Chris Skinner's blog

Shaping the future of finance

Crime

Kim Jong-un isn’t that clever … is he?

OK, so I said earlier this week that I normally get asked about security by someone who is threatened by the onwards march of digitalisation. Sure, security is important, and the issue is that for every step of innovation we create a step of risk. We don’t know the risks until they are exposed and…

Regulating the unregulated

I was thinking about this question of how to regulate global technology platforms that don’t recognise national boundaries, mainly in the context of crypto and digital currencies. How can you regulate a global currency that has no view of state or national laws? Obviously, you can only regulate it when someone puts national currency in…

The crazy world of crypto currencies and ICOs

I’m boarding a flight yesterday and murfing (mobile surfing).  Flicking between Facebook apps, twitter, bank account, BBC news and more.  Suddenly I spot a new ICO – Initial Coin Offering – for a new bank.  From Wikipedia: “An initial coin offering (ICO) is a means of crowdfunding the release of a new cryptocurrency. Generally, tokens for the new cryptocurrency are…

Solving state corruption with technology

I try to generally avoid making political commentary on the blog as it’s not appropriate. This is a blog about technology and finance, not the economy and politics.  Every now and again the two come together such as with Brexit and Donald Trump.  Equally sometimes they cannot be avoided as the politics impacts the financial…

Russians launder billions through British banks (who cares?)

I blogged recently that there is around $1.6 trillion of money laundering globally and less than 2% is caught by the financial system.  That’s a stunning amount and makes you wonder why our system is so awful.  Much of it is down to the fact that account openings depend upon physical documentation and human checks. …

India’s idea about a cashless society is not the reality

I wrote a while ago about the amazing digital identity scheme in India called Aadhaar.  It’s a card-based biometric scheme using a centralised database.  Of course, today, they would have developed the scheme on a mobile wallet with a distributed ledger but hey, you can’t win them all.  Some say that this just illustrates how…

It’s so easy to hack you, and here’s how

It was really interesting listening to Jamie Woodruff, The Ethical Hacker, talking about how he can break into anyone’s system.  It’s pretty easy when you know how.  His discussion shows just how easy it is, if you have confidence to con.  This reminded me of Tony Sales who spoke at the Financial Services Club three…

British bank has a third of its customers’ accounts hacked

We’ve seen some pretty strong attacks on banks cyberdefences in the past year. Three major incidents in the SWIFT network; 50 at the Federal Reserve; problems at the Bank of England and many other central banks; a major incident at the Danish payment processorNETS; and big banks like HSBC and JPMorgan have all been affected. Admittedly,…

China’s P2P are taking the P

According to latest stats, China’s FinTech markets are booming in 2016. Over $10 billion went into FinTech firms in China in the first half of 2016, although half of that was Ant Financial followed closely by Lu and JD Finance. China’s Fintech 50 by KPMG (download the full report here) What intrigues is that this…

Creating PayPal’s Perfect Storm

Apparently, I am a miscreant.  I am the one guy who managed to break PayPal.  What?  OK, here’s the story.  The next 2,000 words tell the story but, if you’d rather miss that and cut to the chase, jump to the end. Most of my customers wire me the money.  American customers are more of…

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