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Chris Skinner's blog

Shaping the future of finance

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Welcome to The Finanser by Chris Skinner

Welcome to The Finanser by Chris Skinner. The Finanser discusses all things FinTech, finance, banking, technology and, most importantly, the future. To make an enquiry about having Chris write or speak for you, here’s an illustration of his presentations … … Chris Skinner has regularly forecast the changes in finance driven by technology. He is…

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LATEST POSTS

Money isn’t about value … it’s about values

I picked up a great quote the other day: “Money isn’t about value … it’s about values”. It resonates with my own tagline for the last book (Digital for Good) which is: “Stand for something or you will fall”. The point of the latter is: What is the purpose of your life and work? The…

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What is Regenerative Finance (ReFi) (Part One)

I’ve been talking a lot about DeFi, CeFi and HyFi, and someone said: what about ReFi? ReFi? What’s that? Well, ReFi is all about Regenerative Finance, a system to rebuild Earth. Therefore, having shined a light on Gail Bradbrook’s thinking (she’s co-founder of Extinction Rebellion) for the last months, I’m pleased to introduce you to…

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Are you DeFi-ned?

I’m talking so much about decentralised finance (DeFi) these days. I guess because I’m grappling with whether DeFi can replace CeFi (centralised finance). This tension is real. Can a world without borders on a global network replace the world with borders in a centralised network? It’s hard to say, but it’s fascinating to watch. A…

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Reading

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Things worth reading: 4th October 2022

Things we’re reading today include … Cost of insuring against Credit Suisse defaulting reaches record high Banks ‘to face Lehman moment’ over stranded fossil fuel assets, report warns Don’t raise interest rates, UN warns the Federal Reserve and other central banks UK challenger Bank North collapses DeSo Is Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey’s Answer for…

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Things worth reading: 3rd October 2022

Things we’re reading today include … Cracks start to appear in the financial system: Bank of England, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank Credit Suisse reassures investors over bank’s financial strength Polish bank forced into reconstruction and owner fined 20 million zloty ($4 million) U.S. Bank Regulators Should Require Robust Climate Change Risk Measurements And Disclosures…

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The Finanser’s Week: 26th September – 2nd October 2022

The main blog discussions this week include … CeFi, DeFi? No, it’s HyFi with WiFi! Growing up hi-fi was High Fidelity, the best way to hear music. In 2022, HyFi is hybrid finance, the best way to use money. HyFi combines CeFi with DeFi. I don’t believe you can just have one. DeFi works for…

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Things worth reading: 30th September 2022

Things we’re reading today include … Barclays to pay $360mn after SEC charges bank over $18bn sale error Why build a fintech any more when you can just raise €20M and white-label it to banks? Cost-of-living crisis could spur fintech adoption The Crypto Report: Bitcoin and Ethereum continue to fluctuate as the crypto markets post…

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Things worth reading: 29th September 2022

Things we’re reading today include … JPMorgan’s digital bank Chase UK hits 1mn customers Bank of England goes into full crisis management mode Humiliation for UK’s ‘Kami-Kwasi’ chancellor as central bank steps in to halt market rout Someone in The Market Has Got UK Banks Totally Wrong Investment banks are sharpening the axe Bankers’ bonuses?…

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Things worth reading: 28th September 2022

Things we’re reading today include … JPMorgan doubles down on UK retail bank Chase Banks Stumble To Their Cloud-Based Future Wall Street banks to pay $1.8bn over messaging violations IMF criticises UK policy, Bank of England to make big response Speed and scale of events may force Bank to expedite next rate decision Fintech fight:…

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Featured Articles

Must Read Articles

Digital Bank

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If finance was a football team

I had this strange dream the other night where I wondered what a financial institution would look like as a football team. Sure, it’s a weird thing to dream about, but it made sense, so I woke up and wrote down the dream before going back to sleep again. Here is that dream: Welcome to…

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Has Goldman Sachs lost its marbles?

I stumbled over a detailed analysis of Goldman Sachs’ efforts to be a fintech the other day. Written by Mario Gabriele, Founder and Editor of The Generalist, the lengthy text is a great breakdown of how Goldman pivoted from an investment bank to launch a consumer bank over the past few years. I’ve picked a…

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My data is my data

Data ownership is a big battleground. Wanna know why? Check this out:* A man calls Pizza hut to order a pizza… CALLER:  Is this Pizza Hut? GOOGLE:    No sir, it’s Google Pizza. CALLER:  I must have dialed a wrong number, sorry. GOOGLE:  No sir, Google bought Pizza Hut last month. CALLER:  OK. I would like to…

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MasterCard or MasterChip?

I’ve said for years that MasterCard has the wrong name. Cards are so last century. This century is all about the chip, so MasterCard should be renamed MasterChip. For the first time the other day, I found a banker who agrees with me. Reuters reports that Brazil’s central bank chief Roberto Campos Neto said he believes…

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The Brazilian star that is Nu

I was recently presenting in Brazil, and did a fair bit of research and networking about the FinTech scene there. The biggest story is Nubank, parent company Nu, the challenger bank that’s become one of the biggest and brightest in the world. Valued at close to $50 billion when they IPO’d in December 2021, the…

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Is Goldman Sachs letting Apple down?

There’s a good old challenge in banking that, in recent years, has been growing. The challenge is to name the bad guy. Sometimes the bad guy is a hacker; other days, it’s a rogue trader; another event points the finger at an employee with a fat finger; but, more often than not, the bad guy…

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Is banking relevant?

We often talk about banking being plumbing, using smart pipes for delivery to the door. Some even comparing banking to sewage. I think I prefer plumbing. It sounds better. The thing is, how often do you think of changing your utility provider? Changing electricity, water and gas is not at the top of our agenda….

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Cards, contactless, Germany, Brexit … another weird day in 2022

Talking of Brexit I found it amusing that, when I posted a tweet the other day, people interpreted it in ways I didn’t expect. The tweet just made clear that Brits are nine times more likely to be scammed by criminals than Germans, as we are a major card-based nation. Just in case you cannot…

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Fintech

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Skandal! starts tonight on Netflix: the story of Wirecard

Skandal! starts tonight on Netflix What’s all that about? It’s all about Wirecard and the investigative journalism of one Dan McCrum, a friend who reported on the affair with The Financial Times. Over time, Dan’s work resulted in proving that Wirecard was  a scam. Having said that, he was attacked by the company and its…

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The Big Regression is here (The FinTech Winter)

Back in January, I forecast a Big Regression in 2022, and it’s here and now. Layoffs at Klarna, concerns about cryptocurrency exchange viability after Luna and Celsisus, acquisitions of weaker fintechs by big banks and more are the things we see today. It’s a bleak picture for some. By way of example, the KPMG report…

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Revolut’s auditing and AML controls raise questions

News broke on Monday that Revolut are under review, after their auditing was checked by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), the regulator of auditors, accountants and actuaries. Revolut’s auditors are BDO and the FRC said that an unidentified “financial services provider” poor audit work had created an unacceptably high risk of errors. Sources have confirmed that the…

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Developers: would you rather work for a bank or a fintech?

This video was dropped the other day by JPMorgan, encouraging young people good with technology to join the bank, instead of a fintech. In case you can’t watch it, here’s the argument. We have $12 billion to spend on tech JPM offers the same challenges as a Google with scale We’re the biggest bank in…

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The rapid change to cashless (and cardless)

I tweeted the other day how many places are now cashless. This is definitely true in most Northern European countries. In Poland, I haven’t used a banknote for two years or more. In the UK, I went to the theatre and they told me they wouldn’t take my banknote (by law, they have to, but…

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Starting up in a recession

The last recession of any major size was 2008. Fourteen years ago! The iPhone had just appeared and we had just started discussions around the concept of cloud computing. Oh, and FinTech wasn’t even talked about. Fourteen years later, FinTech is getting over $200 billion investment a year, and the world has changed a lot….

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What’s your view of insurance

I have house insurance for the contents and building. On top of that, I have a specialist insurance policy for my collection of rare things. I recently decided not to renew the latter. Why? Well, the house does have a few rare things inside … but no receipts. The things date back years and, in…

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2022: hard times, massive opportunities

2022 is proving to be a challenging year and, if my experience proves true, is harder than anything since we have seen since the pandemic began. After two years of lockdown, funding is still freely available but harder to find, and valuations are way down on previous years. Nevertheless, according to new data released by…

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It’s not a stablecoin … it’s just Stable!

A PR firm reached out to me the other day, saying: want to hear about a FinTech firm started on a farm? I said yes and, before I knew it, Stable became my new, favourite FinTech start-up. It meant that I soon hooked up in a conversation with the firm’s founder, Rich Counsell. Here’s our chat: Chris…

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Blockchain

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Are you DeFi-ned?

I’m talking so much about decentralised finance (DeFi) these days. I guess because I’m grappling with whether DeFi can replace CeFi (centralised finance). This tension is real. Can a world without borders on a global network replace the world with borders in a centralised network? It’s hard to say, but it’s fascinating to watch. A…

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Another day in Cryptoland: the failure of Celsius

I don’t write often about the Wild West cases of  Cryptoland – well, I do actually – but this latest one is a pearler so, here we go! I’m adding this to the ten (no, twenty, thirty, forty, hundred or more) cases of bad actors in the Cryptoland. In this case Alex and Krissy Mashinsky, a…

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The merge, surge, verge, purge and a splurge (#ETH)

Sometime today or tomorrow, a major moment in history will happen. No, not the Queen’s coffin arriving at Westminster Abbey, it’s The Merge! What’s The Merge? It’s when Ethereum merges with Beacon Chain and moves from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS). It’s a major move called the Merge, and sets Ethereum apart from most other crypto…

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Sex and drugs and crypto roll

Coindesk just ran a series of articles about the relationship between cryptocurrency and sins. The sins vary from money laundering to crime and porn and, in an interesting variant, the financial system has only ever progressed thanks to crime and sex, something I’ve written about a lot before. Here are a few key paragraphs from…

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Centralised versus decentralised: I lost control (again) [Part Two]

When a central banker says the old system needs a regeneration, then something obviously has gone wrong. Swiss Re’s Chief Economist Jerome Haegeli stated that “we are in a crisis” in “slow motion” thanks to food, energy, and supply-chain shocks, in an interview last week. “You need crisis times for the shift in the macro regime”…

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To centralise or decentralise: that is the question [Part One]

In what seems to be a series of posts, I’m going to hone in on the centralised versus decentralised view of the world. Here’s Part One! Thanks to my friend Dharmesh, I watched this 25 minute video from Coin Bureau the other day. The presenter is Guy Turner https://www.coinbureau.com/who-is-guy/ who is very articulate and credible….

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When crypto trading goes wrong

I find the world weird these days. Maybe it’s because I’m a grumpy old man. The flakiness ranges from schemes that are obviously trash to doing extreme activities that my father and grandfather would never have done. Examples? Skydiving, hanging off skyscrapers, diving with sharks, standing by gorillas and such like. Strangely, I’ve done all…

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But crypto is not going away …

Building on yesterday’s blog, it is very easy to portray the whole cryptocurrency marketplace as a scam, Ponzi scheme, Wild West and a place where you tread carefully as it is a minefield. In some ways, it is. There are plenty of things out there designed to just rip you off. There are also techie…

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What is Regenerative Finance (ReFi) (Part One)

I’ve been talking a lot about DeFi, CeFi and HyFi, and someone said: what about ReFi? ReFi? What’s that? Well, ReFi is all about Regenerative Finance, a system to rebuild Earth. Therefore, having shined a light on Gail Bradbrook’s thinking (she’s co-founder of Extinction Rebellion) for the last months, I’m pleased to introduce you to…

Read More

Insuring Hell on Earth

So for now this is the last of the guest blogs by Dr. Gail Bradbrook, the co-Founder of Extinction Rebellion. I do hope you have enjoyed something of the challenge, passion and alternative ways of seeing things that Gail has brought (find the others here). I invited Gail to contribute because I feel these difficult…

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The art of farketing

A colleague at The Financial Times picked out this quote from William Burroughs … … and it piqued my thoughts. Burroughs was a huge inspiration to David Bowie, who is a huge inspiration to me. I’ve read Naked Lunch, where this quote was taken, but they used this quote in relation to ESG. The Naked Lunch author…

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Six FinTech’s making the world a better place

I’ve written a lot recently about how technology can make the world a better place (read Digital for Good if you want to know more). It sounds esoteric but there are concrete examples from Alipay’s Ant Forest to Alandsbanken’s Baltic sea card, Green Finance is becoming a thing. So here are six FinTech firms who…

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Why you should care about inequality, even if you don’t!

Gail Bradbrook, Co-Founder of Extinction Rebellion, joins her colleague Felix Barbour, to further address this challenge from an angry banker, who responded to her earlier blogs on this site. Maybe like HSBC’s Stuart Kirk, our angry banker is merely voicing what many of us silently think? The question then is, is he right? (Stuart Kirk…

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#HSBC’s two-face strikes again

We had quite a few discussions around FinTech Week London and the line that seemed to catch people’s attention is: we must remove legacy thinking. There was debate about examples of legacy thinking. We need branches for advice; customers will always need cash (and checks!); only regulated markets by governments work; banks can only do…

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Don’t beam me out Scotty!

I shared Gail Bradbrook’s and Andrew Cass’s ideas around ESG on Friday, the role of finance in this space, and how it isn’t working as it should. This elicited an interesting response from Jeff Scott, Chairman and Co-Founder of Rewired Earth, a group that promotes the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals to deliver actionable insight…

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Beam me out, Scotty

As usual, I take time out on the first of each month to give Gail Bradbrook, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, a platform to talk. This month, Gail has made connections with a disgruntled investment professional who has worked extensively in the ESG field (Cass, Andrew!) who wants to tell some hard truths about the (un)reality…

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An interview with EFMA about the realities of digital for good

I just had a nice interview with EFMA (now Qorus) about the new book Digital for Good (available here), and thought I would share the interview here. Hope you like it. Qorus- It is not always easy to distinguish genuine leaders from clever communicators. How did you select the different people you gave the floor…

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Future

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MasterCard or MasterChip?

I’ve said for years that MasterCard has the wrong name. Cards are so last century. This century is all about the chip, so MasterCard should be renamed MasterChip. For the first time the other day, I found a banker who agrees with me. Reuters reports that Brazil’s central bank chief Roberto Campos Neto said he believes…

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The end of cash = the end of privacy?

Inspired by an article by Ilias Louis Hatzis, and my recent musings around a cashless world, I wondered what privacy is these days? What is private? Are we bothered about privacy? I guess many have let their guard down about privacy this century as, when everything is online, we no longer have any. We allow…

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A dystopian or utopian future? Money is the core

I got into a debate about my blog from Friday about money creating inequality, and how the future of space and sci-fi would have no money. I guess this resonates with most of my writing from discussing Metropolis – one of my favourite films, along with its many successors such as Hunger Games and In…

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FinTech Forces of the Future, Part Four: Technology and Life

The exciting area for me is always our technological future. Reusable rockets, life on Mars, quantum computing, robotics, artificial intelligence, the metaverse, blockchain, renewable energy and more are all going to transform the way we live over the next few years. What does this mean in reality? I could describe each one in depth, but…

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FinTech Forces of the Future, Part Three: People and Society

Society is changing rapidly, every day. We don’t see it but, if you take a dip into the worlds of 1982, 1992, 2002, 2012 and 2022, you can see the massive changes in how we live, work, relate, talk and transact. Back in the 1980s, no one had computers; we had rotary telephones; the main…

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FinTech Forces of the Future, Part Two: Government and Regulations

On reflecting the past decade of innovation in FinTech, it’s been interesting watching the struggles of regulators to keep up. The challenge is that the regulators haven’t been able to keep up. They allowed a lot of things to happen which, now, they’re trying to address. Let’s take a few examples. First, Peer-to-Peer Lending (P2PL)….

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FinTech Forces of the Future, Part One: Economics and Finance

I worry sometimes that my writing these days about how finance, technology and ESG combine will alienate many in finance and technology. It shouldn’t, as these two industries hold the keys to the solutions, but it has moved the agenda from where I came from to where I’m going to. When I reflect on the…

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A circular economy or degrowth?

I launched the new book Digital for Good in London the other day, and was joined by many friends in my network. The main highlight of the event was a panel discussion on where we are going with four panellists: Gail Bradbrook, Co-founder, Extinction Rebellion Gihan A.M. Hyde, Founder & CEO, CommUnique Tram Anh Nguyen,…

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So, how do we define money?

Benju Shah, Head of the Nordic BIS Innovation Hub for the Bank of International Settlements, followed up Sveinn’s session with a discussion defining money. When defining money, Benju started by saying it is for the public good. Hmmm … not so sure about this although Digital for Good is all about making that a reality. Money…

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Blog Index

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The Finanser’s Week: 26th September – 2nd October 2022

The main blog discussions this week include … CeFi, DeFi? No, it’s HyFi with WiFi! Growing up hi-fi was High Fidelity, the best way to hear music. In 2022, HyFi is hybrid finance, the best way to use money. HyFi combines CeFi with DeFi. I don’t believe you can just have one. DeFi works for…

Read More

The Finanser’s Week: 19th September – 25th September 2022

This week’s main blog discussions include … If finance was a football team I had this strange dream the other night where I wondered what a financial institution would look like as a football team. Sure, it’s a weird thing to dream about, but it made sense, so I woke up and wrote down the…

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The Finanser’s Week: 12th September – 18th September 2022

This week’s main blog discussions include: Skandal! starts tonight on Netflix: the story of Wirecard Skandal! starts tonight on Netflix What’s all that about? It’s all about Wirecard and the investigative journalism of one Dan McCrum, a friend who reported on the affair with The Financial Times. Over time, Dan’s work resulted in proving that…

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The Finanser’s Week: 5th September – 11th September 2022

The week’s major blog discussions include … To centralise or decentralise: that is the question [Part One] In what seems to be a series of posts, I’m going to hone in on the centralised versus decentralised view of the world. Here’s Part One! Thanks to my friend Dharmesh, I watched this 25 minute video from…

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The Finanser’s Week: 29th August – 4th September 2022

This week’s main blog discussions include … Insuring Hell on Earth So for now this is the last of the guest blogs by Dr. Gail Bradbrook, the co-Founder of Extinction Rebellion. I do hope you have enjoyed something of the challenge, passion and alternative ways of seeing things that Gail has brought (find the others…

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The Finanser’s Week: 22nd August – 28th August 2022

This week’s main blog discussions include … My data is my data Data ownership is a big battleground. Wanna know why? Check this out:* A man calls Pizza hut to order a pizza… CALLER:  Is this Pizza Hut? GOOGLE:    No sir, it’s Google Pizza. CALLER:  I must have dialed a wrong number, sorry. GOOGLE:  No sir,…

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The Finanser’s Week: 15th August – 21st August 2022

This week’s main blog discussions include … In space, no one can take your money The strapline for the film Alien was that in space, no one can hear you scream. It doesn’t sound quite as scary, but I was thinking about the cashless world and realised that: In case you cannot see the words:…

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The Finanser’s Week: 8th August – 14th August 2022

The main blog discussions this week include … Is Goldman Sachs letting Apple down? There’s a good old challenge in banking that, in recent years, has been growing. The challenge is to name the bad guy. Sometimes the bad guy is a hacker; other days, it’s a rogue trader; another event points the finger at…

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The Finanser’s Week: 1st August – 7th August 2022

This week’s main blog discussions include … Another day, another crash, another hack I stumbled across a tweet about Nomad, a cross-chain bridge, that had just had almost $200 million of crypto assets hacked: The cross-chain token bridge Nomad was exploited, with attackers draining the protocol of virtually all of its funds. The total But…

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The Finanser’s Week: 25th July 2022 – 31st July 2022

This week’s main blog headlines include … What’s your purpose? I find the world fascinating. Humans are amazing. We just launched the James Webb Telescope to see world’s formed billions of years ago and the Elizabeth Line. Both are engineering projects of immense challenge, and immense cost, as covered by many documentaries. Then I read…

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Best Financial Services Blogger

Chris’s latest book

Chris Skinner’s ‘Digital For Good’ Book Launch Event – CFTE

Global Awards

Best CEO of the Year UK 2022

Best Digital Finance Provider of the Year UK 2022

Best Financial Markets Adviser of the Year UK 2022

Portal to the Knowledge Base of the Financial Services Club UK 2022

Financial Markets Advisor of the Year UK 2022

Corporate America Today Annual Awards

Best Financial Markets Adviser of the Year UK 2022

Portal to the Knowledge Base of the Financial Services Club UK 2022

Financial Markets Advisor of the Year UK 2022

Nominee of MAD33 2021

Kids creating the future bank | TEDxAthens

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About Chris Skinner

Digital Bank Presentation

Digital Bank, May 2014 from Chris Skinner

Alex at the Financial Services

Gaping Void's Hugh MacLeod worked with the Finanser