Blockchain – Problem or Solution?

I personally have ambivalent feelings when it comes to Blockchain technology and it´s use cases. There are many reasons to consider it a hype and to believe that it may be beneficial for some niche aspects but is not a solution for the global transaction backends. Also there are very valid questions around crypto currencies and their relevance.

One thing for sure is clear: Both started a discussion and that alone is good and healthy. But the hype turns me off, really.

Now there was a good read in American Banker with the head-line „Does Blockchain Tech Solve Security Problems Or Cause New Ones?“. The article is worth reading. Nailed it.

MIT released all its training courses for everyone for free. Amen.

MITlogoThe Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, just released ALL of its training classes for the general public and for free. Thats a brilliant move – thank you MIT! Also it will be a tool to make knowledge more democratic. Anywhere, no matter what the budget is. Thumbs up from me for that. This cannot be valued enough.

You can access the training courses here. Get going. :-)

Has Pokemon Succeeded Where Retailer Loyalty Apps Failed?

paymentssourceI admit, I have adopted this headline – because I could not possibly come up with a better one. Great job, Payments Source! They published an article which reflects on a phenomenon which has greatly annoyed me some 15 years ago or so – actually I never got it, to be frank. But now, the phenomenon is back and finally I DO get it. Just in a much different sense than a stupid electronic toy that you „pay attention to“, apparently when you lack any other social interaction. :-)

Today Smombies follow their phones and not seldom are a true traffic hazard – now being steered by an app called Pokemon Go. First of all the good news: You have to move your body to play this app so give it some benefit for fighting obesity. But: you have to stare at your screen constantly which will probably boost the sale of power banks as well as it is in fact a traffic hazard. Anyway, the key thing it does is to make you search – or hunt for – Pokemon, epically ugly manga pieces of crap which you can do whatever with. This treasure hunt is what gets folks on the hook with it.

So why not place the ugly critter in a store, next to the items you want to sell? Not sure this is actually happening but Payment Source does have a point. This might be what all those loyalty apps failed about for so many years – and if thats true the current boot in market valuation for Nintendo is well deserved. Highly interesting and they got ME on the hook with it (while I refrain from playing Pokemon Go). Read for yourself here.

Addition (actually not sure it works) there was this Video on Facebook (in German) which brings back some (ugly) memory. :)


Citi Report: Bitcoin does not hurt. But does it help?

The third report about the impacts of Bitcoin and Crypto Currencies by Citi Bank suggests that those pose little threat to the established structures. However, it could make certain services more effective – the authors believe. For those, the block-chain architecture could be a possibility to increase efficiency in their international payments networks. I personally doubt that and would not read this report as positive, from the crypto fractions POV.

Read more here.

Brexit – what now? Stable environment needed elsewhere…

While the shock remains, the world of commerce and banking is getting ready to pick up the pieces. One major candidate for benefitting from Brexit is obviously Frankfurt, a historically leading finance place – but that will not go un-battled.

HSBC already announced that it would move to Paris, where it owns a domestic bank. And obviously Luxembourg is in the running. And so is Dublin, which is English speaking and a place with a known fun-factor.

Already a day after Brexit the numbers for jobs moving away from London are predicted to be 100k and more. But where would they go – and why?

FCA (FSA) regulated businesses could have a good reason to evaluate the regulatory and legal frameworks across Europe but should also bear other factors in mind, such as IT regime, flexibility and approachability of the regulator (which does not mean its easier – its just better when you have a counterpart who is business-oriented and supportive). And of course the labor market is equally important. And then: how to get there. An off-shore island down south might be the right place for certain businesses, but most benefit from a location in the heart of Europe. Further – does the location allow to do business with many other countries or is there a cultural barrier?

The network of experts of CoCoNo can help to find the right answer to these and other strategic questions around Brexit.

CoCoNo´s network of experienced specialists can help with a results-oriented, get-it-done approach to obtaining payment licenses in EU jurisdictions, development and implementation of alternative Strategies to FSA and related topics.

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