Virtual Currency

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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Today, Glenbrook celebrates its 15th birthday. It’s been quite a journey – an amazing one in so many ways – yet it also sometimes feels like we’re still on Day One! There’s so much happening in payments – and, more broadly, in commerce, financial inclusion, and crypto currencies! I was very fortunate to make a […]

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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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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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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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Time is a vacuum at Sibos. It’s a great time to catch up with old friends and meet new colleagues.  The exhibition floor is overwhelming, even now after banks have scaled back their presence at events like these.  There is a plethora of panels on a broad range of topics to choose from. It’s a […]

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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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We’re at it again. We’re conducting our second annual Bitcoin and Payments Survey. Please participate! The survey takes about 7 minutes, maybe less. Do it from your smartphone while you’re waiting in the market’s check-out line or on the sofa using your tablet. The survey is mobile friendly.

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As is the case with many people in our industry, I’ve been giving  a lot of thought recently to Bitcoin.  When ever I run into something new, or puzzling, I try to find comparisons to help me understand it.  And comparisons abound in Bitlandia.  Many people compare it to the Internet, in terms of significance.  […]

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Since the media latched onto Bitcoin as good fodder for the 24 hours news cycle, the hard focus has been on Bitcoin, its merits, and shortcomings, as a currency, commodity, and as next generation payment rails. My thinking on its currency and commodity aspects is straightforward. If you don’t understand Bitcoin, don’t buy it, caveat […]

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Tuesday’s collapse of pioneer Bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox has been widely covered by the international tech and general media. There’s no doubt quite a story behind its demise. The rumored theft of hundreds of millions of dollars in bitcoin will provide plenty of fodder for journalists and investigators. The pain of those who lost their bitcoin […]

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As I read about mobile payments, it always entertains me when relatively green journalists make references to using mobile phones rather than payment cards to make purchases. Typically, they are confusing the instrument (the phone, the plastic) and the system: after all, most mobile payments are made using card systems. I think there is an […]

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