Could London beat Silicon Valley as Crypto-currency’s centre of excellence?
Well, Visa thinks so. it hosted a gathering of crypto-currency start-ups and other interested parties to its Digital Catapult event in London recently. Visa’s not alone in thinking this. An expert from the London School of Economics (LSE), one of the most respected financial academic centres in the world believes it too. They even put a date on it – 2020.
Crypto-currency to explode?
Investment in crypto-currency start-ups in 2015 could even beat the dotcom frenzy of a few years ago. A technology called Blockchain has the potential to transform the future of payments in the banking sector – it may even transform way we cast and count our votes in the 2020 General Election. Financial observers have been waiting for the next big thing for a while now. Mobile payments has failed to catch the imagination of consumers, despite the presence of heavyweights like Google with Google Wallet and Apple with ApplePay, its not seeing the level of growth that the hype suggested. Maybe crypto-currency will.
Visa’s Europe Collab launch start-up innovation hubs in London and Israel are there to spot and engage with Europe’s top financial technology entrepreneurs, as the UK is now Europe’s fastest growing region for fintech with over 135,000 employees. Deal-volume, mostly out of London, has been growing at an annualized rate of around 74% since 2008, compared with 27% globally, and 13% in Silicon Valley, according to Accenture.
Speakers at Visa’s London event included leading monetary academic Garrick Hileman from the LSE, Hendrik Kleinsmiede of Visa Europe Collab one of Europe’s crypto-currency and Blockchain gurus in the financial services sector and Nicolas Cary, co-founder of Blockchain, one of the world’s best known BitCoin wallet company. According to Garrick Hileman of the LSE, “BitCoin is in a battle with more than 600 crypto-currencies. The governance structure in Europe and the US surrounding BitCoin may be an inhibitor to expansion for crypto-currencies whilst it may flourish in fertile territories like Sub Saharan Africa with over 50% of BitCoin mining being provided by China.”
UK leading the way
Sian Jones of COINsult feels “The UK is the only jurisdiction that is coming out with a holistic approach to digital currencies regulation.”
While according to Hendrik Kleinsmiede of Visa Europe Collab, “The level of investment in crypto-currencies is at an unprecedented high – to date over $667million. If you compare 2014 to 1995 at the beginning of the dotcom boom, there’s now more money being invested in crypto-currency than there was in dotcom.”
Are the Banks ready`/
Nick Cary of Blockchain noted “Banks are being exceedingly cautious but by summer there should be new policies in place to make it easier for BitCoin companies to operate in Europe and the US. The US is seeking a compliance pathway for Bitcoin start-ups, with New York setting the future as the model for regulation of Bitcoin “banks.”
Great news, but let’s not forget what became of the dotcom boom…
How come most companies think having PowerPoint more important than CRM? CRM comes last, after email, office productivity and accounting. Everybody knows, we’re told often enough, that looking after customers is vital. But as a process, many companies don’t see it as that important.
In fact, most companies don’t think about managing the relationship with their customers until something goes wrong and they find they can’t.
Ironic, really. When you consider that CRM will start to deliver benefits instantly, the moment you roll it out to your users. Let’s take a look…
OK, regular readers will know I’m not buying the hype around SmartPhone NFC. This is for a number of reasons and none of which are about it being new. I’ve talked about security, why quick isn’t a good reason, but that’s not everything. The real show-stopper to me is market reach. NFC just won’t fit the market.
Every other payment system before NFC reached its market cheaply and quickly. Now I’m going to show just how far NFC will fall short. Time to wake up…
I’ve just read a Management Today supplement about West Yorks Fire Service. Remember how Public Service budgets are meant to be getting cut back?
It should have cost a tenth of that – and it’ll only reach 60% of their users…
A couple of people recently have asked me if I’m ready yet to give up Windows. With virtual players being offered, it was time to try virtualisation. I’ve just upgraded to Ubuntu 11.04 and with VMWare’s Virtual Player available, now was the time to see what the world of desktop virtualisation was really like. Would virtualisation be the answer to a techy’s dreams?
Maybe the great bank holiday weather took many writers away for the weekend. But the number of “its all over for Cloud” rants were mercifully few.
So, what should be taken away from Amazon’s failure. What have we learnt? Well, its shown intelligent system design is as vital for Cloud as anywhere else. Along with how many “experts” can still talk through their back-ends…
I’m writing this just seven days before the production Ubuntu 11.04 is released. Now, if you’re on Windows 7, there’s never been a better time to change. So why am I suggesting you change now – what’s so different about this version? Surprisingly, its not so much Ubuntu as Windows…
This is the bing result for Vista Service Pack 2 on Microsoft’s own download site. Bing can’t find it. No results. Zilch. Nothing. What about a Google search?
Well. Let’s take a look. The result may surprise you…
Another snowy morning. Another day’s news of travel woes and broken services. Wasn’t this supposed to be the age of technology?
Looking around my neighbourhood, middle-management cars struggle past on route to some distant office to connect to some services located somewhere else. They’ll sit at their desk to phone customers who again, will be somewhere else. Noticed the common thread here?
There’s not much details about it as yet – like how much it will cost, for example – The Oracle site just provides a PDF about it. What I can say at this point is it remains 100% compatible with Desktop Open Office, retaining Open Document formats as well as PDF. It’s MS Office compatible, too.
But the site mentions a Â£33.00 charge for Desktop Open Office…
When talk turns to the Cloud, the hot ticket currently is the location of information. Security’s no longer the biggest concern, its where data is stored which is key.
Cloud players like SalesForce and IBM are looking to their own national storage, but its expensive and inefficient. So why not use a storage Cloud for it?
Sometimes I despair at the appalling state of the UK’s broadband services. It’s truly horrific.
Here is an ex-state monopoly supposedly “competing” with a number of other providers, but what the public is actually getting is simply a re-badged service provided by BT.
The BT infrastructure is antiquated and decaying, virtually on its knees from years of under investment, yet being milked dry by greedy BT accountants.
UK customers in the meantime are being sold services by unscrupulous suppliers who’ve probably never been near a phone exchange, let alone have any network of their own.
But let’s just put the subject of BT’s steam-powered infrastructure to one side for a moment, I’m worried that BT may well be tilting the tables even more in their favour.
Imagine this. You own the exchange where all your competitor’s connections are housed. Who would know if you simply unplugged them for say, two minutes every now and then?
BT’s service wouldn’t have to be that good if the competition’s kept going off line, would it?
Sad to see Microsoft’s Chief Software Architect, Ray Ozzie leave the company this month. Ozzie created Lotus Notes, then Groove, which Microsoft bought out.
Ozzie was one of the good guys. Highly talented, well respected and Cloud orientated. Uniquely capable of filling the vacuum left by Bill Gates’ departure.
I doubt there is anyone following trends today who doesn’t accept the Cloud as our future. Nor who doesn’t realise that the restrictive and expensive desktop’s days are numbered. Anyone but Microsoft, that is.
I can imagine the frustration he felt as he battled against the cash-cow culture prevailing in Microsoft and its obsession with extracting every last penny from its customer base.
Ozzie was a CloudÂ visionaryÂ and tried to steer the desktop-obsessed Microsoft that way. Does this mean that Microsoft’s recent “we love the Cloud” stance is discredited?
Well, here’s my two-cent’s worth…