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A world without borders

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We all know the world is changing. Every day, we see things changing. The only constant is change. This makes the state we live in today very interesting. I can send a crypto payment from London to Nairobi instantly but, for various reasons, I cannot make a payment to my own account today. That is because I am challenged by verification, authentication and other barriers. The question is whether those barriers exist. Are we being held within borders. Or are we?

In recent times, I’ve experienced border controls everywhere, due to too much flying around. Then I get online and there are no border controls. I just do stuff and can ignore regulations.

It’s a huge challenge, and one I talk about more and more often: can governments maintain their national borders? Obviously for tax and economic purposes, this is incredibly important, but what does it mean practically? For the many, probably not much. For the many, we can live and drive and work without worrying about borders but, for the rest, it is an important distinction. Just look at the boats and the UK Gov’s policy to stop the boats. We need borders … or do we? And do they really exist? Where are the borders and how do we enforce them?

It used to be easy, as we have border controls, an immigration force and policing that works. But it doesn’t work anymore, as everything is global. We have a global network, global people, global connections and global trade. Today’s world does not recognise borders or border controls.

I first experienced this with eBay, ordering things years ago from Asia to the UK with no controls. Today, if you know how, you can trade with anyone, anywhere, anytime. Isn’t that the dream?

Well, it may be your dream but it’s not the government’s dream. How do you tax and manage a system you no longer control?

That’s the question.

Right now, the answer seems to be to crack down on all sources of funding or releasing funds from outside the government network. In other words, wherever you cash in or cash out, you can be questioned.

That makes sense to me and is a discussion I’ve had often. Any time you cash in or cash out, you can be exposed to governmental controls. But what happens if you never cash in or cash out?

Well, then we have a world without borders.

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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