The global financial infrastructure—a complex network of technical systems provided by central banks, exchanges, clearing houses and securities depositaries—supports trillions of dollars of trading a year and underlies almost all economic activity.
But it could work faster, more cheaply and more safely, benefiting everyone. In India, a shift from paper-based to digital finance now promises a $700bn boost in economic output.
Who is going to write the electrical circuit map for the new system? Some powerful names are already making a land grab.
Mark Zuckerberg told us in 2019 he wants his own version of money to go with his social media networks. Cryptocurrencies, launched in the depths of the 2008/09 financial crisis, offer a more radical alternative.
Facebook’s Libra may not come to fruition. But the current financial system is looking, if not obsolete, then increasingly outdated.
There isn’t a single part of today’s infrastructure that will remain unaffected by technological change. And there are certainly going to be big winners and big losers by the time we reach 2030.
But many of the new infrastructure initiatives are being introduced from the ground up, making it difficult to keep track of what’s going on. It’s also hard to assess what’s serious and what’s not.
Ruth Wandhöfer, our guest on the latest New Money Review podcast, ‘the future of money in 30 minutes’, is well-positioned to see where things might be heading.
A former banker, Ruth now consults a variety of clients as an expert on financial technology, infrastructure and regulation.
Here are some of the topics she discusses with New Money Review editor Paul Amery during the podcast:
- The emergence of new financial infrastructures
- The path to speedier financial settlement
- The role of blockchain in infrastructure reform
- How to ensure a level playing field for different fintech players
- The importance of digital identity
- Open-source versus proprietary technology standards
- How to survive and prosper in the new digital finance economy
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