Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and is less susceptible to attack than a centralised institution like a bank or a credit card because of its distributed ledger and consensus technology and because processing is automated, fees are lowered substantially. It transacts instantaneously, is securely stored with some three hundred quadrillion hash computations per second called Hashcash, and verified without any centralised authority or ID requirements. Bitcoin is not completely anonymous though. The sending and receiving of bitcoins is done under a bitcoin address which is recorded in a blockchain and if that particular address is ever linked to your identity then your bitcoin activity could be known to anyone. We will soon see start-up companies move towards cryptocurrency blockchains as a platform for their transactions and move away from using traditional currency.
Banks lend to individuals based on their credit scores but a third of the world’s population don’t have a credit score as they don’t have any formal public records. This means that they’re not trusted by banking institutions and are therefore denied access to any credit. Crowdfunding however, is a launchpad for entrepreneurs where you can get a large number of people to buy into your ideas and make small donations to finance your project.
Micro lending is a means of giving credit to strangers that we know so little about. Bits of data can be collected off the one device most individuals use on a daily basis- your mobile phones.
Amazon go, uses sensor-fusion, computer vision and machine learning technologies to keep track of a virtual cart and encourages people to shop without the use of traditional cash turning their smartphones into point of sale devices.
Digital technology is democratising the world of finance exponentially, improving access and empowering many. It will be interesting to see how all this fintech transforms the way in which money is managed today and how it will affect every financial activity in the future.