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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…

Stop worrying that the machine will kill the human

I see so much discussion of AI and cloud in finance, and realised the other day that we have created a whole new risk structure on top of banking and finance. The systemic risk of failure if a cloud provider goes down or an AI system goes rogue. This is a question raised the other…

In finance, songs are as good as gold

Everyone who knows me well, knows that I grew up with David Bowie as my real-life Hero. I saw him concert regularly, until he stopped touring in the 2000s, and loved the fact that not only did he produce unique music, but nearly every time it was performance and music. He was first to really…

ChatGPT or a branch teller?

I’ve been sitting and thinking. Not a bad thing, but a dangerous thing. I’ve been sitting and thinking about AI, Artificial Intelligence. How will AI change banking and finance? Specifically, how could we use AI to change banking and finance? When I think about this, I think about how banking has changed since the last…

Is crypto the #1 choice for terrorist funding?

I hate stepping into controversy, and I know that this column is going to be really unpopular, but the latest reporting of terrorist funding using cryptocurrencies is seriously biased. This specifically relates to Hamas and Hezbollah in Gaza and Lebanon respectively. The latest violence taking place between Israel and Palestine is awful. No one can…

Forget cashless as cash is the only payment system that works

During the summer, there’s been a lot of news about cash. A new €500 banknote is coming whilst, on the converse, a lot of people have been discussing life using cash. Is cash still relevant? Do we need new banknotes? Well … here’s the lowdown. I am guessing that most of the cash discussions were…

Send a nude pic for a loan

Some years ago, I remember a Chinese lender, Jiedaibao by JDCapital, asking applicants to send them a nude photo to get the loan. The photo would be kept private unless the loan defaulted. If payments were missed, the photo would be shared online to all your friends and contacts. That’s a good way to ensure…

Could stablecoins pull the rug from under the US markets?

This is quite a complicated update, but it came to mind when I saw that JPMorgan analysts are predicting stablecoins could destabilise the traditional financial markets. This is because the Federal Reserve decided in April that money funds created for the sole purpose of accessing its overnight reverse repo facility, which is called ON RRP,…

Do you need to be in finance to start a fintech?

I saw an interesting comment the other day that got lots of shares, likes and clicks: fintech founders MUST have some experience in banking or financial services background first before they are funded. Many fintech neophytes destroy so much value not out of deliberate actions but just pure ignorance. Funnily enough the person making this…

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