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Is it true that challenger banks no longer challenge?

In the 1990s, I got very excited about a number of challenger banks. Sainsburys, Tesco and Virgin all launched new banks in the UK, and there were several others worldwide such as the (David) Bowie Bank and the G&L (Gay and Lesbian) Bank. Where are they now? Nowhere. Sainsbury bank is up for sale, Tesco…

The Willy Wonka World of AI

Is AI a good or bad thing? As I write my daily blog, I’ve realised that it seems to ask a question almost every single day. By way of example, just checkout my blog index and read the titles of the entries. A few recent examples: Is technology making our lives better or worse? Is…

How does cashless work in the gig economy?

One of the biggest challenges in moving to cashless is that there are a lot people who rely on cash. I hate it when you go to a restaurant and pay by card, because there’s nowhere to leave a cash tip. Sure, there’s a service charge, but will that be given to your host and…

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…

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…

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…

What’s in store for 2024: Wrap-up

Having covered so many articles on 2024 predictions this week, I am struck by how nearly all of them are AI-focused. That was 2023 folks. 2024 will be far more about geopolitics, which is one of five megaforces identified by BlackRock in a major recent research report, as summarised by Satori News: The world is…

The Deep Fake Decade: when world leaders have no idea what is real or not real

In case you missed it, Vladamir Putin did a media conference the other day and it did not include just the press, but the general public too. Questions like “when will the war end”, “why does my mobile phone say that I’m no longer in the Russian network when travelling to Crimea” and “tell us,…

This house believes technology in finance is a good thing

In my head, I often have an argument and, unsurprisingly, I had one today. Today’s argument is around how technology is used in finance and whether it’s a good or a bad thing. Therefore, in the spirit of a good Oxford debate, we have the proposer and opposer. The debate would go as follows (in…

JPMorgan: data is fuel for the business

Building on yesterday’s blog, I just stumbled across a podcast called Tech Trends by JPMorgan Chase – everything to do with tech, digital, data and fintech, broadcast by a bank. Fantastic. The first show I downloaded is all about organising data to fuel growth. Interestingly, their Chief Data Officer defines data as the fuel for…

Intelligent Money: Our Future Is Where We Do Not Think About Money, As Our Money Thinks For Us

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