system which doesn't eventually funnel control over communications into a very few hands? Can we create a new Web fundamentally more open than the old Web?
internet  decentralisation  history  evolution  DRM  intellectualproperty  blockchain  Ethereum  review  OReilly  2016 
july 2016 by inspiral
The mad rush to own the rights to the blockchain | Fusion
Whoever released bitcoin originally did so anonymously and freely for anyone else to build on and modify in any way they wanted. They decided not to profit from their invention, at least not through holding the legal rights to it; perhaps they never thought it would succeed, or perhaps they weren’t motivated by money. But now a raft of individuals and major financial corporations are racing to profit from the concept behind Satoshi Nakamoto’s virtual currency. It could translate to very real profits for whoever successfully gets there first. And if it is banks who come out on top, the irony in their profiting from a technology that was once put forth as the end of money as we know it would be very rich indeed.
blockchain  intellectualproperty  patents  banking  review  Fusion  2016 
july 2016 by inspiral
What Does it Take to Succeed as a Decentralized Autonomous Organization?
The concept of a Decentralized Autonomous Organization/ Corporation is an idealistic outcome of the crypto-tech revolution.

Its roots originate in themes on organizational decentralization that were depicted by Ori Brafman in Starfish And The Spider (2007), and ones about 'peer production', aptly described by Yochai Benkler in The Wealth of Networks (2007).

But these two themes were recently joined by the advent of cryptocurrency-related technologies by Dan Larimer who observed that Bitcoin is the original DAC, and Vitalik Buterin who expanded on that construct by generalizing it further as a DAO, noting that the DAO has "internal capital".

The deregulation of crowdfunding and unbundling of services were two additionally paired themes that added to this combustion, and the whole thing was turbo-charged by a crypto-tech governance layer of technologies and trust-based automations to allow DAOs to run, as Stan Larimer says, "without any human involvement under the control of an incorruptible set of business rules."
DAO  fintech  blockchain  profile  crowdfunding  disintermediation  author:WilliamMougayar  Coindesk  2016 
june 2016 by inspiral
Continuations : The Path to Learning requires Failing: The DAO
Both individually and collectively we learn more from our failures than from our successes. Failures make us question our assumptions, successes generally don’t. I therefore welcome the hack of the DAO (even if I wind up losing the 0.5 BTC I had converted to Ether and invested). It is exposing a lot of assumptions and that is the path to learning. The hack will not be the end of smart contracts or blockchains. Instead it will be more like the early failures in aviation. They are what gave us today’s safe air travel (I wrote this post on a flight earlier today).
DAO  Ethereum  hacking  Blockchain  learning  author:AlbertWenger  Continuations  2016 
june 2016 by inspiral
Future of Fintech: 9 Fintech Trends We're Watching From AI To Chatbots To Blockchain
Financial services incumbents along with early-stage startups and large tech companies are all competing in fintech. CB Insights CEO Anand Sanwal gave a 110-slide presentation at our fintech conference in New York. The full deck covered broad VC funding trends for fintech and the developments in large categories such as wealth management, blockchain, remittance tech, and insurance tech.

On robo-advisors, Sanwal noted that market volatility has not necessarily been a boon to the category.

“It’s not all roses,” he said. “There are headwinds … When market volatility picks up, people want to talk to an advisor.”

At the end Sanwal highlighted 9 trends we’re watching that are generating excitement. The slides for those trends are included below.
financialservices  banking  innovation  trends  review  chatbots  peertopeerinsurance  peertopeer  artificialintelligence  hedgefunds  unbanked  underbanked  payments  crowdfunding  realestate  onlinebanking  blockchain  CBInsights  2016 
june 2016 by inspiral
How Will Blockchain Change Banking? How <em>Won't</em> It? | Bank Think
Blockchain entrepreneurs and incumbents alike are working to resolve the limitations of the antiquated financial system by using blockchain technology to devise new ways to perform the eight core functions of financial intermediaries.
blockchain  banking  financialservices  innovation  identity  payments  settlement  creditworthiness  clearing  venturecapital  insurance  accounting  review  AmericanBanker  2016 
may 2016 by inspiral
10 Reasons Why InsurTech Is Going to Be Important | Let's Talk Payments
Technology spending in the global insurance industry is estimated to be around $189 billion. By 2019, the spending industry is expected to reach $205 billion. The IT spending ratio of insurance companies as a percentage of premiums has not changed to a great extent. Insurance companies currently spend about 3.8% of their direct written premium on information technology. The average spending by insurance companies has comparatively reduced in the last four years. There are around 700–800 InsurTech firms globally which are addressing the requirements of the $4.5-trillion insurance industry but the state of InsurTech is at a stage of infancy. New exciting business models to take over the insurance industry such as microinsurance and pay-as-you-go insurance have emerged. What will truly change the nature of the industry is the shift from complex, long-term insurance products to the fractions of insurance for a particular moment, time and miles count. The new opportunities are tied to mobile devices and time-efficiency. 
insurtech  insurance  opportunity  innovation  loyalty  dataanalytics  bigdata  blockchain  peertopeer  benchmarking  wearablecomputing  internetofthings  payperuse  security  fraud  API  review  LetsTalkPayments  2016 
may 2016 by inspiral
Experiment and Scandal – AVC
And one of the challenges with the de-institutionalization of experimentation is that some of these failures will be spectacular. Combine that with the idea that these experiments are being funded by real people and the idea that the world of media/entertainment/culture has injected itself right in the middle of this brave new world and you have the recipe for scandal. And scandal will naturally result in efforts to put the genie back in the bottle (Sarbanes Oxley, Dodd Frank). And these regulatory efforts will naturally attempt to re-institutionalize experimentation.
startup  deinstitutionalisation  investment  innovation  blockchain  DAO  impact  review  author:FredWilson  AVC  2016 
may 2016 by inspiral
All the cool kids are doing Ethereum now | TechCrunch
I hope this doesn’t sound too pessimistic. I am genuinely excited about Ethereum in the medium to long term, and you should be too. But I also think we’re now at the peak of its first hype cycle, and important lessons need to be learned, hopefully the easy way, before it begins to achieve its revolutionary potential. There is a reason that “may you live in interesting times” is deemed a curse.
Ethereum  blockchain  hypecycle  smartcontracts  opportunity  critique  Techcrunch  2016 
may 2016 by inspiral
State of Blockchain Q1 2016
CoinDesk’s Q1 2016 State of Blockchain report summarizes key trends, data and events from the first quarter of 2016.

You'll be able to read analysis of the key trends in this article: http://www.coindesk.com/state-of-blockchain-q1-2016/
Bitcoin  blockchain  startup  prices  innovation  regulations  investment  publicrelations  journalism  creativeshowcase  Coindesk  2016 
may 2016 by inspiral
a16z Podcast: Banking on the Blockchain – Andreessen Horowitz
with William Mougayar
bitcoin & blockchain financial services marketplaces big company innovation disruption & the innovator's dilemma identity open v closed the nature of the firm

Whether you think of it as a distributed ledger, decentralized database, computing infrastructure, open source/ software development platform, cryptocurrency, transaction platform, or financial services marketplace, the bitcoin blockchain is driven by two key features: that it is a peer-to-peer network, and that it unbundles trust. Imagine moving from Googling for things to offering proof-as-a-service instead (which itself begins with rethinking identity).

In fact, there’s a lot of parallels — both in evolution and development — with the blockchain and the internet before it. Only the blockchain doesn’t need the web. And that has profound implications for what applications and new businesses are now possible, especially in financial services. But if “the worst place to develop a new business model is from within your existing business model”, then how can banks move beyond mere process innovations to offering entirely new services built on the blockchain? Many financial institutions are trying to get ahead of the blockchain disruption by exploring it proactively, but how do they overcome the innovator’s dilemma and looking at startups like animals in a zoo?

In this episode of the a16z Podcast, William Mougayar, the author of the new book The Business Blockchain: Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology shares how traditional, established industries can overcome the innovator’s dilemma in this case; what the future of banks might be; and what new applications, services, and startups are possible due to the features — really, benefits — of the blockchain. Because the blockchain, ultimately, is an innovation platform.
Whether you think of it as a distributed ledger, decentralized database, computing infrastructure, open source/ software development platform, cryptocurrency, transaction platform, or financial services marketplace, the bitcoin blockchain is driven by two key features: that it is a peer-to-peer network, and that it unbundles trust. Imagine moving from Googling for things to offering proof-as-a-service instead (which itself begins with rethinking identity).

In fact, there’s a lot of parallels — both in evolution and development — with the blockchain and the internet before it. Only the blockchain doesn’t need the web. And that has profound implications for what applications and new businesses are now possible, especially in financial services. But if “the worst place to develop a new business model is from within your existing business model”, then how can banks move beyond mere process innovations to offering entirely new services built on the blockchain? Many financial institutions are trying to get ahead of the blockchain disruption by exploring it proactively, but how do they overcome the innovator’s dilemma and looking at startups like animals in a zoo?

In this episode of the a16z Podcast, William Mougayar, the author of the new book The Business Blockchain: Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology shares how traditional, established industries can overcome the innovator’s dilemma in this case; what the future of banks might be; and what new applications, services, and startups are possible due to the features — really, benefits — of the blockchain. Because the blockchain, ultimately, is an innovation platform.
banking  blockchain  innovation  opportuity  WilliamMougayar  review  AndreessenHorovitz  2016 
may 2016 by inspiral
Landscape of Blockchain Companies in Financial Services | Fintech Singapore
Non-permissioned public ledgers such as the Bitcoin blockchain and Ethereum, are blockchains that anyone in the world can read, send transactions to and expect to see them included if they are valid. Also, anyone can participate in the consensus process which consists in determining what blocks get added to the chain.

Permissioned public ledgers are blockchains in which there are no restrictions on reading blockchain data and in which transaction processing is performed by a predefined list of subjects with known identities. An example is Ripple, a real-time gross settlement system, currency exchange and remittance network. Ripple relies on a common shared ledger, which is a distributed database storing information about all Ripple accounts. The network is “managed by a network of independent validating servers that constantly compare their transaction records.”

Permissioned private ledgers are fully private blockchains in which direct access to blockchain data and submitting transactions is limited to a predefined list of entities. In a permissioned private ledger, transaction processing is performed by a predefined list of known network participants. An example is Bankchain, a blockchain-powered clearing and settlement system.
Blockchain  ecosystem  review  Ethereum  Bitcoin  Ripple  Bankchain  Chain  Symbiont  ErisIndustries  ConsensusSystems  ConsenSys  ItBit  creativeshowcase  FinTechNews  2016 
may 2016 by inspiral
The Startup Zeitgeist · The Macro
Since 2008, we’ve received tens of thousands of these applications. Collectively, they provide insights into the ideas smart people are working on and how it’s changed over time. We’ve never talked about these publicly before.

But recently, we commissioned Priceonomics (YC W12) and their data studio to analyze eight years’ worth of our anonymized application data. After breaking the applications down into keywords, they calculated the percentage of applicants that mentioned any given term.

So let’s review the data, starting with a simple example.
startup  trends  website  mobileapps  softwareasservice  blogging  messaging  WhatsApp  Slack  Wechat  email  blockchain  Bitcoin  hardware  biotech  smartphones  smartwatch  wearablecomputing  virtualreality  augmentedreality  Oculus  artificialintelligence  machinelearning  YCombinator  TheMacro  2016 
may 2016 by inspiral
Chain Of A Lifetime: How Blockchain Technology Might Transform Personal Insurance
"Chain Of A Lifetime: How Blockchain Technology Might Transform Personal Insurance" is the outcome of a research project conducted between August and December 2014 which explored how blockchain technology might transform personal insurance and in particular interactions among individuals and insurance companies over time.

Blockchain technology's main innovation is an electronic public transaction record of integrity without central authority. Beside cryptocurrencies and distributed payment systems, blockchain applications could include areas of finance where a central, trusted third party has traditionally been used, trade reporting, depository receipts, escrow accounts or trade finance. Blockchains can contain set of documents, record assets and help to manage interconnected devices. Emerging applications, such as smart contracts and decentralised autonomous organisations, might in future also permit blockchains to act as automated agents.

The report concludes that blockchain technology could transform the way people manage identities and personal information; blur even further the divide between global and local; influence consumer perception of time; drive honesty and transparency; and, influence consumer perceptions of risk that could change the way insurers support mutualisation. The report highlights how, at the time of writing, most insurance companies do not yet seem ready to experiment with blockchain technology. They find it difficult enough to understand Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies. Non-insurers are more likely to be the first to create insurance or insurance-related applications. Blockchain applications in insurance are likely to start with digital identity systems and management of personal data.
blockchain  insurtech  insurance  opportunity  innovation  forecast  Z/YenGroup  LongFinance  2014 
may 2016 by inspiral
It’s not a question of ‘if’, it’s a question of ‘how’: the impact of FinTech on insurance - FinTech
The insurance landscape is changing, and quickly. FinTechs - or more particular for insurance - InsurTechs, are shaking-up the status quo and encouraging insurers to think in a different way. Yesterday, 15th March 2016, marked the launch of our first global FinTech survey “Blurred lines: How FinTech is shaping financial services”. We interviewed over 500 executives from 46 countries on what FinTech means to them and their business.

The results are interesting; and what they do show is that insurers need to harness the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of FinTechs, rather than shy away from it. FinTechs, on the other hand, recognise the opportunity in the insurance space, the value they can create - and they are determined to make an impact.
insurtech  insurance  fintech  opportunity  customerservice  personalisation  BigData  dataanalytics  blockchain  review  PWC  2016 
may 2016 by inspiral
Blurred lines: How FinTech is shaping Financial Services
The free lunch is over: FS must leverage on the FinTech ecosystem

The free lunch is over: FS must leverage on the FinTech ecosystem
FinTech is shaping FS from the outside in
Where traditional financial institutions have failed, FinTechs are succeeding
Disintermediation: FinTechs most powerful weapon
Time to Get Off the Bench: over 20% of FS businesses at risk to FinTechs
Blockchain: an untapped technology is rewriting the FS rulebook
Heading for bargain basement FS? FinTech is slashing costs
The free lunch is over: FS must leverage on the FinTech ecosystem
fintech  financialservices  research  banking  payments  insurance  investment  wealthmanagement  assetmanagement  opportunity  threats  mobilefirst  mobilebanking  mobileapps  strategy  PWC  2016  blockchain 
may 2016 by inspiral
How blockchain will revolutionise far more than money | Aeon Essays
Few have seen this coming, but this new technology is about to change the way we interact online. The revolution will not be televised, it will be cryptographically time-stamped on the blockchain. And the blockchain, originally devised to solve the conundrum of digital cash, could prove to be something much more significant: a digital Domesday Book for the 21st century, and so much more.
blockchain  payments  micropayment  opportunity  review  unbanked  messaging  ledger  authentication  identity  Aeon  2016 
may 2016 by inspiral
Post-Capitalism: Rise of the Collaborative Commons — Basic income — Medium
The productive efficiencies and disruptive capacities of new technologies will increasingly drive the marginal cost of producing goods and services towards near zero. As traditional markets are circumvented, a new economic paradigm will progressively emerge that is built upon decentralized collaborative networks.
An Internet of Things infrastructure will propel aggregate energy efficiency from 14 percent to 40 percent across society. An Energy Internet will empower prosumers to harvest, store and exchange clean and renewable energy across a distributed smart-grid. 3D printing will decentralize the manufacturing process, opening the means of production to anyone and everyone, while generating immense gains in productivity and efficiency. Blockchain applications will eliminate the need for third-party trust and allow for the decentralization of everything from currency and finance, to legal agreements, licensing, social media, data storage, voting and governance.
With the development of advanced robotics, artificial intelligence, big data analysis, and advanced analytics and algorithms, human wage labor and the economic productive activities of the capitalist era will increasingly be handed off to intelligent technologies.
As capitalist markets and wage labor becomes less relevant, an economy built upon new principles and social values will progressively emerge: decentralized networks will take the place of markets; access to an abundance of shareable goods and services will reduce the significance of ownership and private property; open-source innovation, transparency and collaborative co-creation will replace the pursuit of competitive self-interest and autonomy; a commitment to sustainable development and a reintegration with the Earth’s biosphere will redress rampant materialism and overconsumption; and the re-discovery of our empathic nature will drive our pursuit for community engagement and social belonging in a rising Collaborative Commons.
The foundations of this economy will rest upon the principles of democracy, equality, diversity, transparency, universal access and sustainability.
If there is an underlying theme to the emerging paradigm, it is the decentralization of everything.
collaborativeeconomy  smartgrid  internetofthings  3dprinting  decentralisation  cooperative  guaranteedbasicincome  creativecommons  blockchain  capitalism  critique  author:ChristopherJDew  Medium  2016 
may 2016 by inspiral
Is Fintech Finally Gaining Ground? - Knowledge@Wharton
“Digital disruption has the potential to shrink the role and relevance of today’s banks, and simultaneously help them create better, faster, cheaper services that make them an even more essential part of everyday life for institutions and individuals,” wrote Julian Skan, managing director in financial services at Accenture, in a 2015 report. “To make the impact positive, banks are acknowledging that they need to shake themselves out of institutional complacency and recognize that merely navigating waves of regulation and waiting for interest rates to rise won’t protect them from obsolescence.”
fintech  review  opportunity  banking  startup  blockchain  peertopeerlending  USA  Wharton  2016 
april 2016 by inspiral
Fintechs' Goals Are Changing, VCs' Appetite Is Not | American Banker
Late last year, we wondered if the fast-growing fintech sector was overheating. At that time, we thought the answer was a qualified "yes"— that some companies were overvalued and there were signs of a bubble forming.

Well, if there is a bubble, it sure hasn't burst yet.

Global fintech investment rose 75% in 2015 to $22.3 billion, according to Accenture. In the first quarter of 2016, financial technology ventures received $5.3 billion in funding, a 67% increase over the same period last year, according to Accenture’s analysis of CB Insights data, which tracks money from venture capitalists, private equity firms, and corporate investors. In North America, fintech investment grew 44% to $14.8 billion in 2015 and the U.S. continued to dominate the sector with 667 fintech deals, a 16% increase over the previous year.

As the fintech market matures, the dollars invested are shifting from startups that position themselves as disruptors to those seeking to collaborate with the financial services industry. And greenfield areas are being discovered for fintech investment, like insurance, blockchain and secured lending.
fintech  venturecapital  investment  growth  bubble  review  insurtech  blockchain  securedlending  USA  Accenture  CBInsights  AmericanBanker  2016 
april 2016 by inspiral
Accelerating Change – How the London FinTech Landscape is Evolving | Blog | Startupbootcamp
From our analysis of the 400+ applications to Startupbootcamp FinTech London 2015, data on UK FinTech funding rounds in 2015 ($901m invested across 72 deals; a 35% increase on 2014), and the UK results of the PwC Global FinTech survey, four key trends stand out:
fintech  trends  review  London  payments  fundmanagement  investments  blockchain  collaboration  StartupBootcamp  2016 
april 2016 by inspiral
What does the future hold for blockchain and insurance? | Daily Fintech
In December, I published a 2-part article on Peer 2 Peer Insurance (here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2). When you bring the P2P model together with the blockchain, this creates the potential for a near-autonomous self-regulated insurance business model for managing policy and claims.
insurance  blockchain  insurtech  smartcontracts  innovation  opportunity  Dynamis  SmartContract  Rootstock  Everledger  Tradle  EthereumFrontier  author:RickHuckstep  DailyFintech  2016 
april 2016 by inspiral
Why Blockchain may transform Insurance before Banks #InsurTech | Daily Fintech
Almost all the early stories about Blockchain adoption were about Banks. Blockchain platforms and solutions providers are now seeing even more interest from Insurance. This research note looks into the reasons why and analyzes the second order impact of this change which will dramatically change Insurance & Reinsurance as well as the Wealth and Asset Management business and Marketplace Lending.
insurance  insurtech  fintech  blockchain  smartcontracts  opportunity  innovation  Lemonade  DailyFintech  2016 
april 2016 by inspiral
Morgan Stanley Report Issues Predictions for Blockchain in 2025 - CoinDesk
A new Morgan Stanley report aimed at assessing whether blockchain is a threat to big banks agues that the short-term benefits of the technology are likely minimal, but that future growth is likely.

Published yesterday, the report features a timeline of when Morgan Stanley predicts certain blockchain milestones will be reached. Culminating in 2025, Morgan Stanley identifies 10 roadblocks to banks integrating blockchain.
blockchain  banking  opportunity  review  evolution  forecast  MoganStanley  CoinDesk  2016 
april 2016 by inspiral
John Lanchester · When Bitcoin Grows Up: What is Money? · LRB 21 April 2016
Bitcoin true believers are annoyed that pretty much every discussion of the cryptocurrency ends with a rhapsody about the potential of blockchains. Bitcoiners reject that idea: for them, the blockchain will never succeed apart from the currency. The trouble is, though, that in internet terms, bitcoin has already been around for quite a while. January marked seven years since the launch of Satoshi’s original code. In seven years, Google, Facebook and Twitter had all become not just big companies, but fundamental parts of everyday life for hundreds of millions of people. They had become verbs. M-Pesa is about the same age as bitcoin, and handles half Kenya’s GDP. Bitcoin is nowhere near that. It’s time for the cryptocurrency to decide what it wants to be when it grows up. Blockchains could become merely a new technique to ensure the continuation of banking hegemony in its current form. That would be one of those final plot twists which leaves everybody thinking that although they enjoyed most of the show, the ending was so disappointing they now wish they hadn’t bothered. Or, along with peer-to-peer lending and mobile payments, they could have an impact as great as the new kind of banking introduced in Renaissance Italy. That would be more fun.
money  Bitcoin  blockchain  SilkRoad  MtGox  financialservices  BlockchainXT  R3Cev  SETLCoin  DigitalAssetsHoldings  review  history  LondonReviewofBooks  2016 
april 2016 by inspiral
FinTech Report: PwC
We estimate within the next 3-5 years, cumulative investment in FinTech globally could well exceed $150bn. 
financialservices  banking  disruption  fintech  investment  impact  payments  foreignexchange  research  blockchain  review  PWC  2016 
march 2016 by inspiral
Banks and Credit Unions Frightened by Fintech
The impact of digital technology and the digital consumer is transforming the way consumers access financial products and services. Beyond simple transactions, such as checking balances, the intersection of finance and technology (fintech) is impacting virtually all categories of financial services at an increasing rate, reshaping the industry’s status quo.

Technology-focused start-ups and new market entrants are reshaping the banking, payments, insurance and wealth management sectors through innovation and a consumer-focused digital mentality. The impact, according to an analysis of companies included on PwC’s DeNovo platform, is that funding of fintech start-ups more than doubled in 2015 reaching $12.2bn, up from $5.6bn in 2014.

Results from a PwC survey, ‘Blurred Lines: How FinTech is Shaping Financial Services’, found that the majority of survey participants see consumer banking and fund transfer and payments as the sectors most likely to be affected over the next five years. The report included responses from 544 CEOs, Heads of Innovation, CIOs and top management involved in digital and technological transformation across the financial services industry in 46 countries.
financialservices  banking  disruption  fintech  payments  foreignexchange  research  PWC  blockchain  review  TheFinancialBrand  2016 
march 2016 by inspiral
PwC Report: While Fintech Disrupts Banks, the Blockchain Disrupts Fintech | Bitcoin Magazine
While traditional financial services companies believe fintech startups could take hold of 23 percent of their business, the fintech companies see the possibility of taking as much as 33 percent of the business from the legacy financial system.
financialservices  banking  disruption  fintech  payments  foreignexchange  research  PWC  blockchain  review  BitcoinMagazine  2016 
march 2016 by inspiral
How The Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Going To Change The Lives Of The Bottom Billion | Co.Exist | ideas + impact
The blockchain is coming—and it's going to create huge benefits for the world's poorest people, from financial access to property rights to controlling their identities.
blockchain  innovation  opportunity  payments  property  remittances  supplychain  aid  identity  sharingeconomy  review  FastCompany  2016 
march 2016 by inspiral
The five major use cases for financial blockchains – Chris Skinner's blog
So there you have the big five developments in blockchain use cases in finance today:

Smart Contracts
Smart Assets
Clearing and Settlement
Payments
Digital Identity
There are others but, for now, focus your thinking on these as they’re going to give you the short-term gains and long-term benefits.
blockchain  financialservices  usecase  smartcontracts  smartassets  clearingandsettlemenet  payments  digitalidentity  internetofthings  MoIP  machinetomachine  review  author:ChrisSkinner  TheFinanser  2016 
march 2016 by inspiral
A Bitcoin-Style Currency for Central Banks
The digital currency Bitcoin was designed to be independent of any government—a feature that also limits its mainstream appeal. Now researchers have invented a Bitcoin-like system that could make digital cash more practical by allowing a central bank such as the Federal Reserve to control it.

The system, RSCoin, was designed by researchers Sarah Meiklejohn and George Danezis at University College London, at the suggestion of the U.K.’s central bank, the Bank of England. The bank began researching the idea of issuing digital currency early last year. Ben Broadbent, the bank’s deputy governor, said this month that it could make retail payments more efficient and the financial system as a whole more resilient. Software that can instantly move digital cash from place to place should be able to make many transactions, both large and small, faster and less costly.
RSCoin  centralbank  banking  blockchain  innovation  BankofEngland  inclusion  review  UK  TechnologyReview  2016 
march 2016 by inspiral
Banking Industry Outlook | Deloitte US | Center for Financial Services
Many areas within banking and capital markets are experiencing serious existential threats. As the industry is being transformed, there is uncertainty around what the future of the banking industry will look like over the next decade. Are you ready to re-imagine the future of banking and capital markets?
banking  trends  strategy  forecast  outsourcing  userexperience  blockchain  peertopeerlending  review  Deloitte  2016 
march 2016 by inspiral
My view on the current situation of Bitcoin and the Blockchain - Joi Ito's Web
I've decided to spend the next chunk of time trying to counteract or balance some of the most misguided stuff that I'm seeing in areas that will have an impact on our future. It feels like while the Bitcoin Core development community is robust, the ecosystem of stakeholders and the understanding of how decisions are made and information is shared is still fragile and vulnerable. I fear that the communication and now emotional rift between various key groups and individuals is wide right now, but I believe it's imperative that we try to bring the community together and focus on executing on a shared technical plan that represents our best shot at broad consensus from both a technical and a practical perspective. Hopefully, we can build a community and a process that is more robust and can handle the inevitable disagreements in the future in a less emotional and more technical and operational way.
blockchain  Bitcoin  Ethereum  Ripple  humanresources  BitcoinCore  community  review  JoiIto  2016 
march 2016 by inspiral
The Most Active Financial Services Firms and Strategics Investing in Bitcoin Startups
Within financial services, firms that have investments in the space include Spanish banking group BBVA, investment management firm Fortress as well as exchange behemoth, NYSE Euronext. Within the broader group of strategics, Google Ventures has been an active corporate VC in the digital currency space — with investments in companies including bitcoin options exchange LedgerX, recently-shuttered startup Buttercoin and Ripple Labs.
blockchain  startup  investment  financialservices  venturecapital  GoldmanSachs  BBVA  Fortress  GoogleVentures  NewYorkLife  TransamericaVentures  AXAStrategicVentures  VerizonVentures  OrangeDigitalVentures  Visa  Mastercard  AmericanExpress  CBInsights  2016 
march 2016 by inspiral
Technical Roadblock Might Shatter Bitcoin Dreams
A study of the system that powers Bitcoin concludes that it cannot become widely used without a major redesign.
Bitcoin  Blockchain  weaknesses  size  redesign  CornellUniversity  TechnologyReview  2016 
february 2016 by inspiral
Why Bitcoin Will Thrive First in the Developing World | WIRED
But the calculus changes as you look beyond the US. Bitcoin and other digital currencies like litecoin and dogecoin provide a way of inexpensively moving money across borders, an important alternative to a mainstay like Western Union. Perhaps more importantly, they offer a means of spending and storing money if you don’t have a bank account or a credit card, which is quite common in the developing world. Nigera is a prime example. According to a 2014 report from Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access—a nonprofit backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that aims to promote financial freedom in Nigeria—just 36 percent of the local population has access to traditional banking services.
Blockchain  financialservices  emergingmarkets  inclusion  foreignexchange  Stellar  Bitpay  microfinanceinstitutions  Wired  2016 
february 2016 by inspiral
Crypto Colonizing: B of A's Blockchain-Patent Strategy | American Banker
B of A is seeking 20 blockchain-related patents in addition to the 15 it previously filed in 2014. The move raises questions about the legality of patenting software whose original code is open source: free for anyone to access, use or modify. Blockchain technology has been touted as a potential game-changing technology for the banking industry. But as the once obscure technology inches closer to the mainstream, bankers are essentially trying to establish a legal framework for blockchains.
Blockchain  intellectualproperty  patents  banking  BankofAmerica  GoldmanSachs  JPMorganChase  Citibank  BNYMellon  opensource  comparison  AmericanBanker  2016 
february 2016 by inspiral
The esoteric debate that's tearing the Bitcoin world apart, explained - Vox
The Bitcoin community is currently locked in a debate about whether to follow that same trajectory: whether to grow quickly at the cost of possibly becoming more centralized. The difference is that the way the Bitcoin network works means that early adopters have an effective veto over further growth. If a critical mass of Bitcoin stakeholders refuse to accept larger blocks, the Bitcoin network could be stuck with its current, limited capacity for years to come.
Bitcoin  Blockchain  size  centralisation  decentralisation  conflict  review  Vox  2016 
january 2016 by inspiral
Blockchain could challenge the accepted ways we shape and manage society
The exploration of distributed ledgers is likely to continue, regardless of any concerns about bitcoin's success or failure or its potential use by criminals. What's needed is to move the debate beyond techies, financiers and privacy advocates where it has stalled. The potential of blockchain to change society and how it is run should be a central theme of discussion: distributed ledgers could offer the sort of internet we want, controlled or distributed, centrally administered or community led. This debate should not just be the preserve of a small group of developers or those organisations already dominating the internet.
Blockchain  review  innovation  opportunity  PhysOrg  2016 
january 2016 by inspiral
The Dangers of a Blockchain Monoculture - CoinDesk
I feel “blockchain technology” has not delivered a lot of practical value: compared to most payment systems, the value bitcoin moves, and the transaction rate, are both rather insignificant (and bitcoin is all that matters – all other blockchain-based systems move practically nothing by comparison).

Bitcoin is hitting scalability limits under a relatively modest payment volume.

The only thing I think "blockchain technology" has actually delivered on is hype: a press release with "blockchain" in the title garners media attention. (I direct you back to the opening paragraph of this post if you doubt that).

Old financial institutions recruiting for “blockchain” positions are a lot more likely to find talented engineers than if they have job requirements to maintain decades-old legacy systems. I won’t dispute that "blockchain" is pretty much guaranteed to engender a lot more excitement in your average engineer than "ledger", "reconciliation", "settlement" or "notarization".

In the meantime, "blockchain technology" advocates need a litany of big-name positive endorsements of “blockchain” to lend credibility to the idea, even if it’s little more than expressing interest in the concept.

Thus we wind up with a positive feedback loop of hype without anyone actually delivering on anything valuable.

That’s not to say that the idea of decentralized transaction ledgers and timestamping systems lacks merit, but I don’t think copying and pasting Satoshi-and-friends’ codebase all over the place is the best way to go about solving the problem.
blockchain  review  Bitcoin  technology  capacity  critique  author:TonyArcieri  Coindesk  2016 
january 2016 by inspiral
Can an Arcane Crypto Ledger Replace Uber, Spotify and AirBnB? — Backchannel — Medium
The technology underlying Bitcoin has inspired a new flavor of techno utopianism that could spell the end of centralized app services as we know them — or not
blockchain  bitcoin  decentralisation  trends  forecast  opportunity  ImogenHeap  Mycelia  music  LaZooz  Uber  author:ScottRosenberg  BackChannel  2016 
january 2016 by inspiral
Why Bitcoin Matters | TechCrunch
Allow me to suggest a heretical thought, a violation of the new conventional wisdom. What if Bitcoin is more important than the blockchain? What if decentralized, permissionless Bitcoin is to financial-services blockchains almost exactly what the Internet was to corporate intranets twenty years ago?
Bitcoin  blockchain  advocacy  currency  money  opportunity  Techcrunch  2015 
january 2016 by inspiral
A16z Podcast: Blockchain vs./and Bitcoin | Andreessen Horowitz
Blockchain without bitcoin? It’s a debate as old as the cryptocurrency itself (which, to be honest, isn’t that old). Given that bitcoin is not just a digital bearer instrument/token but is a network, a distributed ledger, a protocol, the question of separating blockchain from bitcoin isn’t a moot one. Especially when you think of it analogously to voice over IP, but for financial services.
blockchain  Bitcoin  innovation  AdamLudwin  financialservices  sidechains  coloredcoins  AndreessenHorovitz  2015 
november 2015 by inspiral
Trust Machine: Global and Federated — Medium
Unlike The Economist article, I believe that Bitcoin is extremely important and it’s not just about the blockchain.
blockchain  Bitcoin  comparison  Economist  author:MuneebAli  Medium  2015 
november 2015 by inspiral
The trust machine | The Economist
The technology behind bitcoin could transform how the economy works
Blockchain  bitcoin  review  transactions  trust  Economist  2015 
october 2015 by inspiral
Programmable blockchains in context: Ethereum’s Future — Medium
By the end of this article, you’re going to understand blockchains in general (and Ethereum, a next-generation blockchain platform, in particular) well enough to decide what they mean to your life.
smartcontracts  blockchain  database  guide  author:VinayGupta  Ethereum  Medium  2015  bitcoin 
october 2015 by inspiral
Startup Management » The Global Landscape of Blockchain Companies in Financial Services
Large financial institutions don’t feel the impact of startups initially, because startups don’t attack existing players head-on. Rather, startups go around incumbents, and it takes a while before their market presence is visible or felt by larger players. Despite all of that, banks continue to grow and their assets continue to increase, as do their profits, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t being impacted by FinTech or BlockTech.
Blockchain  cryptocurrencies  startup  innovation  Infographic  StartupManagement  2015 
october 2015 by inspiral
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