Chris Skinner's blog

Shaping the future of finance


Is this the bank that JK Rowling based Gringotts on?

I found a great interview the other day with Bella Hoare, a partner and director at the world’s oldest privately owned bank, C Hoare and Co. The bank has been run by the Hoare family for 12 generations, and was originally set up as a goldsmiths by Richard Hoare in Cheapside in 1672. Almost twenty…

What is the purpose of money? (it’s not barter)

The confusion over the origins of money I, like most, thought money was invented to replace barter. I, like most, am wrong. Money has little to do with bartering. Money, in fact, has more to do with how society moved from villages and communities to societies and cities. Going back to the origins of money…

Money and bartering is not how trade began

When I wrote Digital Human, I got hauled up for saying that money replaced barter. It is a commonly held belief that humans evolved from nomads to farmers to cities and that, as they became civilised, they bartered bread for meat. However, that proved difficult if the butcher didn’t want meat, so how would that…

FinTech4kids, Part 5, Biometrics and Identity

When I wrote the Captain Cake series and pivoted to be a children’s author as well as a FinTech guy, a friend said that I should write a children’s book about FinTech, which I did. It’s not something aimed at publication as a book, but thought I would share with you what I came up…

Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google … Coinbase?

I was reflecting, which is dangerous. I was reflecting on my antipathy towards bitcoin as, like most bankers, it appeared to be a bit of a scam with no asset behind it. Then I woke up to what the libertarians have been saying to me all along: any currency is a scam. The US dollar…

Jamie Dimon is scared sh*tless of FinTech

It’s a big moment when one of the most respected bankers in the world Jamie Dimon, Chairman and Chief Executive of JPMorgan Chase which is one of the most highly valued banks in the world, says that he is “scared shitless” of FinTech. This is a $3.4 trillion banking goliath but, when asked his views…

Finding the missing links

When Digital Human was released in 2018, the opening chapter is all about the history of humankind. I don’t claim to be an expert on history, but I do know a lot of history, having visited museums in over 100 countries around the world. So, I was fairly offended by the only one-star review the…

What would Winston Churchill say about #Brexit?

No one knows. He died in 1965 and, fifty-five years later, no one can say what his view on Brexit would be. But the question is being raised in The Independent this week (first of a five part series). They quote a few speeches by Churchill post-war and his views on Europe which, if anything,…

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Gaping Void's Hugh MacLeod worked with the Finanser