Fintech? Over one thousand start-ups, all over the world, whose attempt to disintermediate the financial systems is a key challenge for banks and other financial institutions. A lot of money has already been invested and governments, through incubators, are now in the game. What does the global landscape look like?
As long as laws and regulations are not changed to promote further diversity in crowdfunding, the industry will very likely focus on products that have already proven their feasibility. This is unlike in the West, where platforms such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo can promote projects even before their first proof of concept. Entrepreneurs in China can therefore see in crowdfunding an alternative to venture capital in scaling up, or use it as a way to test their markets.
Since her departure from JP Morgan Chase to become CEO of Digital Asset Holdings, Blythe Masters, the renowned economist and market operator, initiated a speaking tour dedicated to blockchains. During the Exponential Finance Conference held on June 2nd 2015, she declared that “financial blockchain applications will be measured in the trillions.” Since this sensational announcement, specialized firms have been receiving many calls that all revolve around the same issue: “How will the blockchain technology help us take the ascendancy in our industry?” Today, there is a real curiosity, but above all, a need for education on the subject of Bitcoin and Ethereum protocols, as well as “blockchain technology.”
Regulating FinTech? Better say forcing their way into the market. Revolution ahead in the European banking business! Since the pressure on banks is high on different grounds, it is very likely that PSD II levels the field and FinTech will profit disproportionally over traditional payment stakeholders and potentially win the race.
How to reverse climate change? The current discussion focuses on reducing carbon consumption. But the policy instruments and tools available today are neither efficient, nor realistic. Both cap and trade and carbon taxes are variations of coercive systems. They can work if they are coercive enough. But who wants to live in Green Stalinism? So if the stick doesn't work, better try the carrot. It is time to turn the creativeness of financial innovation into something useful.
"With the growing risks of assets becoming stranded by responses to climate change, it might seem necessary to ask whether not adjusting your investment strategy is wise, let alone affordable." These words were spoken by a person well-versed in economic diplomacy, with an unmistakably British sense of understatement: last September, Prince Charles was making these declarations on climate change in front of the financial community (including Ban Ki Moon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Gore...). This issue is the focal point of regular inquiries within the financial community itself. What risks and assets are we talking about? This issue deserves some in-depth explanation, beyond the media aspects.
In developed countries, particularly in Europe, investment has been sluggish since the 2008 crisis. And yet, money is abundant and there are many needs, especially in regard to long-term, growth-enhancing investments. But private investors are paralyzed. Is there any way out of this down-beat economic environment? Institutional investors are at the center of the game. Among them, public banks and deposits funds can play a significant role. How have these secular institutions returned in the spotlight?
As crowdfunding becomes more accepted, it's moving into new areas. One with a lot of promise: commercial real estate, where deals under $10 million are not worth the efforts of big investors, says Dan Miller, co-founder of Fundrise. These large investors do not want to have a lot of $1 million investments, they won't be able to manage it. That has left an opening for crowdfunding firms like his.
The ingredients for long-term investment are quite simple: all you need is money and favorable legal, accounting, financial and tax conditions. Despite the fact that money is readily available nowadays, the needs for long-term investments are far from being met. How can we change this situation?
Over the decades, corporate venturing has evolved through several phases. Recent initiatives reflect growing interest among large companies to include incubators as a capstone of their corporate venturing. Incubators or not, the challenges remain the same: how to grow intelligence, the life-blood of entrepreneurial environments? How can a corporate parent accelerate innovators' learning? The experiences of prolific inventors and craftsmen suggest an answer: by providing product teams with an artisanal environment that favors play, repetition and patience.
Is the global crisis behind us? The divergent development of major emerging countries, Europe and the United States reminds us that despite a strong tendency for unification during the past two decades, despite our growing interdependence, the world economy is still highly fragmented. Under the circumstance, it doesn't make sense to draw a general picture without taking a closer look at these differences: between emerging and advanced countries, between the United States and Europe, and even within Europe itself.
What kinds of lessons can providers of microfinance services in developed countries learn from microfinance practices overseas? Three experts from the microfinance industry addressed that question during a panel discussion at the eighth annual Penn Microfinance Conference, whose theme was "Microfinance: Beyond Its Roots." In addition, keynote speaker Elizabeth Rhyne, managing director of the Center for Financial Inclusion, discussed how the microfinance industry is moving beyond its reliance on lending into multiple new directions, including innovations in the health care sector.
Spain is one of the world's leading nations in biotechnology research, but it lags behind in technology transfer and the creation of new companies. The Spanish government is hoping to bring about a radical change in these statistics. To do so, it is focusing on the Israeli biotech sector, a world leader in creating start-ups, as the inspiration for designing an entrepreneurial and business model based on innovation. Not a bad strategy, but it should not remain unchallenged. Let's have a look.
As of the early 2000's, Internet has opened paths to a new form of collective intelligence, human or humanoid computing. Be reassured, reader, this is not a way to turn your brain into a computer. What it does is coordinate thousands of connected people together to assemble a computer power that exceeds, for certain complex problems, what is already available today via supercomputers. The specialty biochemistry was first on the track, and now we see financial affairs joining in. So, let's see what happens when amateurs take over a market trading room.
African nations are seldom mentioned in the world ranking of innovative countries, but things could change with the rise of a new generation of technologies that perform many financial transactions from mobile phones. Today, mobile banking opens a new avenue for development. But can this model be exported?
In the US, a disruptive new way for small companies to raise capital is putting a spotlight on the readiness of a tightly regulated securities market to adopt the openness of the Internet. It has sparked debate about whether the change will spur economic growth or become another vehicle for fraud.
How do financial mathematics specialists imagine the markets in five to ten years? What exactly will their role look like? To understand these issues, we need to take a closer look at the way this field has developed and at the issues that have shaped the discipline.
The Bitcoin bubble bursting is but one small part of a bigger story. The most exciting part is not speculation, but challenging the banks' control over payment solutions. This is what we should discuss. Starting now.
As the recent successful campaign to fund a movie based on the television show Veronica Mars proves, crowdfunding is now recognized as a reliable funding avenue for both start-ups and established firms. But the growth of the sector also creates more regulatory challenges and raises questions about the risks that funders take when they put their money behind a project.
Since 2008 and the collapse of Lehman Brothers, global efforts have been undertaken to improve the management of finance, reduce leveraging and increase the equity capital of financial institutions. However, all these measures lack a genuine unity and show considerable differences between nations. The implementation of the new prudential banking regulation of 2012, Basel III, is being postponed indefinitely in the United States. Back to square one for global finance?