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

There’s a fine line … between crime and fine

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak posted an update on LinkedIn the other day, saying how brilliant Britain is for foreign investments. That’s kind of no surprise, coming from the office of the person who wants foreign investment, but I did take note of one paragraph specifically: Despite challenging economic times, lots of sectors are flourishing. As…

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The Finanser’s Week: 30th January – 5th February 2023

This week’s main blog discussions include … FinTech in Africa: the State of the Nations I got this excellent update from FT Partners and felt compelled to share. What it should make you realise is that African Nations are leap-frogging the world. Enjoy! Executive Summary: FinTech is rapidly spreading into Africa. As mobile proliferation and…

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This week’s FU!

Highlights and links This week’s Guest Judge (and numbers nerd) Wasim Mushtaq former Transformation Lead, Financial Markets at Standard Chartered Bank, provided full transparency of his bespoke scoring system he applied – find out how our participants fared while they spoke about Amazon, Swift, Stripe, The White Stripes, Monzo, Musk, Karaoke, Iran, Russia, Zopa and lots more…

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Reading

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Things worth reading: 7th February 2023

Things we’re reading today include: Even well-funded fintech companies are laying off workers FinTech Australia Launches New Sector Ecosystem Map Demystifying the Banking Regulators’ Recent Crypto Actions: Key Takeaways for Fintech Companies Binance Announces Temporary Pause on U.S. Bank Transfers ‘Britcoin’ digital currency could be in use by end of decade Automatic bank transfer delays…

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Things worth reading: 6th February 2023

Things we’re reading today include … The Great Post-Covid Online Shopping Bet Was a Costly Delusion Swiss authorities open criminal probe into bank data breaches Desperate bank customers strip naked and fight in mass brawls to get to ATMs Bank of Scotland apologises to Scot after labelling his wife a ‘criminal’ Legendary Billionaire Proposes A…

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The Finanser’s Week: 30th January – 5th February 2023

This week’s main blog discussions include … FinTech in Africa: the State of the Nations I got this excellent update from FT Partners and felt compelled to share. What it should make you realise is that African Nations are leap-frogging the world. Enjoy! Executive Summary: FinTech is rapidly spreading into Africa. As mobile proliferation and…

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Things worth reading: 3rd February 2023

Things we’re reading today include … A new crypto threat to government launches Coinbase Shares Soar as Crypto-Related Stocks Continue Post-Fed Rally “If you’re a commodities trader in a bank, leaving is a no-brainer” Deutsche Bank announces highest profits in 15 years How First Abu Dhabi Bank pursued Standard Chartered and ‘opened Pandora’s box’ Bank…

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Things worth reading: 2nd February 2023

Things we’re reading today include: 2022 was the biggest year ever for crypto hacking Big Four banks made £20billion in nine months as households battled interest rates Who is the world’s highest-scoring bank in gender-equality? Russians’ deposits with foreign banks jumped to almost $82 bln in Jan-Nov Europe’s biggest fintech exec departures in the last…

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Things worth reading: 1st February 2023

Things we’re reading today include … ‘Grave Mistake’—Joe Biden Reveals Game-Changing Crypto ‘Roadmap’ After $2 Trillion Price Crash Government promises robust crypto regulation Revolut to hire 1,700 more staff as London fintechs defy global jobs cull 2023: A Year for Fintech M&A (Andreeson Horowitz) When will the Bank of England, Federal Reserve and ECB start…

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Digital Bank

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There’s a fine line … between crime and fine

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak posted an update on LinkedIn the other day, saying how brilliant Britain is for foreign investments. That’s kind of no surprise, coming from the office of the person who wants foreign investment, but I did take note of one paragraph specifically: Despite challenging economic times, lots of sectors are flourishing. As…

Read More

Hacks and attacks: what’s the right level of defence?

I watch the Ukraine-Russia conflict with anguish. The loss of life and property is appalling, and the bombing seems relentless. But I wonder why we fight wars with bombs today, when we could just as easily fight with computers. If you bring the network down, you win. Suffice to say that in the Ukraine-Russia war,…

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Tech and Cybersec in 2023: a world that is virtually different

Technology markets in 2022 were decimated.  Tesla share price collapsed. Netflix stock has dropped more than 50% in the last year. Facebook is in freefall. Even TikTok might be in trouble. Oh, and cryptocurrencies lost 50%-80% in value. Will 2023 be better? I believe it will be and, continuing this week’s mop-up of the main…

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Banks and crypto

Brushing FTX and the crypto winter to one side, a couple of other crypto-related headlines caught my attention recently. The first is America’s oldest bank, BNY Mellon (founded 1784), is offering digital custody services. BNY Mellon, America’s oldest bank, launches crypto service  The bank will store private keys to access the funds and provide the same bookkeeping…

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Don’t be a wolf in sheep’s clothing if you’re not a wolf

There are so many people who have been saying banks are boring, unable to change, incapable of being truly digital and challenged by challenger banks and fintech. Yet, here we are, almost at the start of 2023, and all of the challengers and start-ups are begging for banks to work with them. What’s happened? In…

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Top 11 blog entries of 2022

Here are this year’s 11 most-read blog items but, unlike previous year’s, they are not in order as it made more sense to list them by subject matter. Therefore, the placement is in parenthesis. Enjoy!   Banking in 2022: what’s going to happen? (#9) www.thefinanser.com/2022/01/banking-in-2022-whats-going-to-happen.html/ This was the forecast for banking made in January, using …

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Can the Bankosaurus jump the asteroid?

There are regular forecasts of the end of banking as we know it … “Digital wallets are the Kodak moment of banking” – @BrettKing, renowned banking futurist began our Financial Services Horizons webinar today with discussions on the future of banks and financial services in the region. Stay tuned for more insights over the next…

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Visa: It’s a war between their AI and our AI

Thanks to David Birch, I just watched this one hour episode about the history and development of bank cards, hosted by Professor Hannah Fry on the BBC.   I’m well aware of how cards started which dates back to when Frank McNamara forgot his cash and check book and created Diners Club back in the…

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Is FinTech really disruptive?

It’s interesting how often I see the word disruption, or things like incumbent and old. And yet, after almost twenty years of such discussion, has the old incumbent been disrupted? It doesn’t seem that way, as borne out by two articles I picked up on this week: JP Morgan remains world’s biggest systemically important bank;…

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Fintech

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FinTech in Africa: the State of the Nations

I got this excellent update from FT Partners and felt compelled to share. What it should make you realise is that African Nations are leap-frogging the world. Enjoy! Executive Summary: FinTech is rapidly spreading into Africa. As mobile proliferation and internet penetration continue to accelerate, financial services in many African markets are bypassing traditional banking…

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This week’s FU!

Just when you thought Fintech Uncut (FU for short) was quiet, we are back and louder than ever. Here’s to a 2023 of FU! There was a lot of angst this week, due to toxic cultures, relationships and losses – sadly just another week in Fintech and Financial Services … Here are the links to…

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How Cloudy is the FinTech Future?

I recently hosted a roundtable dinner about the role of cloud computing in banking. One of the attendees, Tim Skeet, kindly sent me his thoughts about this afterwards and has given permission to share this with you. How could I resist?   How Cloudy is the FinTech Future? The history of banking and tech has…

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Need help with sales and strategy? Our workshops and dinners can help …

I was asked last year to develop a 2-day strategy workshop for a bank. It went well and has developed a lot further, with interactive exercises and clarification of all terms and phrases in the financial, technology and fintech space. This ensures everyone is talking the same language and understanding. It also ensures the teams…

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FinTech trends for 2023: separating the wheat from the chaff

I see a lot of people talking about 2023 as the year we see the FinTech markets separate the wheat from the chaff. No wonder when you look at the stats that show it’s the end of the boom party. As reported by Hugh Son at CNBC: Many fintech companies — particularly those dealing directly…

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Top 11 blog entries of 2022

Here are this year’s 11 most-read blog items but, unlike previous year’s, they are not in order as it made more sense to list them by subject matter. Therefore, the placement is in parenthesis. Enjoy!   Banking in 2022: what’s going to happen? (#9) www.thefinanser.com/2022/01/banking-in-2022-whats-going-to-happen.html/ This was the forecast for banking made in January, using …

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The Indian FinTech Renaissance

I’ve covered in-depth views on FinTech in Africa, the Middle East (or is that West Asia?), Asia, Latin America and more, but feel that I skipped over India where the only in-depth views I’ve shared has been about PayTM. So, this time, it’s India’s turn. According to Ernst & Young – or is it just EY…

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This week’s FU!

In our final FU before Christmas, we made it a jolly one and, before you watch this week’s show, how about a little quiz for yourself? The fastest growing service ever launched achieved over a million users in five days. Who or what is it? Central banks cannot go bankrupt. However what made the Belgian…

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FinTech Schadenfreude?

People took great delight in telling me how some of the big FinTech trade shows this year appeared to be lots of struggling FinTech firms holding out begging bowls to banks. Many start-ups are struggling, with their cash runway running out, and they desperately need funding and investment. The banks are smiling and feeling that…

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Crypto

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Why do you rob banks?

I posted a quote the other day on social media, remembering the old bank robber in America, Willie Sutton. You may not have heard of him, as it is almost a century ago but, during his forty-year robbery career, he stole an estimated $2 million. Today that would be around $35 million. He then spent…

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Has crypto failed?

I’ve enjoyed the rise and rise of the Libertarian dream of ungoverned finance. In 2022, facing the reckoning, it’s now quite funny to see the Libertarians saying we need regulations. As I’ve always said: you cannot have money without governance. The challenge here however is what governance? Do we need central banks and nations to…

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Just when you think that crypto has failed …

Just when you think that cryptocurrencies are unregulated and ridiculous, the industry spends four years to work out a set of standards to ensure trust. Who would have thought it? Global cryptoasset standards This set of global principles of good practice in the Global Cryptoasset Standards has been developed to provide a common set of…

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Crypto 2023: Stronger (what doesn’t kill you)

After 2022’s bloodbath of the crypto world where so many firms were lost – FTX, Celsius, Terra, Three Arrows Capital, Voyager and Vauld to name just a few – this year will be sorting out the mess. Regulations will come to the crypto markets as will consolidation and organisation. It’s interesting that Coin Market Cap…

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The future of money, according to Vitalik Buterin

What excites Vitalik Buterin (Mr. Ethereum)? Vitalik Buterin is the leading thinker around smart contracts and blockchain, as well as being the inventor of ETH, the currency, and Ethereum, the platform. A really bright guy and always worth a listen. So, I was interested in his latest blog about the future of where all this…

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The whole point of money is to NOT know your customer

I really did not want to write about this article on the ECB’s website but, after so much coverage (including our discussion on this week’s FU), I feel I have to. So, the ECB say bitcoin is irrelevant. Why? Well, on the back of the collapse of Terra-Luna, Three Arrows Capital, Celsius, FTX, BlockFi and more,…

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You cannot have money without government … the question is: what government?

It amazes me how many people misread, half-read or assume things based on what you say. There were two instances in the last week. The first: There is an error in @Chris_Skinner’sreasoning. High quality crypto assets absolutely do have fundamental value (all currencies don’t have intrinsic value.) https://t.co/vCWqi00VQV — Gene Hoffman hoffmang.xch 🌱 (@hoffmang) November…

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The Crypto House of Cards

Building on Friday’s blog, everyone is asking whether the house of crypto is falling apart like a house of cards. People are saying that Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and faller at FTX, was running a Ponzi scheme. What is the definition of a Ponzi scheme? According to the Oxford Dictionary, it is “a form of…

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FTX? Short for FinTech eXplosion …

This year is proving a testing year for everyone, but particularly for those in the cryptocurrency space. We’ve seen the collapse of Celsius,  Terra-Luna, and now FTX and possibly Genesis. It just reinforces the Wild West of Crypto, which I’ve referred to often. The Financial Times commented on the collapse of FTX – surely you’ve heard…

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What did Barclays do wrong?

Last year I invited Gail Bradbrook, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, to write a monthly column explaining her motivations and methods. You can read those, and other climate and ESG related blogs, here. One specific column she contributed was asking how they could justify breaking bank windows. Extinction Rebellion lobbied HSBC and Barclays Bank specifically in…

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What should banks do to save the world?

I was surprised to be voted one of the leading thinkers on Climate Change by Thinkers360 … Delighted to find myself as one of the top thinkers about #ClimateChange 2022 from @thinkers360https://t.co/gKj0JwICSZ — Chris Skinner (@Chris_Skinner) January 3, 2023 It’s probably based on my last book, and I don’t think of myself as a climate…

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The need for a global greenwashing framework

I haven’t written about Green Finance for a while, but then saw this over on Bloomberg and couldn’t resist sharing. The need for a global greenwashing framework by Tim Quinson, Bloomberg Greenwashing may be the biggest risk to the future of ESG investing, but there’s no firm agreement on what it means in a legal…

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What is Regenerative Finance (ReFi)? Part II. The Implementation

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, I’m pleased to share a second post by Letty Prados. Last month, I shared her introduction about ReFi. Here is Part II! Exploring Regenerative Tokenomics. If you…

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#HSBC: Hypocritical Schizophrenic Bank on Climate Change

The biggest banks in the world are regularly advertising their green credentials, whilst killing the world. They claim to invest in green projects, which are trivial to the amounts they are lending to companies creating emissions and destruction. It’s kind of like a family where you say aren’t we good and then spending the evenings…

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Welcome to the Plastic Bank

For those who follow my thinking, you will know that the latest theme is how can we use technology to make the world a better place (if you don’t, read Digital for Good). The themes are about ESG, climate change, purpose and more, but it came home to me when thinking about children. Children are…

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The Prime Minister’s speech: Growth versus Degrowth

I listened to the new British Prime Minister, Liz Truss, speaking at her Conservative Party conference. She mentioned “growth” 29 times. I know what it is like to live somewhere that isn’t feeling the benefits of economic growth … Low growth isn’t just numbers on a spreadsheet. Low growth means lower wages, fewer opportunities and…

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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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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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Future

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Black Mirror, Season 7, Episode 3: The Office

One of my favourite series, Black Mirror, is about to return to Netflix for Series 6. So, it made me think about the future world and thought I would give an outline of an episode. I’m no screenwriter but … you never know. Black Mirror, Season 7, Episode 3: The Office I’m living in a…

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What would we do if electricity stopped tomorrow?

I received a bunch of interesting pings this week, but a few stood out. The main one was about the climate impact of crypto: Ethereum has managed to massively decrease its annual CO2 emissions as it has moved to a proof-of-stake blockchain. In 2021, it was creating a huge 21.95 million tons of CO2, which…

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We have Open Banking … can’t we have an Open World? #Davos

This week is Davos week when the mega-rich and powerful gather in a mountaintop miles away from any airport access, apart from private aircrafts of course. The theme of this week’s Davos is Co-operation in a Fragmented World “We see the manifold political, economic and social forces creating increased fragmentation on a global and national…

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I see dead people #CES

It’s pretty obvious that technology is changing how we relate to each other. From social media and trolling to creating avatars and the metaverse, our world is moving rapidly to one where we could feel more engaged with a hologram than with a real person sitting next to us. These things are illustrated by so…

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Without branches, are banks redundant?

I found it interesting to post that Société Générale is launching a new retail bank in France … “By 2025, the merged entity hopes to have 25,000 staff and operate 1,450 branches” … at the same time as another headline announces that bank branches are needed now more than ever … “The most popular reason for turning…

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Netflix to launch “A Fried Bankman” starring Sam Bankman-Fried?

A preview of Michael Lewis’s FTX series: “A Fried Bankman” During the holiday season, I binge-watched Billions once more. It’s a great series, and up there with West Wing and House of Cards. But it is fiction based on fact. The fiction is the dramatisation of a hedge fund skating on thin ice against the…

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What’s in store for banking in 2023?

Having covered the general economic outlook, let’s take a specific view of the banking sector. Not FinTech. Banking. According to Bloomberg, there will be six key trends emerging in the banking space: Big Banks Will Be Fine: big banks are well-positioned to weather what is expected to be a turbulent year. While capital levels are…

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Blog Index

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The Finanser’s Week: 30th January – 5th February 2023

This week’s main blog discussions include … FinTech in Africa: the State of the Nations I got this excellent update from FT Partners and felt compelled to share. What it should make you realise is that African Nations are leap-frogging the world. Enjoy! Executive Summary: FinTech is rapidly spreading into Africa. As mobile proliferation and…

Read More

This week’s FU!

Highlights and links This week’s Guest Judge (and numbers nerd) Wasim Mushtaq former Transformation Lead, Financial Markets at Standard Chartered Bank, provided full transparency of his bespoke scoring system he applied – find out how our participants fared while they spoke about Amazon, Swift, Stripe, The White Stripes, Monzo, Musk, Karaoke, Iran, Russia, Zopa and lots more…

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The Finanser’s Week: 23rd January – 29th January 2023

This week’s main blog discussions include … ISO 20022 … or is it ISO 20023 … 20024 … 20025? Anyone who has attended a Sibos conference or similar payments meeting will have heard the buzz about ISO 20022 for years. The idea is that this will unite the global banking industry with a new standard…

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The Finanser’s Week: 16th January – 22nd January 2023

This week’s main blog discussions include … Just when you think that crypto has failed … Just when you think that cryptocurrencies are unregulated and ridiculous, the industry spends four years to work out a set of standards to ensure trust. Who would have thought it Has crypto failed? I’ve enjoyed the rise and rise…

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The Finanser’s Week: 9th January – 15th January 2023

This week’s main blog discussions include … Start 2023 knowing where you’re going I was asked last year to develop a 2-day strategy workshop for a bank. It went well and has developed a lot further, with interactive exercises and clarification of all terms and phrases in the financial, technology and fintech space … How…

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The Finanser’s Week: 2nd January – 8th January 2023

This week’s main blog discussions include … How the world looks in 2023 Welcome to 2023 and happy new year! Thanks for coming back and it is truly appreciated. As usual, we start the year with a range of predictions. We’ll talk through those this week, from what will happen to banking, fintech and cryptocurrencies….

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

 This week’s main blog discussions include … Goodbye 2022 (and good riddance) I don’t know about you, but 2022 was a weird year for me. It started with pandemic controls being loosened, and I assumed it would be business back to normal and a great year. Instead, everyone started striking and laying people off. There…

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

This week’s main blog discussions include … 8 steps to innovation, as recommended by Robin Sharma Just saw Robin Sharma speaking at an event on innovation, who spoke before me. If you don’t know him, he’s been writing about leadership and innovation for years and, by background, was trained as a lawyer. He’s also a self-help…

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

This week’s main blog discussions include … The future of money, according to Vitalik Buterin What excites Vitalik Buterin (Mr. Ethereum)? Vitalik Buterin is the leading thinker around smart contracts and blockchain, as well as being the inventor of ETH, the currency, and Ethereum, the platform. A really bright guy and always worth a listen….

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The Finanser’s Week: 28th November – 4th December 2022

This week’s main blog discussions include … The Crypto House of Cards Building on Friday’s blog, everyone is asking whether the house of crypto is falling apart like a house of cards. People are saying that Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and faller at FTX, was running a Ponzi scheme. What is the definition of a…

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Chris Skinner
Commentator, CEO of The Finanser and best-selling author at The Finanser

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About Chris Skinner

Presentation at ZBP, September 2020, Warsaw, Poland

Alex at the Financial Services

Gaping Void's Hugh MacLeod worked with the Finanser