2017 was an interesting year where many developments started to get real traction. Just think about blockchain, bitcoin and artificial intellgence.
2018 will be even more interesting and substantially more challenging. A few predictions for 2018 are as follows:
There will be three core changes for financial services:
- Tokens (see Towards a digital barter economy?)
- Self Sovereign Identity (see Self Sovereign Digital Identity)
All three aspects levitates a shift towards a distributed decentralized financial system. This affects the core and challenges legacy status quo and its existence in the future.
In addition fueled by the increasing tokenization and availability of blockchain based systems there will be a shift towards
- Mobile Payments
- Holistic mobile wallets
- Global Solutions
There will be no other options for incumbents to integrate into the evolving mesh than to provide API’s to access information and services and to start to rely on others to provide crucial information. Self contained and closed financial services companies as well as local solutions will increasingly face headwinds.
- Open Banking / API’s
- Global solutions
Last but not least – user interfaces will become much more natural and transparent. The users will be amplified with new sense and access to information supported by intelligent agents.
- Natural interfaces, Voice (see Noisy Channel(s) to Channel-less )
- Artificial intelligence, Smart Assistants
Regulators will start to come up to speed with the changes. They will find ways to agree with business changes but also ethical standards across borders acknowledging the global nature of digital eco systems. A big challenge will be on the very old tax systems which are not ready yet for the shaping economy.
- Tax System
These changes are fundamental – there is a ongoing paradigm change where inherent distributed digital approaches start to outperform the automated legacy processes. There are two big dangers out there
- Underestimating the ongoing change (see Noisy Channel(s) to Channel-less)
- Overestimating the achievements made (see Digital Tur Tur)
Many of the current developments seem to turn time back and bring up systems again which were used in the past but difficult to apply as physical distance was a limiting factor. Digital changes this – the world becomes some sort of a global village. Have a look at Yap, The Island Of Stone Money – the first productive blockchain system.