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Constantine Firun
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Chris, till we have national currencies we will have national banks and therefore banking. Banking will change greatly but won't disappear as cryptocurrency-phophets predict. What do you think about telecoms and their banking efforts and chances?
Blockchain is maturing and comes to banks and governments, that's a fact. Although Bitcoin will be remembered as Gold Rush which ended in fully settling California and not in gold mining. Not many remember that there wasn't much gold at all but there was a lot of buzz and hype. The same is true for Bitcoin which has already finished it task of crowd-sourcing blockchain technology. 'Useful idiots' among crypto-anarchists and sympathizers have spent mind-blowing amount of almost free man-hours to develop and test technology. If the blockchain was developed by a corporation or government it would have cost quite a lot. Now blockchain is almost fully tested by real-life and ready for its prime time among companies and governments.
Chris, what do you think if in near future banks work only with B2B clients, routing all B2C cases to telcos? Telcos (MNOs) have a mind-blowing B2C clients coverage in comparison to banks, especially in developing countries and financial services can be a nice addition to ARPU. And in the same time banks will get rid of dealing with millions of customers, but still not falling down in profits managing B2B accounts of mentioned telcos, which by turn continue to work with average customers like they already do for years.
Chris, you are absolutely right about humanity. What if the most humane way of future is absence of technology? I mean technology will be all over but in the same place usual for us like walking, breathing etc. Frankly speaking such scenario is not a science fiction, and all we need to achieve such level of technology is contact lenses with integrated transparent displays (yeah, like in 'Black Mirror' or eyePhone in Futurama :-) ). There already are contact lenses with transparent black-and-white displays (2012 video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-btRUzoKYEA), speech recognition is robust enough and brain-computer interfaces are evolving fast, voice recognition can become ultimate biometric technology to identify and authorize people. Yeah, there is problem with batteries but it should be solved in following years I guess, otherwise we are doomed :) Of course with such equipment old banking is anachronism, but we already have blockchain so future will be bright. The only problem is batteries...
Chris, thanks for sharing your thoughts on how Bitcoin can exist along with Government compliance. What do you think if the Bitcoin is crowd-sourcing project for testing blockchain technology which will be used by Governments for minting money in near future? Literally issuing USD on blockchain and eliminating physical cash which is quite outdated due to lack of control – printed money flow is uncontrolled and as we see USD banknotes are used to buy oil from ISIS controlled oil-fields (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/19/-sp-islamic-state-oil-empire-iraq-isis ). Federal Reserve has recently published paper on this topic (https://fedpaymentsimprovement.org/wp-content/uploads/strategies-improving-us-payment-system.pdf ), and it seems like blockchain is described there although in indirect speech. From Government perspective blockchain gives great opportunity for transactions monitoring and taxation – money laundering becomes really complicated in this matter. Technically switching monetary system on blockchain is possible – every issued banknote has its own hash aka 'serial number' which can be used on blockchain. Blockchain as a protocol looks to me like TCP/IP in 1970s – it was crowd-sourced too but on smaller scale and among Universities only. 50 years after requirements for bigger scale protocol like blockchain have increased and simply more man-hours are needed for making it real. -- Best regards, Constantine
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Feb 16, 2015