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The future has no flags

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I grew up as an Englishman. Then I became British. Now, I’m a European. But then we had Brexit and all the other stuff. Yet now I live in Poland. I believe in a world of the future that has no borders, no flags, no barriers. Am I deluded?

During my lifetime, the world has changed a lot. My dad, grandma, great-grandma and great-great grandad would say the same. But today is different. During the last century, we fought wars to gain power. Today, there are wars, but the wars are on the fringes. A hundred years ago, we would fight to assimilate a country. Today, countries are already pretty much assimilated.

So what?

So, I have this idea that in a hundred years, the world will have no borders. There will be no flags. The world will live as one.

Of course, there will be some who don’t. There will be some who resist and some who fight, but it’s pretty obvious that if Elon Musk’s vision of a multiplanetary species is achieved, why would Earth have separations?

We have separations to be nations? We want to follow our team? We want to be united as a country, as a nation, as a force?

Maybe yes, maybe no, but it gets interesting as our network does not recognise nations. The internet does not recognise countries. The internet is flag-less, border-less, nation-less, global.

This is the big challenge for all of us. How do you deal with a network that has no flags, no borders, no nations, no countries, no alliances?

This is now. It’s not the near future. It’s now. How do you deal with a network that is global, and yet has nations and governments that want to manage it?  How do you deal with a network that allows global trade, and does not care about nations and governments who want to manage it? If the platforms of the network are now governments of the network, what are governments for? They’re not elected, but they are the platforms people want. Amazon, Alibaba, Facebook, Spotify, Tencent and more are the platforms people want. And the people don’t care about the governments and regulators. Power to the people.

But what happens if the people power moves into other areas, like money and commerce? Well, they already have. That is the whole point of cryptocurrencies and the new forms of networking and trading. The new world of the network does not recognise flags or borders and, equally, does not recognise governments or currencies. It is borderless and global; it is networked and regulated by the network.

That is the point.

It is not regulated by Boris Johnson or Joe Biden or Angela Merkel or President Xi. It is regulated by the people, for the people. Is that ridiculous or real? You tell me.

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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