FinTech Summary #49 – #Bots #Crowdfunding #Blockchain #Startups

Seth Godin, a famous marketing guru, said: “it’s far easier to sell someone on a new kind of fruit than it is to get them to eat crickets, regardless of the data you bring to the table.” FinTech is facing a similar issue – new challengers need to find a way to break the pattern. For that, they need to create new beliefs. For example, a belief that wiring your money with TransferWise is better than with your bank. It is easier to form these beliefs for companies that can directly prove the benefit to the customer (lower fees, more transparent). It is much harder to achieve for companies that are unique or provide indirect benefit – like blockchain startups where you need to do the ‘leap of faith’ integration first and hope the benefit is worth it. We, as a customer, play a crucial part in the disruptive innovation cycle by either forming these beliefs or rejecting the product. And this product could be the next Google Search.

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Have a wonderful week,


This week’s summary


Equity Crowdfunding 3.0 – The ‘Killer’ Feature
By Alex Nech

What will Equity Crowdfunding 3.0 look like? A real ‘killer’ feature will be added – a secondary market that will enable investors to ‘cash out’ early. This feature will be particularly powerful with the equity crowdfunding model, where there is not fixed time frame for an exit and investors are unable to cash out if their circumstances change. Such mechanism has the potential to open up markets that were out of reach for most platforms. People will be more willing to ‘give it a try’ and potentially become big investors in the future. There are a number of challenges that both platforms and the companies will have to address around liquidity, valuations, funding and future of the employees.


On Tokens and Crowdsales: How Startups Are Using Blockchain to Raise Capital
By Demian Brener

We are in the early stages of a new chapter in the nature of work. The blockchain will enable us to do our jobs and be compensated inside new circular economies that have their own currency units and their own work units. Most work today is compensated via bilateral agreements between a worker and an employer according to a simple contract: you work in X job, and we will compensate you in Y currency. With more control, we would then be able to perform new types of tasks that may or may not resemble what is traditionally considered labor, and earn cryptocurrency instead of fiat currency. Already, a number of blockchain based businesses are compensating users for their ‘work’ via digital tokens. At the heart of making this possible, is the relationship between actual work done, the value created, and value received. These type of mechanics and operations will benefit and enable their users also to partake in their success via the sharing of network equity. What is happening here is the creation of mini circular economies that are self-contained.


Can A Bot Help Your Bank Speak Millennial?
By Eran Livneh

Millennials communicate differently than previous generations. They prefer texting over talking, emojis over words, and talking to Siri or Alexa over talking to a real human. Strange? Depending on who you are. These new communication etiquettes are second nature to those that have grown up with instant online chatting and texting. This is where a bot comes handy. Something about removing the human element, yet being able to communicate on a human-like level, makes certain processes and tasks more attractive and effective for millennials. Integrating guidance and service into chat and personal assistant bots provide a two-way advantage for millennials and banks.


Code is Law? Not Quite Yet
By Lukas Abegg

After The DAO experiment failed, a heated policy debate ensued about how to go forward with the development of ethereum’s blockchain. The positions ranged from holding on to the immutability paradigm with “code is law” as the most important rule to follow, to a more human approach of asking ethereum’s miners and developers what measures should be taken. Only little time, however, was spent on the question what a smart contract is actually capable of performing. But this very question, I believe, should be at the core of the debate and the respective answer is the only sensible foundation on which a sound policy for blockchain and smart contract development can be built.


5 things that made me smarter this week

The hidden economics behind deceptive on-demand pricing. Seems like Uber for anything business model may just not work for anyone but Uber.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympic medals could be made of discarded electronics. Gold and silver recovered from small consumer electronics in Japan has been estimated as equivalent to 16% and 22% of the world’s total reserves, respectively.
Eleven Reasons To Be Excited About The Future of Technology. There are many exciting new technologies that will continue to transform the world and improve human welfare. Here are eleven of them.
Do You Really, Truly Hate Your Office Printer? (Paywall) There’s a Bat for That. Workers destroy balky machines in a ritual act of catharsis; ‘glass fireworks’. A new form of team-building exercise.
Top 10 Happiest Countries in the World. Strong correlation with GDP per person… And they say money can’t buy you happiness.

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I'm a #26 Global FinTech influencer. An Economist by profession, I have worked on both sides of the table - tech startups and global financial organisations. I love football, technology, travelling and photography.