Fintech, the last 10 years

Dave Levy
5 min readJan 21, 2016

In my linkedin article on Banks & Customers, published in 2015, I started by talking about the workshops at Citihub’s World Conference which had posed a 10 year time horizon. Medium term horizons such as this are both liberating and challenging when considering the future of banking and business it is certain there will be massive change and since finance has been the first business to digitise, the future of ICT is a key influencer. I also received a post from Chris Skinner’s blog, “Banks face more change in the next 10 years than in the last 200”; my response on banking is encapsulated in the linkedin article, but what makes Chris’s blog article so interesting is the illustrations about how hard it is to predict the future. For instance he posts a Jetson’s style picture, created in 1966 forecasting the state of science/life in 1999. While we have some moving walkways, they are hardly ubiquitous and much of what they suggest might come to pass has not. We do not have rocket belts, city wide domes, hovering vehicles, nor flying saucers. Looking at these forecasts provoked me to look at “Blade Runner” and its inspiration, Philip K Dick’s 1968 book, “Do Androids dream of Electric Sheep?”. “Blade Runner” was made in 1982, and set in 2019, Dick wrote the story two decades earlier and set the story in 1992.

PRATIK ‘ S LAWS, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The film makes much of the existence of space flight, off world colonies and perfect humanoid (and other animal robots) which all seem to be unlikely within the next four years, but even so we are still missing the guns and flying cars but not the prevalence of rain and sushi. One of the reasons these changes are so far from the mark, is that the big bet on space travel was wrong; humanity built the internet instead. I have missed, of course, that the film is set in LA and so the rain must be symptomatic of climate change; LA Story it’s not.

Further interest around forecasting from Skinner’s article is found by his pointing at Long Bets and his selection of a number of IT predictions. Long Bets is itself a betting exchange, and some of its predictions are fairly ordinary, many are either financial or political. (I quite like the idea that exec{“helloworld”} will take a gigabyte of space and that Chelsea Clinton will become Queen of England and the USA). Skinner chooses to comment on six bets, and the score is two right, and four wrong. Netflix exists…

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Dave Levy

Brit, Londoner, economist, Labour, privacy, cybersecurity, traveller, father - mainly writing about UK politics & IT, https://linktr.ee/davelevy