Bitcoin Blues

posted by Collin Canright on March 13, 2017 - 10:14am

One of my favorite Miles Davis electric pieces is a sharp number called "Red China Blues." This week the FinTech tune became the bitcoin blues, following news last Friday that bitcoin cannot be traded as a stock through an exchange-traded fund set up by the Winklevoss twins. Bitcoin prices fell more than 15%.

The U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission essentially said that the unregulated nature of bitcoin made it unfit for trading in regulated public markets. Some in the bitcoin community noted that the denial was an acknowledgement of the success of bitcoin's design.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government is exercising a little centralized control over the inherently decentralized technology. The Chinese government has cracked down on bitcoin exchanges and is developing its own central-bank controlled digital currency while viewing FinTech as its future. Chinese firms currently lead FinTech investment.

Banking-as-a-service and the survival of banks the digital age

Banks were once the standard for automation, but now startups like Square and PayPal are leading the way of creating consumer-focused financial products, writes Marco Antonio Cavallo, founder and editor of CIO. “The impact of BaaS will only grow, as banks continue to focus on consumer needs, expectations and technology-enabled capabilities, as well as innovate to level up the competition.”

Seven big changes coming to the banking industry

The Forbes Finance Council made a series of finance sector predictions, including the decline of paper checks and bitcoin’s disruption of traditional currencies to more FinTech partnerships with banks and FinTech firms’ influence on banking products.

Building regtech into your FinTech strategy: innovating to stay competitive in the digital age

A new Finextra paper examines new data sources and data analytics techniques that the regtech movement has as well as the latest in execution and client lifecycle management solutions to make sure the information is applied in the right way. To stay ahead, banks need to tap into the data in order to boost their ability to compete in a changing ecosystem.

Regxit: RegTech startup exits are on the rise

Despite taking off in 2014, there were 30 RegTech exits in 2016, including 29 M&A transactions and 1 IPO, according to a new CB Insights report. The uptick in exit activity was not a shocker given that activity in the sector has picked up in the last five years.

The rise of robotics and AI (infographic)

Curious about how artificial intelligence began? A PwC timeline walks readers from AI’s beginning in the 1990s with augmented reality to today’s virtual reality trend and widespread use of industrial robots.

Chicago’s growing tech community

In the past five years, $23.5 billion in tech exits compared to $10.8 billion in New York. Still, the risk tolerance of Midwestern investors is more conservative than other markets, so companies have bootstrapped funding or sought alternative means to fund their companies.


Blockchain “the second generation of the internet”
During a Lendit USA event, Northwest Passage Ventures CEO Alex Tapscott said he was impressed that “the second generation of the internet,” adding that consumers would recreate the banking industry if they could. “The Internet of Things will be a key enabler for the proliferation of blockchain and perhaps could be a keystone for a “ledger of things” to go along with it,” writes Alex Hamilton for IBS Intelligence.

How safe are blockchains? It depends
Blockchain could revolutionize transparency in the financial services sector, but is the distributed ledger technology safe? Sort of. Creating a private blockchain system allows for privacyto be built within the structure of the system, writes Allison Berke for Harvard Business Review.

The blockchain will do to banks and law firms what the internet did to media
In the early days of the internet, it was largely believed to be a fad that was not going to largely change how we bought goods, socialized or conducted business. In Harvard Business Review, Joichi Ito, Neha Narula and Robleh Ali make the case for why blockchain could upend the law and finance. But lawyers aren’t sure if code is inflexible and doesn’t allow for “useful discretion.”