Week in Review: Tulips, Timing, and Transfers

We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don't let yourself be lulled into inaction.

I know many of us are familiar with this famous Bill Gates quote but it seemed timely (pun intended) this week; it’s just a great quote. FinTech is about the future; a future which is always just around the corner. This week, we highlight FinTech insights colored by a sense of timing.

Tulips, Myths, and Cryptocurrencies (Stratechery*)

"The problem, of course, is that while blockchain applications make sense in theory, the road to them becoming a reality is still a long one.

Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain are just fascinating. Recently, we’ve seen the price of Bitcoin, Ether, and other cryptocurrencies go on quite a run. Speculating the reason is for another day; however, many have been comparing their sharp price rise to the famous Tulipmania in 17th century Netherlands.

Ben Thompson’s excellent article finishes by stating we’re way off from true blockchain viability and that the current rise of cryptocurrencies may be a bubble of timing, not of a fad (sorry blockchain naysayers). The question then becomes, are we 15 years away a la the dot com bubble? I don’t think so. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain are coming of age in an entirely different world – a world of the internet. The implications of having the most powerful tool for finding information, collaborating with others, and computing must mean something, no? It’s going to be fun watching.

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*Full disclosure, I’m a paying subscriber to Stratechery and I highly recommend it.

The 50+ Segment Will Spend $15 Bn on the Alternative Financial Services Sector by the End of 2017. What Are We Doing to Meet Their Needs? (Let’s Talk Payments)

I get it; winning over millennials may be the best long-term strategy. But ask yourself, how much do you know about your business prospects in 10-15 years? What about focusing on the population that has more money… Today? If your user experience is that good, it should work for a 65 year old, right?

With the average lifespan somewhere in the 70s, it seems helping millennials’ partners and grandparents may be the best bet for a great FinTech innovation today, and one that will probably catch the eye of their millennial children.

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TransferWise Launches ‘Borderless’ Account for Businesses, Sole Traders and Freelancers (TechCrunch)

"TransferWise’s main target here is undoubtedly the incumbent banks, and initially the rather neglected SME or sole trader market

This is a product development that is so obvious that I felt like a numbskull for not seeing it coming – I’m secretly hoping many of you feel the same way as I’d love the company! That said, I loved this product. If we take this idea further, you start seeing a fuzzy picture emerge a truly integrated, global bank that works wherever I go, with any business, and any currency. The tech of FinTech has that magical power to abstract the complicated aspects of transactions and TransferWise seems keen on bringing that future a lot sooner than expected!

Read more…

We plan on sharing several articles each week. Tag me on social media (Twitter or LinkedIn) if you think there is a ‘must-read’ from the week!

See you next week!