Random Thoughts – Modularity and Trust

Trust in a transaction. In another one of my favorite books  (Design Rules: modularity) there exists the concept of trust between physical components of an integrated system. This book stands in contrast to Nobel Economists’ work in defining the “Firm” and organizational boundaries in Transaction Cost Economics (TCE). But the technical theory of modularity is amazingly consistent with the concepts of “boundaries” in TCE. In modularity, there are 4 core rules for separating technical components:

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US Payments Environment – Something Big – 5 Part Series

Part 1 – Assessing the Environment and Setting the Focus  (part 2  – Power of Bank Networks)

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Must read FT article “How JPMC’s plan to kill credit cards split the bank”. The article discusses Jamie Dimon’s internal mandate to drive a new payment network. I was shocked with the level of internal org quotes here.  In my view, Jamie is the best bank CEOs in history (based on performance and talent coming out of JPMC). As a former banker, I know how hard it is to move the ship.  However, FT is wrong. Chase’s efforts ARE NOT about killing credit cards, but rather creating something much bigger.

This is a long blog..

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Near Term Impacts of Distributed Ledger Technology to Financial Services – Chain of Trust

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Continuation of last week’s blog on “binding” and minting of tokens

I’m currently immersed in DeFi, DAOs, Blockchain, …etc. Selected readings are at the end of this blog. Keeping Current in DeFi/DLT is almost impossible. I certainly invite comments and corrections to anything I’ve written below. While I have teams building services in this area, my perspective is biased. My purpose in writing is to stimulate discussion so don’t be shy in the comments, I welcome disagreement and discussion. 

Topic today: What impacts will the $50B invested in FinTech/DLT/Crypto have on existing financial services in next 5-10 yrs? What is the summary CEO/Investor View?

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Bank Opportunity – Binding

Big picture thoughts on a key service where banks will lead in the future

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Existing businesses spend significant energy on remaking things that work. Moore’s law has justified this investment in chipmaking, as has Tesla’s investments in batteries and manufacturing processes. These area of focus are where products performance is critical to the customer and incremental capability provides differentiation. But what about banking and payments?  What provides differentiation? Which investments are driving performance critical to the customer? or operational efficiencies? (see Changing Economics of Payments

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CBDCs – Growth Opportunities for US Banks

The future for a US CBDC is uncertain. While President Biden signed an executive order in March 2022 directing the government to “Explore a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) by placing urgency on research and development of a potential United States CBD”, US banks seem dead against it.

This is my third blog on CBDCs, today the focus will be on the societal benefits of CBDCs, current bank resistance, and the opportunities for banks if they embrace it. The previous 2 blogs are blow and I’ll try not to repeat myself:

  • Digital Dollar (March ‘21) – Inventory of Central bank efforts and drivers with key detail on China’s digital yuan. 
  • Case for CBDC – Market Efficiency (June ‘21) – Is focused on the benefits to the unbanked and in reducing friction in low-value payments. 

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eCom Innovation Success – Shop Pay

Short blog as follow up to yesterday’s blog on Acceptance Hurdles in eCommerce. Successful innovation requires a great new customer experience and/or economic model. The most recent success in the US is Shopify’s Shop Pay.

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Digital Dollar – Biggest Threat to V/MA (and USD Hegemony)

I doubt if this blog will be beneficial for the crypto and CDBC experts. But for my friends, I’ve linked several very detailed articles and reports… which I’ve tried to summarize.

With respect to payments, let me start with the quote of the week

“Tom look at the pace of change in China as a model. 15 yrs ago they were cash. 7 yrs ago they were China Union Pay, Now they are Alipay/WeChat Pay.. 3 tremendous changes in 10 yrs.  I believe change will happen much faster than anyone could imagine.”

– Top 5 US Retailer

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