Banks Have “Kodak Moment,” According to Former Barclay CEO

Former Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins  has said banks confront a “Kodak moment.” Banks must avoid losing out to advanced fintech. He reportedly added “different ways of doing banking and financial services” are necessary.

He said cryptocurrencies will start a new kind of banking. But the new banking may not include banks themselves. Removing the middle man is part of what may happen. In the meantime cryptocurrencies will take a bigger and bigger chunk of business.

Will Blockchain Triumph in China?

Sheng Songcheng, a People’s Bank of China (PBoC) counselor doesn’t think bitcoin will be a real currency. He told Chinese publication Yicai, that bitcoin was deflationary and thus would not be a proper modern currency.

Sheng is a professor at a Shanghai business school. He was quoted as adding, “If a country accepts one of them as its national currency, the entire national economy could collapse due to currency volatility.”

China is nonetheless building its own digital currency. The country opened an early trial of its currency on blockchain.

Such statements are at least problematic. The fundamental reason is that central banking is an artificial process. The market itself should likely determine the value and volume of money. Central banking short circuits this functionality.

Central banks keep interest rates artificially low and over-produce money. This is what caused inflation. If the market were allowed to set the price of money, the value and volume would be rationalized by reality.

Ideally money gains slightly in value over time. It doesn’t lose, as it would with inflation. This means older people don’t go broke and die penniless. Generally speaking, money ought not to be manipulated.

As blockchain and cryptocurrencies evolve, the ones that match the market are the ones perhaps that will be the most valuable. This is in stark contrast to what people like Sheng are predicting. Time will tell.

More Questions About Costanza’s Misdeeds

Thomas Mario Costanzo is a government target in part because he is not properly complicit with the government, according to Crypotcoin news. “Costanza and a partner operated for as long as four years with no attempt at getting legal,” Cryptocoin News reports.

The government is probably aware that many small-time, low-level traders don’t bother to do anything in regards to getting legal – at most, they will pay taxes. Which is, the most the government should expect from the small traders at least. When someone is trafficking in the millions, buying and selling bitcoins, then it makes sense that the government might take an interest in such a business.

In other words if you are small, the government doesn’t care, but if you are large, the government will pay attention. To make sure something would stick, the government charged with him with holding a few boxes of Winchester ammunition “in different calibers.”

The article points out this is “not your typical Bitcoin trader” because those trading at Costanzo’s level (in the millions) would make the effort to do things “legally.”

The actual charge has to do with money laundering though that seems to be a catch-all term that could refer to a variety of events, some of which are more technical than not.

One is left wondering if Constanza did something egregious of if he simply didn’t properly report what he was doing. If it is the latter, then this case may have more to do with anti-bitcoin, government sentiment than with significant crimes.

Power Generation Still Retarded by Regulation

According to ICIS.com, the main problem with the effective use of blockchain is regulation. This is not said enough in the media, though doubtless it is true.

In the short term, blockchain generated power trading will probably not be a significant factor. But in the longer term, blockchain has considerable potential, especially in structuring sales from one consumer to another, something current regs don’t permit for the most part.

Changes may be made when the need becomes more apparant, though for now no discussions are underway within the German regulatory community.  

Regulatory issues are indeed important and generally speaking they may look a good deal more efficient than they are. All too often they retard business for all but the largest companies.

And indeed this may be the point of some regulation generated under the watchful eye of the same corporations that have to abide by them.

 

Some Wind Power Stored and Distributed by Tennet

Transmission expert Tennet wants to use battery storage to make Germany’s electrical system more flexible. Right now it is slowing wind generation.

In 2016, the retarding of electricity was an €800 million problem paid for by consumers.

The real issue here is whether wind power can be stored once it is generated. This the underlying issue and one that won’t be solved until power can  be stored in efficient amounts, not just redistributed. Otherwise wind power will remain inconsistent and  fairly random.

Tennet seems mostly to working on ways store and redistribute at least some power so that more of it used. This is a partial solution, but the real solution will come from safely and efficiently storing power.

RWE Builds Prototypes for Electric Car

One power company wants to create blockchain technology in order to add to customer satisfaction.

Fifty-billion-dollar-a-year RWE operates both coal and nuclear power plants. And like other utilites, RWE is faced with the difficulties inherent in progressing under new mandates.

One possibility is electric car charging stations. These use blockchain-based smart contracts to offer billables and help with charging generally. The project already has a sample station that was shown off at the Lift 2016 conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Nobody is speaking of laws and regulations right now, but over time it may become increasingly illegal for people to drive their own cars. This may be seen as progress, but it is also problematic.

There may be fines and even car confiscations for those who do not pay various kinds of fees and even tickets in a timely manner. And sometimes people may find their driving destinations are restricted by the car itself.

For all these reasons, any step into the electronic future of car design ought to be a careful one. A race to create electric cars, let alone autonomous ones, is accompanied by substantial questions. And unlike in the past, this sort of research is being conducted corporately, not by individual enthusiasts who want to build the future as they see it.

Certainly much of what is being considered is very positive and must continue and expand. But those involved with shaping the future will need to realize that there are numerous ways of creating what is to come. They should consider the larger ramifications of their research as well as narrow results having to do with specific technological successes.

Dash Building Momentum for Adoption

Dash Evolution is building currency that is intended to be adopted by the masses. Capacity will expand as it goes.

And Dash intends to add to developers.  Dash is fast growing cryptocurrency that has topped $1 billion. It is one of the largest such currencies, worth around $1.345.

Each release will create additional development. Infrastructure will help make sure there are additional resources as necessary. In fact, Network operations will help build developments that create generous growth.

Bitcoin Price Could Go Up as EU Banks Retreat

Italy is worrying people who have money in banks. Recently, the country bailed out  Banco Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca after it couldn’t find anyone in the private sector to do it.

As a result, Italians are turning to other ways of saving and accruing money. One way is via bitcoin.

The two bank bailouts will cost some €4.785 bln so that Intesa Sanpaolo, the country’s first retail bank, can take over.

Right now the rescue came by way of the government using taxpayer money. But eventually bank investors could be tapped as well. This may explain the attraction to bitcoin.