Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s reliability and transaction-level security has inspired today’s explosion of blockchain pilots, companies, and consortia. But the bitcoin rails already have solid commercial applications. Circle Internet Finance has focused on person to person payments. Align Commerce has focused on international B2B payments for smaller businesses. With growth, both have blended bitcoin rails with more traditional […]

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I’m back from two days at Consensus 2016 in NYC, and reporting as promised into my investigation of the Five Big Questions. 1. Bitcoin technology: will the problems (versions, processing time, scalability) be  resolved? Yes. My belief that we are all writing this off too soon in favor of “all things blockchain” was reinforced. Glenn […]

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I’m headed to New York next week for the CoinDesk Consensus conference…”Making Blockchain Real”. I’m going because I’m trying to get my head around some big questions. I normally have a sense, even with new things, of the path forward. Not in this case! Here are the questions I’m thinking about: Bitcoin technology: will the […]

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The world of moving money is changing. And faster is the theme. Domestic real time payment systems are showing up across the planet. Today’s discussion is full of bitcoin, open and permissioned blockchain approaches to speed asset exchange. But the competitive balance between proprietary and open systems is in flux. The view that moving money is […]

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Given the high rate of press releases and articles on fintech applications of blockchain technology – and the growing number of financial institutions expressing interest in its potential – I’ve been considering this high signal to noise ratio. A few thoughts: Hype cycle inflection point We are, hopefully, cresting the top of the blockchain hype […]

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As the Internet of Things (IoT) gains momentum, people are starting to speculate about how it will be monetized and where payments will fit in this world of the future. Some think what’s needed is already what their company does best. How fortunate for them! Others think Bitcoin was invented just in time to payment-enable […]

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Blockchain. Is it the most revolutionary technology in value exchange ever or just the latest fintech buzzword enjoying its peak on the hype cycle? Or both? These young techniques are undergoing swift evolution, going from bitcoin and money transfer into new use cases such as identity management. There’s still truth in the cartoon’s joke that, […]

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We’ve been working with bitcoin at Glenbrook for a few years now, teaching about it in our boot camps, and holding one-day workshops on math-based currencies and blockchain technology. I have one conclusion. The focus of the evolution of digital money is shifting. Where that evolution will take us is still unknown. To borrow a […]

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The Internet’s designers quickly realized that no one’s very good at remembering IP address numbers. Unless you type the same number over and over again (and I did when I ran an ISP) a human readable version is a lot easier. That’s what the domain name system or DNS is all about, connecting human readable […]

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Paying invoices and moving funds aross borders for small and medium business (SMB) is expensive and full of uncertainties. How much does the recipient actually get once the transaction is finished? (Hint: it’s not always what was sent.)  How long does it take a San Francisco firm to pay an invoice to a contractor in Berlin […]

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One of the truly interesting presentations at this year’s Money2020 was the speech by Ben Lawsky, superintendent of New York’s Department of Financial Services. Lawsky’s remarks focused on his department’s BitLicense proposal and demonstrated the struggle Lawsky and his team face as they create regulation for Bitcoin and math-based currencies (MBCs) in general. Released in […]

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In this interview with Glenbrook’s founding partner Carol Coye Benson, we discuss the prospects for a faster payments system in the US. Responding to the October 22 announcement by The Clearing House, Carol expresses her caution and hope for ways to accelerate replacement of today’s system for credit push payments.

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Wikipedia says, “Bitcoin is a software-based online payment system.” But what sort of payment system is it? We get this question all the time when we talk about Bitcoin in our workshops. At Glenbrook we like to start each Payments Boot Camp talking about payments systems fundamentals and the common attributes that can be used […]

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I’m just back from Boston and the marathon known as Sibos 2014. In a post earlier this week, I shared a couple of observations from the show floor and the conference sessions. Now that the conference has closed, I’m thinking about the themes that spoke to me. And, this year, I didn’t get the sense […]

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I was delighted and fascinated to see that the Gates Foundation has issued a “Grand Challenge” on enabling universal acceptance of mobile money payments.  The Foundation’s previous best-known challenges have been in healthcare, notably for toilets and condoms, so this is quite a change! The Foundation is soliciting two-page proposals on innovative devices, software or business […]

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