Chris Skinner's blog

Shaping the future of finance

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

When the network fails, what do you do?

I was driving to pick up my dog the other day from his kennel stay. We had been away on a holiday and the dog was booked into his doggie hotel. Halfway there, and being purely reliant on digital maps, the maps stopped navigating. Maybe I lost the signal or maybe there was no signal…

Read More

Why is Coca-Cola important?

It’s a little known fact that Coca-Cola was launched as a way to relieve the anxiety of change, but it’s true. Coca-Cola’s unique formula was developed to replace the addiction of Victorians to morphine and opium. The question is: why were Victorians addicted to morphine and opium? The answer is: the pace of change. Victorians…

Read More

Have we created Generative Finance yet?

Question: Have we created Generative Finance yet? Answer: No. Everyone has been talking about Generative AI for the past year or so, particularly after ChatGPT and OpenAI hit the market … and yet a lot finance is still really dumb. Where is the intelligence in finance? And, when we do get AI integrated with finance,…

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The Finanser’s Week: 19th February – 25th February 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … Is technology making our lives better or worse? I had a debate around the enshittifying dialogue the other day. At dinner with an executive from a Big Tech firm, he said that our world is made better with technology, not worse. So, I asked him to give me…

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Reading

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Things worth reading: 28th February 2024

Things we’re reading today include … Debanking fears as over 140k business accounts closed | Sky News Stablecoins win 60% of crypto volume as soaring coins lure bets on reliability – DL News Asset servicing industry news | BNP Paribas and Citi invest in United Fintech (assetservicingtimes.com) Greening the Bank of England’s Collateral Framework –…

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Things worth reading: 27th February 2024

Things we’re reading today include … Record rate-profits sees EU banks give shareholders €120bn (euobserver.com) Bank of England builds ‘proactive case’ to regulate non-banks | Reuters Why economists are warning of another US banking crisis (theconversation.com) Will Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) Impact Cross-Border Payments in 2024? | The Fintech Times Bitcoin mystery deepens as…

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Things worth reading: 26th February 2024

Things we’re reading today include … Why Sequoia’s Klarna board drama made the VC world wince – PitchBook Revolut still waiting for UK banking licence almost a year after claiming approval was ‘imminent’ | This is Money The crypto token for Sam Altman’s eyeball-scanning startup Worldcoin just hit an all-time high as WLD rides the…

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The Finanser’s Week: 19th February – 25th February 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … Is technology making our lives better or worse? I had a debate around the enshittifying dialogue the other day. At dinner with an executive from a Big Tech firm, he said that our world is made better with technology, not worse. So, I asked him to give me…

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Things worth reading: 23rd February 2024

Things we’re reading today include: Big Four banks post record £44bn profits from interest rate hikes (cityam.com) European Central Bank posts first annual loss in decades (cnbc.com) The European Central Bank Is Either Lying About Bitcoin or Lying to Itself (coindesk.com) Even the Bank of England is giving in to the banks – POLITICO A…

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Things worth reading: 22nd February 2024

Things we’re reading today include … 15 of the strangest fintech interview questions from Stripe, Revolut and more (efinancialcareers.com) Bombed-out bank shares are a failure of modern capitalism | The Spectator British banks want Big Tech to pay up when people are scammed online – POLITICO HSBC shares fall most since 2020 after profits plummet…

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Blog Index

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The Finanser’s Week: 19th February – 25th February 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … Is technology making our lives better or worse? I had a debate around the enshittifying dialogue the other day. At dinner with an executive from a Big Tech firm, he said that our world is made better with technology, not worse. So, I asked him to give me…

Read More

The Finanser’s Week: 12th February – 18th February 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … How old banks are responding to challenger banks (research report) I got an interesting research report from Economist Impact the other day, commissioned by Temenos. Usually I ignore such emails and updates, but this one was interesting as it’s focused upon how traditional financial providers are competing with…

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The Finanser’s Week: 4th February – 11th February 2024

The main blog discussions this week included … Do you need to be a bank in real life to be a bank in virtual life? Vitalik Buterin, the guy who created Ethereum cryptocurrency and smart contracts, blogged the other day about what happens when AI and blockchain collide. Funnily enough, that’s the theme of my…

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The Finanser’s Week: 29th January – 3rd February 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … How digitalisation is changing lending I was recently having a chat with my old friend Slava Solodkiy about the way in which digitalisation is changing lending. He then surprised me by summarising our discussion and allowing me to share it here! Here’s his write-up: How digitalisation is changing…

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The Finanser’s Week: 22nd January 2024 – 28th January 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … Old bank fears of regulators is opening massive new markets to their challengers I’ve just been through a very strange process with my main personal bank account provider who, thanks to fear of FCA and crypto, noticed that I had regular payments in and out of my account…

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The Finanser’s Week: 16th January 2024 – 21st January 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include: We need banking that is unusual Over the week, I got an update about Revolut and their business model. It was quite interesting although a little bit macro-level. My favourite part is where the Business Model Analyst listed the competitors to Revolut: Monzo: Monzo is a UK-based digital bank that offers features…

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The Finanser’s Week: 25th December 2023 – 14th January 2024

The main blog discussions this week include … What’s in store for 2024: The Economy Welcome to 2024! For this first week of 2024, I’m going to summarise the stuff I’ve seen around the PEST landscape. PEST? Politically, Economically, Socially and Technologically. What’s in store for 2024: The Technology I was looking for the top…

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The Finanser’s Week: 18th December – 24th December 2023

This week’s main blog discussions include … Are banks and fintechs partners, competitors or suppliers? Over the past decade+ we have seen thousands of fintechs arise. Many are challenging and disrupting, whilst many more are providing and supplying. What is the role of a fintech? My advice is that fintechs are there to fix the…

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Looking back at 2023

As usual at the end of the year, I look back and see what was of most interest in the blog over the last 12 months. So, here goes: #10 Will Silicon Valley Bank kill the FinTech industry? “When you’re not working, what do you do to de-stress?” was the last question Greg Becker, CEO…

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The Finanser’s Week: 11th December – 17th December 2023

This week’s main blog discussions include … There were 50 ways to leave your lover … now there’s one more (thanks to your payment app) Over the years, there have been many weird and wacky ideas for banking. There was the G&L Bank in the USA in 2000, targeting the LBGTQ+ community. It was a…

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Future

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3 out of 5 frauds come from Meta

Appearing in a Parliamentary session the other day, Woody Malouf, Revolut’s head of financial crime, said Meta platforms were “being used as a hotbed for scams” and estimated that 3 out of 5 scams are being generated by Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp I’ve no idea about your experience but my experience is that anything I…

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Is the future frightening or great?

My partner called me and said she was in trouble. She had just been to the bank and was overdrawn by $1,500. Could I send $4,000 quickly to stop the bank from freezing her account? Of course, I did … only to discover it wasn’t her. People are warning us that quantum computing, deepfake and…

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Do you need to be a bank in real life to be a bank in virtual life?

Vitalik Buterin, the guy who created Ethereum cryptocurrency and smart contracts, blogged the other day about what happens when AI and blockchain collide. Funnily enough, that’s the theme of my new book Intelligent Money. Vitalik cites four major areas where blockchain and AI will make a difference, and each has different ramifications. The focal point…

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Can you close the gate after the horse has bolted?

We need global regulation of all technology … but can we? Building on yesterday’s piece, there is a call in many circles for the global regulation of Big Tech. In fact it goes far further than Big Tech. It’s a call for regulating everything online. From cryptocurrencies to social media to artificial intelligence … it…

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Does ESG matter?

Two years ago Stuart Kirk, the then head of responsible investing for HSBC, delivered a mic dropping speech at the FT Moral Money conference. What did he say? Here’s a few quotes: “Who cares if Miami is six metres underwater in 100 years? Amsterdam has been six metres underwater for ages, and that’s a really…

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How digitalisation is changing lending

I was recently having a chat with my old friend Slava Solodkiy about the way in which digitalisation is changing lending. He then surprised me by summarising our discussion and allowing me to share it here! Here’s his write-up: How digitalisation is changing lending When thinking about this my brain thought linearly – taking current…

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Creating the world that is the best it can be

Attending a dinner with family the other night, we got into a kind of argument or debate that had me in one corner as the boomer and my friend, a young parent, as GenZ. It was a heated debate and I don’t think either of us won. What do you think? Summarising the discussion, I’ll…

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We are all just prisoners here, of our own device …

I just found a fascinating report from data.ai about the state of mobile usage today. Apparently we spend a third of the day, on average, playing with our phones. The mobile economy is now worth more than half a trillion dollars; with most of it generated through spending on mobile adverts; and almost 500,000 apps…

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A $7 trillion opportunity for banks … or is it?

Banks are boring but necessary. Banks are stable, secure, reliant, resilient and shouldn’t innovate or do things that could increase risk to the system. As a result, banks have been here forever and, love or hate them, will never go away. According to a new report from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), global banks could boost…

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Does ESG matter?

Two years ago Stuart Kirk, the then head of responsible investing for HSBC, delivered a mic dropping speech at the FT Moral Money conference. What did he say? Here’s a few quotes: “Who cares if Miami is six metres underwater in 100 years? Amsterdam has been six metres underwater for ages, and that’s a really…

Read More

Creating the world that is the best it can be

Attending a dinner with family the other night, we got into a kind of argument or debate that had me in one corner as the boomer and my friend, a young parent, as GenZ. It was a heated debate and I don’t think either of us won. What do you think? Summarising the discussion, I’ll…

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60 seconds to midnight

I grew up with lots of things, but one that struck me in the heart was a song Seven Minutes to Midnight that came out in the late 1970s (showing my age). What did the song mean? I discovered it related to the Doomsday Clock, the clock that measured the threats to our planet and…

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A three-sided bank: customer, community and the planet

I recently was introduced to VDK Bank, a community bank based in Ghent, Belgium, by Rik Coeckelbergs. The bank has done something interesting, launching a three-sided coin. The idea is to triple your thinking. The three-dimensional bank focuses upon customer, community and then the third dimension is to think about how money impacts the planet….

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The Earth is on fire … is it your fault?

During the summer, we are struck by massive wildfires taking place across the Americas and Europe. The devastation to Hawaii is specifically notable, but what about Greece, Tenerife and Canada and the rest. This is not normal. Then you go from wildfires in California to floods and mudslides in the same place. This is not…

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50 shades of green – is your bank sustainable?

I was recently wondering which banks are the most green. Names come to mind like Co-operative Bank (UK), Triodos Bank (Netherlands), Alandsbanken (Finland), MyBank (China), Amalgamated Bank (America) and more, but they are few and far between. Some are committed and some are just paying lip service or, as we say, greenwashing. The difference is…

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Make my money matter … an interview with Richard Curtis

I spotted an interview with Richard Curtis the other day about his campaign to change how pensions funds invest. The campaign is called Make my money matter and asks institutional investors, pension funds and banks to ensure that they invest in a sustainable way. Discussing this in an interview with Akshat Rathi in the podcast…

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Who will head the World Bank, and what do they think?

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she expected former Mastercard chief executive Ajay Banga to be elected president of the World Bank as nominations drew to a close. It is not surprising as, when nominations closed at 6pm in Washington yesterday, there were no other publicly declared candidates. Who is Mr. Banga? According to Wikipedia, Ajay…

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Crypto

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Is Crypto Snake Oil or Gold?

There are many who compare bitcoin to digital gold, and there are many others who claim that bitcoin is just snake oil selling and a waste of time. Who is right and who is wrong? I guess the first thing is to define snake oil. Snake oil is a term used to describe a scam….

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Do you need to be a bank in real life to be a bank in virtual life?

Vitalik Buterin, the guy who created Ethereum cryptocurrency and smart contracts, blogged the other day about what happens when AI and blockchain collide. Funnily enough, that’s the theme of my new book Intelligent Money. Vitalik cites four major areas where blockchain and AI will make a difference, and each has different ramifications. The focal point…

Read More

The SEC approves bitcoin … or does it?

Everyone got very excited last week about the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission, USA) approved the use of bitcoin on ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds). Fantastic … but what does it all mean? Does it mean the SEC approves of bitcoin trading? Does it mean the Federal Reserve and USGov endorse cryptocurrencies? Some would say yes,…

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What’s in store for 2024: Cryptocurrency

According to most pundits, 2024 looks like a great year for cryptocurrency. Analytics Insight predicts a resurgence, with the crypto market expected to surpass the US$3 trillion mark. Why? The main driver seems to be another bitcoin halving, but also Ethereum and altcoins seem to be big movers, alongside rising crypto adoption amongst mainstream institutions. Gemini,…

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Interview with the vampayer

I just had an interview with a journalist via email. It was quite interesting, and wanted to share it with you. The key point being made is that everything we have today – apps, online, cards and more – are going to disappear. Are they? Mobile payments, BNPL, open banking, artificial intelligence – these are…

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When regulators crackdown on crypto, you know that crypto has crept out

The cryptocurrency industry is maturing and, as it does so, the government, statists and regulators are diving in to control it, as are the banks and financial institutions. In fact, it intrigued me when talking with a major institution the other day that they said they could have been Coinbase, if only their management team…

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Are we cashless and branchless now?

I’ve just been travelling Asia and went on a trip where the entrance to the first attraction – the batcave! – was two ringgits. That’s Malaysian currency and the equivalent of around half a dollar. As per usual these days, I have no cash and this was the first and only time in my one…

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The UK sets out plans for stablecoins … do the plans have a major flaw?

After Terra-LUNA, SBF and FTX, and the whole wild west of digital currencies, stablecoins are now in fashion as the Bank of England and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) outlined the UK plans for legitimising stablecoins yesterday. Bear in mind these are not CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currencies), but currencies backed by CBDCs, fiat currencies or…

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The rise and fall of a cryptopunk

How could I not make a blog about Sam Bankman-Fried who, yesterday, was found guilty of running a Ponzi scheme smash-and-grab using cryptocurrency? Well, I couldn’t, so here it is. Yesterday Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the tousle-haired mogul who founded the FTX cryptocurrency exchange, was convicted of all seven charges of fraud and conspiracy after a…

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Fintech

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When the network fails, what do you do?

I was driving to pick up my dog the other day from his kennel stay. We had been away on a holiday and the dog was booked into his doggie hotel. Halfway there, and being purely reliant on digital maps, the maps stopped navigating. Maybe I lost the signal or maybe there was no signal…

Read More

Have we created Generative Finance yet?

Question: Have we created Generative Finance yet? Answer: No. Everyone has been talking about Generative AI for the past year or so, particularly after ChatGPT and OpenAI hit the market … and yet a lot finance is still really dumb. Where is the intelligence in finance? And, when we do get AI integrated with finance,…

Read More

Is technology making our lives better or worse?

I had a debate around the enshittifying dialogue the other day. At dinner with an executive from a Big Tech firm, he said that our world is made better with technology, not worse. So, I asked him to give me five examples of how it makes our world better. Here’s what he came up with….

Read More

My top 5 tips for fintechs and finance

I was interviewed the other day by Jason Hartman for Authority magazine for some top tips for fintechs and finance. Worth a read but it you cannot be bothered clicking, here is the interview! As part of my series about the “How to Navigate and Succeed in the Modern World of Finance”, I had the pleasure of…

Read More

How old banks are responding to challenger banks (research report)

I got an interesting research report from Economist Impact the other day, commissioned by Temenos. Usually I ignore such emails and updates, but this one was interesting as it’s focused upon how traditional financial providers are competing with challengers like Monzo, Starling, Bunq and Chime. According to the study, “Challenging the challengers: Europe’s banks face…

Read More

Why Big Tech giants are enshittifying our lives

I’ve just finished a very long and fascinating read by Cory Doctorow in The Financial Times, talking about how the Big Tech giants have turned our world to shit. He calls it the enshittification process. The process runs in four stages: they claim platforms are good to their users: don’t be evil; making the world…

Read More

Do you need to be a bank in real life to be a bank in virtual life?

Vitalik Buterin, the guy who created Ethereum cryptocurrency and smart contracts, blogged the other day about what happens when AI and blockchain collide. Funnily enough, that’s the theme of my new book Intelligent Money. Vitalik cites four major areas where blockchain and AI will make a difference, and each has different ramifications. The focal point…

Read More

Could we run the banking system outside the banking system?

I’ve asked myself this question often recently: could the banking system be run outside the banking system? I guess the start point of this discussion is: what is the system? Just like to be or not to be, that is the question. What is the system? It’s a debate I’ve been having for years –…

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How digitalisation is changing lending

I was recently having a chat with my old friend Slava Solodkiy about the way in which digitalisation is changing lending. He then surprised me by summarising our discussion and allowing me to share it here! Here’s his write-up: How digitalisation is changing lending When thinking about this my brain thought linearly – taking current…

Read More

Digital Bank

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When the network fails, what do you do?

I was driving to pick up my dog the other day from his kennel stay. We had been away on a holiday and the dog was booked into his doggie hotel. Halfway there, and being purely reliant on digital maps, the maps stopped navigating. Maybe I lost the signal or maybe there was no signal…

Read More

Why is Coca-Cola important?

It’s a little known fact that Coca-Cola was launched as a way to relieve the anxiety of change, but it’s true. Coca-Cola’s unique formula was developed to replace the addiction of Victorians to morphine and opium. The question is: why were Victorians addicted to morphine and opium? The answer is: the pace of change. Victorians…

Read More

Have we created Generative Finance yet?

Question: Have we created Generative Finance yet? Answer: No. Everyone has been talking about Generative AI for the past year or so, particularly after ChatGPT and OpenAI hit the market … and yet a lot finance is still really dumb. Where is the intelligence in finance? And, when we do get AI integrated with finance,…

Read More

Is technology making our lives better or worse?

I had a debate around the enshittifying dialogue the other day. At dinner with an executive from a Big Tech firm, he said that our world is made better with technology, not worse. So, I asked him to give me five examples of how it makes our world better. Here’s what he came up with….

Read More

My top 5 tips for fintechs and finance

I was interviewed the other day by Jason Hartman for Authority magazine for some top tips for fintechs and finance. Worth a read but it you cannot be bothered clicking, here is the interview! As part of my series about the “How to Navigate and Succeed in the Modern World of Finance”, I had the pleasure of…

Read More

Regulating intelligence

There are many questions about how we can regulate artificial intelligence, and these grow every day. With deep fake voices and faces, anybody could be convinced to give away their money, bank details or more. How do you regulate AI? To illustrate a basic form of AI, I asked Deepmind to create a video about…

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3 out of 5 frauds come from Meta

Appearing in a Parliamentary session the other day, Woody Malouf, Revolut’s head of financial crime, said Meta platforms were “being used as a hotbed for scams” and estimated that 3 out of 5 scams are being generated by Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp I’ve no idea about your experience but my experience is that anything I…

Read More

How old banks are responding to challenger banks (research report)

I got an interesting research report from Economist Impact the other day, commissioned by Temenos. Usually I ignore such emails and updates, but this one was interesting as it’s focused upon how traditional financial providers are competing with challengers like Monzo, Starling, Bunq and Chime. According to the study, “Challenging the challengers: Europe’s banks face…

Read More

Why Big Tech giants are enshittifying our lives

I’ve just finished a very long and fascinating read by Cory Doctorow in The Financial Times, talking about how the Big Tech giants have turned our world to shit. He calls it the enshittification process. The process runs in four stages: they claim platforms are good to their users: don’t be evil; making the world…

Read More

What is the future?

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About Chris Skinner

The Past, Present And Future Of Banking, Finance And Technology

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Chris Skinner
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