Fintech stack allows to test concept far beyond the capitalist ethos of (only) profit
With every tech revolution, the appearance of a new way to interact or engage, there is no due process, no guaranteed recipe with which this or that novel medium would travel — testing of what a new thing would be for the world (itself born out of relentless experimentation) starts on the fringe of the distribution curve — the radical boundaries of it.
Where a domain allows for the marginal costs to dissapear and fixed costs to come to a fraction of what was formely only accessible to the major players — the experimentation is a melting pot — hundreds and thousands of players today enjoy:
- stable and scalable infrastructures of backend server racks and front-end powerful mobile devices;
- worldwide delivery network imbued with power of instant connectivity;
- standardised languages expressing the richness of graphics, visuals and messages.
And so the stack is used not only for profit — but for artful purposes. The blockchain infrastructure started as the underlying layer of an anonymised token of transaction, inspired by liberal writings. Numerous social issues, driven by engaged middle-class, millenials bent on changing the world with tech, data-science and arbitrary code — are shaped as entrepreneurial endeavors — and backed by capital seeking to captivate those no longer interested in just the utility of a service that has been bestowed upon them by the conventional agents.
The pendulum of innovation swings to recapture and rebuilt the social value of interaction that gave birth to the often void products we shun today:
- Credit and imbuing trust in the loans business with blockchain — following on the same value paper-based LoC had at the times of first marketplaces in Northern Italy (see Fernand Braudel artful 3 volume on the day to day development of commercial relationships
- Inspired by central bank thought leadership notes and pundits ruminations on the helicopter drop of money, several startups have started building either a full-reseve banking prototype, or time money, where, not surprisingly, even before Bernard Lietaer masterful concepts of money underpinned by socially-bound values, there were units promoting exchange or greater social cohesion.
Thanks to what the tech provides today in terms of:
- Reliable connectivity and availability of all elements to onboard users
- Minuscule costs to support them and deep analytics to understand them
- Sub 1ms latency to allow near real-time communication between smart tokens that are embedded into things that people use every day.
All of this creates a universal invisible interface and create a subtle, powerful, contextual interface, no longer just one technical interface, but a lively social one. What does it produce to several verticals of financial services?
More than finance:
Building saving and spending services following the context of user’s prime engagement in a social activity
Building algorythms testing suppositions that were not possible to track or put into a live test before (smart contracts, 100% reserve banking, tokens denominated into gold bullion, fractional art ownership etc.)
More than donation: providing radical transparency for political and NGO donations, providing social and financial feedback on money being spent for notable causes, empowering disenfranchised customer segments, or totally excluded ones.
Financial aid: Tech provides new ways to empower evicted population or those fleeing persecution or war to find the advertised good life “in the West”, as they are not seeing just refuge, but the right for pursuit of happiness.
How to achieve more:
It all starts with a sketch — percieving and mapping out the life of people today: the distractions that modern mediums carry, the interaction component they have, the information they can give. Seeing more than just a utility of a service is the key to progress, keeping the attention span of distracted consumers of today from narrowing further.
More on the books mentioned in separate posts.