No, the Pandemic Isn’t Accelerating Digital Transformation

Microsoft’s Satya Nadella pronounced that, amid the pandemic, they’ve “seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.” Nadella’s words quickly became a catchphrase, which appears ad nauseam, though in different forms, in articles and thought-pieces that seem to come out on an hourly basis. For example, Forbes said that “because of COVID-19, manufacturing... Continue Reading →

Canada’s Financial Inclusion Opportunity

For the one million unbanked Canadians, and the many more who are underbanked, the COVID-19 crisis is compounding financial hardships to dangerous levels. Those Canadians are the ones who have been marginalized by financial institutions and the fintech ecosystem. In an article that I wrote last year, I showed that less than 2% of fintechs and pretty much... Continue Reading →

It’s Time for Collaborative Finance

Saving Circles can smooth unsteady incomes hit by COVID-19. COVID-19 government relief packages aim to lessen the burden on the many who will lose their jobs or suffer income reductions. Will these measures be enough given the protracted situation? For many, probably not. People can adopt an age-old communal money-saving practice to help smooth their... Continue Reading →

Crypto Investment Theses

[Disclaimer: I don't intend for this article to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice and always do your own research before investing.] There are indications of rising institutional investing in crypto. Grayscale's crypto funds attracted a record-breaking $600M in 2019, mostly from institutions. Also, research by CoinDesk shows steady growth in the number of bitcoin... Continue Reading →

The Cryptocurrency Trust Architecture

Cryptocurrencies have a long way to go to achieve mass adoption. The total market cap of all (4,991!) cryptocurrencies is about $203B, less than a fifth of Apple’s [1]. Still, a recurring theme coming from crypto thought-leaders is the salvation of the unbanked. Recently, Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, who is a longtime bitcoin advocate, pronounced that Africa... Continue Reading →

China’s Digital Currency Scare

Mark Zuckerberg, in his October 23, 2019 testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives, positioned the Libra project as the answer to China's efforts to create its own digital currency and raised the alarm of a weakening American financial leadership. He also warned that foreign companies and countries that are launching their own digital currencies might adopt... Continue Reading →

The Truth Behind Venezuela’s Adoption of Bitcoin

Stories have been circulating about bitcoin usage in Venezuela, which has been and still is experiencing a historic economic crisis. Against the backdrop of hyperinflation and extreme poverty, pieces in media outlets like the BBC and the New York Times reinforce what many crypto-enthusiasts have been spreading online and in events: Many Venezuelan's are turning to bitcoin to preserve... Continue Reading →

Libra’s Mission Impossible

Facebook-led Libra wants to provide a global currency to the 1.7 billion individuals who are unbanked, the overwhelming majority of whom reside in developing nations. The Libra white paper and the many discussions that ensued failed to mention that many developing nations already have vibrant mobile money/e-wallet services with specific goals to serve the unbanked.... Continue Reading →

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