Earlier this month, the Presidents Working Group on Financial Markets (PWG) released a report on Stablecoins. This represents first attempt in designing prudential safeguards for stablecoin issuers.
The consulting company, Bain & Company (‘Bain’) released their second annual Technology report recently. There are 3 main patterns identified; (1) Tech is the main disruptive force now in every sector
(2) Cloud Computing will have an extraordinary impact in coming years causing an unbeatable edge for those companies already ahead (Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Alibaba, Tencent). (3)
Geopolitical and regulatory influences on tech companies are more important than before.
What is the DNA effect? The DNA effect is the ability of large technology companies to build a competitive advantage by leveraging user generated data in their networks. DNA in this context stands for ‘data-network-activities’ and refers to how the business model of large technology companies (like Google, Apple, Facebook, Alibaba, Tencent aka Big Tech) depends on direct interactions of users which generates lost of data and the ability of these companies to use this data to scale up operations and enter into new areas like financial services.
The popular view that emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics will dramatically improve our personal and professional lives usually gets contrasted against the threat of the millions of jobs that are at risk from automation. Against this backdrop, a report last year based on a three year study by MIT offers a balanced perspective on the relationship between these emerging technologies and future of work and the labor market.
An approach to measuring the value of the free digital services provided by the Big Tech companies i.e. Google, Facebook, Wikipedia by valuing how much users would have to be compensated to not use them for a period of time.
I came across a short and stimulating article by the IMF staff on current state of digital and paper money which identifies essential, conceptual features of all payment types and based on that categorizes them into 5 types. From the paper, I took away three main insights -first there is a compelling argument that traditional forms of payment transactions by banks (referred to as B-Money) will face intense competition from electronic money (or E-Money) in coming years; this will obviously hurt the profitability of the banks given that all retail banks are rely primarily on deposits for funding and will create further disruption in the banking sector. Second, the article conjectures that eventually banks could be forced to offer electronic money or similar products and we can see that happening already with JP Morgan dipping toes into digital money waters by offering JPM Coin by end of 2019. Lastly, role of the central banks will be pivotal as they could jump into the fray and offer central bank digital currency (being explored by Sweden, Uruguay, China, Thailand, Japan and South Korea) and also shape the environment and the pace of innovation for digital money.