Part 1 can be found here.

Part 2 can be found here.

4/ When a blockchain is desirable?

The framework

Whenever trust mechanisms already exist today, a blockchain is not needed, unless:

a) The existing trust mechanisms are so inefficient that one can demonstrate with a cost / benefit analysis that a decentralized system is preferable. So far, I have seen zero convincing business case in this category, only ridiculous unfalsifiable speculation “blockchain will revolutionize X”

b) The very purpose is to bypass the existing trust mechanisms (“break the law”), and it can be proven that the benefits exceed the costs and that there is a demand for…

This is the continuation of the part 1 that can be found here.

3/ The phoney claim of efficiency

Some evangelists and some serious companies pretend that blockchain will save businesses “billions of dollars”, even though, by design, distributed systems are more complex and more resource-intensive than centralized systems. So, let’s deconstruct the bogus claims.

Gains are overestimated

The potential gains are usually over estimated: up to 50% and even 70% savings based on the full cost base [5]. Even in the blockchain utopia of universal bookkeeping, one can never get rid of all controls, investigations & reconciliations. Organizations will always have to deal with garbage and humans. Besides…

Some marketers, salesmen, “evangelists” and journalists push hard the “blockchain will revolutionize X” narrative. When it is not backed up with a detailed cost / benefit analysis, such claim should be ignored because it is an unfalsifiable argument similar to “Bigfoot exists”. One sentence at the end of the article often states that there are still some challenges or that the technology is not mature yet. This is as useful as saying “colonizing planets outside the solar system will change the world, but technology is not available yet”. In theory many things are possible, it does not mean that they…

Happy new year everyone! Let’s use this time of the year to share some Fintech predictions.

1/ Governments are not going to give up to cryptocurrencies without a fight.

Some countries will issue crypto regulations and impose licenses.

China is going to authorize cryptocurrency trading again, however with strict rules. These rules will prevent some exchanges to open again and prevent most of alternative coins to be traded.

Some countries will launch their own national crypto coin. I thought Estonia would be the first country to do it, but it seems Venezuela is about to launch its “Petro” coin.


On June 1 2017, I was asked by Pega and Capgemini to host a Twitter chat titled “The Future of Financial Services”. It was a great success: 60 experts joined the discussion, which generated about 1,000 tweets and retweets and about 16.5 million impressions. Here are the key insights from the chat:

Q1. Providing exceptional customer experience is the key to avoid “commoditization.” What should financial services do to engage better with customers?

Essentially, you must provide a consistent experience across channels with an end-to-end approach (from back office to front office). Even more, financial institutions should not think in terms of channels and should put the customer at the very center of their strategy:

Financial services should be all…

This is a first article in a series about innovation in Finance, starting with 3 misconceptions:

1) Innovation is not necessarily “disruptive”

Innovation comes from the Latin word innovatio meaning “renewal”. The change associated with innovation can have a limited impact (incremental change) or a very significant impact (transformational change).

“Disruption” is a concept that is often misused. It has a very specific meaning as popularized by C. Christensen: “process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors”.

I like the model defined by G. Pisano from HBS which proposes 4 categories of innovation including routine and disruptive innovations:


2) Innovation is not only about technology


Read the full article on my blog here ->

Business models in the insurance industry are undergoing significant changes. Highlighted are five major trends that drive this evolution.

1. The “Tyranny” of Customers

Connected customers expect an efficient (speed, simplicity), engaging (fun, using natural interfaces) and seamless experience (anything, anywhere, anytime). They also ask for services customized to their needs, with the ability to turn cover on and off (personalization, with transparency on trade-offs).

What this means for insurance business models:

  • Differentiation on experience design
  • Provision of on-demand Insurance services

Examples of InsurTech: Slice Labs, Trov, Metromile

2. The Power of Analytics

Data analytics has made significant progress from…

Do you believe in Blockchain magic?

Blockchain is a revolutionary technology that is a force for good. You probably heard that it can help solve problems in charity. But did you know that you can end homeless hunger with Blockchain? Actually it could help end poverty in all its forms, including solving the child poverty issues!

Blockchain is unbelievably powerful. Bitcoin, the first blockchain system launched in 2009 can help end war, which is already something. But Blockchain technology is even stronger: it will make guns smarter, preventing gun deaths, and save the world from nuclear holocaust. Boom.

Let’s be…

After almost 2 years of hype, some people still ask me when to use “distributed ledgers” rather than standard “distributed databases”. Other (vicious) people ask me what is the difference between “blockchain technology” and “distributed ledger technology”. So let’s clarify the conceptual & vocabulary issues that we have here.

Centralized relational databases

Relational databases (RDBMS) organize data in tables and use the SQL query language. They became the norm in the 80s. Even if their architecture evolved in complexity over time (n-tier, distributed processing, etc.) they remain essentially centralized i.e. located, stored, and maintained in a single location. …

Sebastien Meunier

Take the red pill about Innovation, Technology, Fintech — More stories at

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store