Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Major Payment Processor Files Patent for Blockchain-based ATM Network

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"Under the concept, a group of ATMs serves as nodes within a Blockchain-powered network. There they share transactions via a distributed database, maintaining a high degree of security and uptime."

Major Payment Processor Files Patent for Blockchain-based ATM Network

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China’s Future is Definitely Cashless - The News Lens International Edition

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"Alipay, WeChat Wallet, and other Chinese third party payment platforms use financial incentives to encourage users to take money out of their bank accounts and temporarily store it on the platform itself."

China’s Future is Definitely Cashless - The News Lens International Edition

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Facebook and Twitter Are Too Big to Allow Fake Users

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"Social networks should be obliged to ban anonymous accounts. If they refuse to do so voluntarily, government regulators should force the issue."

Facebook and Twitter Are Too Big to Allow Fake Users

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The “free” economy comes at a cost

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Researchers talk of the “privacy paradox”: when asked, people say that they care much more about their privacy than their actions would suggest.

From The “free” economy comes at a cost

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The Deeper Meaning of Money | Carey OConnor Kolaja | Pulse | LinkedIn

The Global Chief Product Officer at Citi Fintech said earlier this year that…

Money will always be emotional – Each money exchange represents a need, a want, a desire, a belief, a commitment. The value we place on money has always been driven by our emotions.

From The Deeper Meaning of Money | Carey OConnor Kolaja | Pulse | LinkedIn

This is why I harbour the deep-seated suspicion that there is a strong link between the many forms of money that will be forged in the digital revolution and the communities that they serve. In an industrial age, it was simply not possible to have a thousand different currencies circulating in a city. But in the very near future, their may be millions, each of them addressing different emotional niches.

Dark web finds bitcoin increasingly more of a problem than a help, tries other digital currencies

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Bitcoin is based on a public record of transactions known as the blockchain. Law enforcement has gotten better at analyzing the data and catching criminals. As a result, criminals are starting to use other digital currencies such as monero, which is built specifically for increased user privacy.

From Dark web finds bitcoin increasingly more of a problem than a help, tries other digital currencies

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Chinese social media users face harsh new rules on digital identity | Mobile Marketing Magazine

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Web users in China are facing a series of new rules from the Cyberspace Administration of China that will take effect from 1 October… with digital platforms potentially having to scan identity cards before allowing users to post online.

From Chinese social media users face harsh new rules on digital identity | Mobile Marketing Magazine

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Thursday, 24 August 2017

Facebook wants to kill the password - Apr. 19, 2017

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Facebook's F8 developer conference on Tuesday brought the launch of the beta version of Delegated Account Recovery, a way for the social network to be the backup security key in case you forget your password on different, non-Facebook services.

From Facebook wants to kill the password - Apr. 19, 2017

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Indian court rules privacy a 'fundamental right' in battle over national ID cards | World news | The Guardian

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View more sharing options Shares 42 Michael Safi in Delhi @safimichael Thursday 24 August 2017 10.01 BST First published on Thursday 24 August 2017 07.15 BST India’s top court has unanimously declared that privacy is a fundamental right, in a landmark judgment that could derail the world’s largest biometric identity card scheme.

From Indian court rules privacy a 'fundamental right' in battle over national ID cards | World news | The Guardian

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Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Huobi and OKCoin, China’s two biggest bitcoin (BTC) exchanges, helped themselves to $150 million in idle client funds — Quartz

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China’s two biggest bitcoin exchanges, Huobi and OKCoin, collectively invested around 1 billion yuan ($150 million) of idle client funds into “wealth management products“—which are often high-yielding and risky—for their own gain

From Huobi and OKCoin, China’s two biggest bitcoin (BTC) exchanges, helped themselves to $150 million in idle client funds — Quartz

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Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Facebook and Twitter Are Too Big to Allow Fake Users

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"Facebook, unlike Twitter, has a strict policy against multiple personal accounts and pseudonyms -- which it doesn't enforce"

Facebook and Twitter Are Too Big to Allow Fake Users

Since I have pseudonymous accounts of both Facebook and Twitter, I know that neither of them enforce this rule because, apart from any ethical considerations, they can’t. If I create a Twitter account as Lord Tantamount Horseposture, who are Twitter to say that it isn’t my name (especially in the UK, where it is a freeborn Englishman’s right to call himself whatever he pleases).

Forcing women fleeing domestic violence, political dissidents and people with beliefs different from their employers’ to post under their “real” names gets us nowhere, as a moment’s thought about the topic will reveal.

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"Social networks should be obliged to ban anonymous accounts. "

Facebook and Twitter Are Too Big to Allow Fake Users

If anything they should be forced to ban verified accounts, since I for one couldn’t care less about what Russell Brand or any other sleb thinks about absolutely anything at all, but that’s a different point. The author has stumbled across what I labelled some time ago as the “Clinton Paradox”. I chose this name after Hilary Clinton gave a speech that I reasonably paraphrase as “we want free speech on the internet, except for people we disagree with”.

Facebook and Twitter Are Too Big to Allow Fake Users

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"Social networks should be obliged to ban anonymous accounts. "

Facebook and Twitter Are Too Big to Allow Fake Users

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Tech firms like Amazon (AMZN), Facebook (FB), and Google (GOOGL) are the biggest competitive threats to the banking industry — Quartz

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Much has been made of the rise of fintech [but] according to a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF), traditional banks are more vulnerable to competition from another source: tech giants like Amazon, Facebook, and Google.

From Tech firms like Amazon (AMZN), Facebook (FB), and Google (GOOGL) are the biggest competitive threats to the banking industry — Quartz

As I have said for some time, it is not all obvious to me that what we refer to as the “challenger” banks in the UK (i.e., the new banks who have obtained licences in recent years) are not really challengers at all.

Identity Thieves Hijack Cellphone Accounts to Go After Virtual Currency - The New York Times

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“Everybody I know in the cryptocurrency space has gotten their phone number stolen,” said Joby Weeks, a Bitcoin entrepreneur.

Mr. Weeks lost his phone number and about a million dollars’ worth of virtual currency late last year, despite having asked his mobile phone provider for additional security after his wife and parents lost control of their phone numbers.

From Identity Thieves Hijack Cellphone Accounts to Go After Virtual Currency - The New York Times

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Rabobank builds 3D model of its own IT landscape » Banking Technology

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Mapping the IT landscape of a large organisation is probably not an easy task and Rabobank is attempting to resolve this via the construction of a 3D model of its own structure and supporting IT systems.

From Rabobank builds 3D model of its own IT landscape » Banking Technology

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How TD Ameritrade tackles security in Facebook Messenger chatbot | American Banker

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Another aspect of working with a chatbot in Facebook Messenger that makes bankers nervous is allowing Facebook itself to see customer data.

From How TD Ameritrade tackles security in Facebook Messenger chatbot | American Banker

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Study: What inspires innovators on Twitter | Articles | Home

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The top 10 accounts that innovators follow are:

1. Richard Branson (@richardbranson), founder of Virgin Group

2. Marc Andreessen (@pmarca), entrepreneur, investor and software engineer

3. Benedict Evans (@benedictevans), partner at Andreessen Horowitz

4. Glen Gilmore (@GlenGilmore), attorney and principle of Gilmore Business Network

5. Scott Kirsner (@ScottKirsner), Boston Globe columnist, and editor of Innovation Leader

6. Henry Blodget (@hblodget), editor, founder and CEO of Business Insider

7. Bill Gates (@BillGates), co-founder of Microsoft

8. Andrew McAfee (@amcafee), director of the Center for Digital Business at MIT’s Sloan School of Management

9. Sam Maule (@sammaule), manager at Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group and chief inspiration officer at Digital Finance Institute

10. David Birch (@dgwbirch), author and Consult Hyperion’s director

The top 10 publications from which innovators share content include YouTube, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, TechCrunch, The New York Times, Instagram, LinkedIn, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company and Twitter.

From Study: What inspires innovators on Twitter | Articles | Home

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FBI Says ISIS Used eBay to Send Terror Cash to U.S. - WSJ

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U.S. investigators uncovered a global financial network run by a senior Islamic State official that funneled money to an alleged ISIS operative in the U.S. through fake eBay transactions, according to a recently unsealed FBI affidavit.

From FBI Says ISIS Used eBay to Send Terror Cash to U.S. - WSJ

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Saturday, 19 August 2017

What actually is money? A new book examines early civilisations to find out | Prospect Magazine

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When a book comes along with glowing praise on its sleeve from Kenneth Rogoff and an introduction by Andrew Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of England, you know you’ve got something hot on your hands. This analysis of money by one of the world’s leading experts on the subject does not disappoint…

Birch is brilliant at bringing together these disparate historical strands, through the birth of the great European trading centres, up to the present day. The central insight of all this is that money is essentially a technology, just like any other and that technologies change—and improve—over time. In other words, money is not fixed. And it is certainly not just coins and notes.

And what of the future of money—will it be characterised by a drive towards a small number of unified currencies, or towards a multitude? Birch opts for the latter. In future, communities will develop their own stores of value, Birch says, independent of governments and central banks. The growing popularity of crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin suggests that he may have as good a handle on the future as he does on the past.

From What actually is money? A new book examines early civilisations to find out | Prospect Magazine

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Thursday, 17 August 2017

Visa applies for direct bank-card clearing access in China

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According to the People’s Bank of China, at the end of the first quarter, China had 6.3 billion bank cards in circulation, up 11% from a year earlier.

In that first quarter, the value of swiping plastic rose to 15.2 trillion yuan, up 14%.

From Visa applies for direct bank-card clearing access in China

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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

UK enjoys Summer of Love for contactless cards | Euromoney

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There were just under 1.4 billion card payments in the UK in June, a monthly record. And with the number of card transactions up 12% in 12 months, UK cards have enjoyed their highest annual rate of growth since June 2008… [a significant] factor was the increase in the use of contactless card payments, which soared by 143%. Contactless payments accounted for 34% of all card transactions

From UK enjoys Summer of Love for contactless cards | Euromoney

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Monday, 14 August 2017

Uneasy sits the crown as cash use continues decline

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Consumers and businesses made 15.4 billion cash payments in 2016 - down from 17.2 billion in 2015, according to figures released by UK Finance. However despite the decline, cash was still used 25% more often than the second most frequently-used method; debit cards (11.6 billion).

During 2016, cash represented almost half (44%) of all payments made by consumers - the second year in a row where consumers used cash for fewer than 50% of all payments. During the same period, cash payments reached £240 billion, accounting for 15% of the total value of consumer spending, a decline of five percent compared to the previous year.

More than one in four (26%) consumer cash payments were for a value of £1 or less, and more than three in five (61%) were for a value of £5 or less.

From Uneasy sits the crown as cash use continues decline

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Saturday, 12 August 2017

Here’s the Biggest Security Threat to the World’s Third-Largest Cryptocurrency - MIT Technology Review

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"In that time, the network structure has remained remarkably constant. In 2013 each wallet was connected on average to 3.12 others. In 2016 that number was 3.53."

Here’s the Biggest Security Threat to the World’s Third-Largest Cryptocurrency - MIT Technology Review

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POST What would a Chinese digital currency look like?

The Chinese were first with the great transition from commodity money to paper money. They had the necessary technologies (you can’t have paper money without paper and you can’t do it at scale without printing) and, more importantly, they had the bureaucracy.

"In 1260, Genghis’ grandson Kublai Khan became Emporer and determined that it was a burden to commerce and taxation to have all sorts of currencies in use, ranging from copper ‘cash’ to iron bars, to pearls to salt to specie, so he decided to implement a new currency. The Khan decided to replace copper, iron, commodity and specie cash with a paper currency. A paper currency! Imagine how crazy that must have sounded! Replacing stuff with printing!"

Introducing a new currency is easy – dgwbirch – Medium

Just as Marco Polo and other medieval travellers returned along the Silk Road breathless with astonishing tales of paper money, so commentators (e.g., me) are tumbling off of flights from Shanghai with equally astonishing tales of a land of mobile payments, where paper money is vanishing and consumers pay for everything with smartphones. China is well on the way to becoming a cashless society, with the end of its thousand year experiment with paper money in sight.

"14% of China’s population relies on mobile payments to get around, carrying no cash, according to a survey conducted by (link in Chinese) Renmin University of China"

Alibaba's (BABA) "cashless week" to boost mobile payments is angering China's central bank — Quartz

The natural step from here is to create digital currency so that settlement is in central bank money and there are no credit risks. Last year, the Governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), Zhou Xiaochuan, set out their thinking about digital currency. He said:

[Zhou] said that “it is an irresistible trend that paper money will be replaced by new products and new technologies.”

From Chinese Central Bank Goes Full Steam Ahead with its Own Cryptocurrency | Finance Magnates

He went on to say that as a legal tender, digital currency should be issued by the central bank and after noting that he thought it would take a decade or so for digital currency to completely replace cash in cash went to state clearly that “he has plans how to gradually phase out paper money”. As I have written before, I don’t think a “cashless society” means a society in which notes and coins are outlawed, but a society in which they are irrelevant. Under this definition the PBOC could easily achieve this goal for China. But should they do this? Yao Qian, from the PBOC technology department wrote on the subject earlier this year.

To offset the shock to the current banking system imposed by an independent digital currency system (and to protect the investment made by commercial banks on infrastructure), it is possible to incorporate digital currency wallet attributes into the existing commercial bank account system so that electronic currency and digital currency are managed under the same account.

PBOC Researcher: Can Cryptocurrency & Central Banks Coexist? - Bitcoin Magnates

I understand the rationale completely. The Chinese central bank wants the efficiencies that come from having a digital currency but also understands the implications of removing the exorbitant privilege of money creation from the commercial banks. If the commercial banks cannot create money by creating credit, then they can only provide loans from their deposits. Imagine if Bitcoin were the only currency in the world: I’d still need to borrow a few of them to buy a new car, but since Barclays can’t create Bitcoins they can only lend me Bitcoins that they have taken in deposit from other people. Fair enough. But here, as in so many other things, China is a window into the future.

Alipay, WeChat Wallet, and other Chinese third party payment platforms use financial incentives to encourage users to take money out of their bank accounts and temporarily store it on the platform itself.

China’s Future is Definitely Cashless - The News Lens International Edition

You can see the potential problem with digital currency created by the central bank. If commercial banks lose deposits and the privilege of creating money, then their functionality and role in the economy is much reduced. Whether you think that is a good idea or not, you can see that it’s a big step to take and therefore understand the PBOC position.

In summary, then, central banks are not going to issue cryptocurrencies and they are not going to issue digital currencies either (at least in the foreseeable future). But what they might do is to allow commercial banks to create digital currency under central bank control. You could have the central bank provide commercial banks with some sort of tamper-resistant smart chip that would mint commercial bank money under the control of the central bank. Wait a moment, that reminds me of something…

Would a central bank go for this? Some form of digital cash that can be passed directly from person to person like Bitcoin rather than some form of digital money like M-PESA, using hardware rather than proof of work to prevent double spending? Well…

“It’s not that you use the phone to order money transfers, as is done today, but having bills in the cellular and being able to pass them on from one user to another,” he said.

From Latin American Herald Tribune - Uruguayan Central Bank to Test Digital Currency

So here’s a “what if” and I’m genuinely curious as to your comments…

What if we dust off the old Mondex specifications but this time implement it in SIMs and Secure Elements instead of contactless smart cards? Then we would have genuine digital currency that could work online and offline, work for inter-personal transactions as well as business transactions and allow things to pay other things. With the 20th anniversary of Multos just gone, maybe Mondex’s time has finally come!

Ant Financial seen becoming world's top consumer bank- Nikkei Asian Review

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"Alipay now controls 70% of China's mobile payment market, while Yu'e Bao, which serves as a repository for cash leftover from online spending, emerged as the world's largest money market fund this year with $165.6 billion of assets under management."

Ant Financial seen becoming world's top consumer bank- Nikkei Asian Review

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Fake negative reviews are a cheap way to screw up darknet drug marketplaces / Boing Boing

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"once they found a seller they trusted, only 30 percent shopped around"

Fake negative reviews are a cheap way to screw up darknet drug marketplaces / Boing Boing

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Wednesday, 9 August 2017

New Tesco Clubcards cause nightmares for shoppers - AOL UK Money

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"Other users assumed that because the roll-out of the new cards introduced contactless technology, the key fobs would too. However, the key fobs don't have any contactless functionality, so those who have tried to use them as contactless cards, assumed they were broken, and missed out on the points."

New Tesco Clubcards cause nightmares for shoppers - AOL UK Money

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Bitcoin vs Venmo: Lessons Learned from ‘Craigslist Jeff’ | Bank Innovation

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"Scams of this type are becoming fairly common on the ‘killer’ P2P payments app, leading others on Twitter to question its reliability as a payment method, especially when other online transaction routes exist—like cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, for instance."

Bitcoin vs Venmo: Lessons Learned from ‘Craigslist Jeff’ | Bank Innovation

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Court: Dead daughter’s parents have no right to access her Facebook account | Ars Technica

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"A German appeals court on Wednesday rejected the pleas from a dead girl's parents who wanted access to the 15-year-old's Facebook account. The social networking site fought the parents, claiming that opening the account would breach the privacy of the girl's contacts."

Court: Dead daughter’s parents have no right to access her Facebook account | Ars Technica

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Alibaba's (BABA) "cashless week" to boost mobile payments is angering China's central bank — Quartz

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"14% of China’s population relies on mobile payments to get around, carrying no cash, according to a survey conducted by (link in Chinese) Renmin University of China"

Alibaba's (BABA) "cashless week" to boost mobile payments is angering China's central bank — Quartz

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Why are Britain’s banks blaming customers for online banking fraud? | Miles Brignall | Opinion | The Guardian

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"A year 8 student was bragging to her friends that she's been earning money by opening bank accounts at all the high street banks and given £25 to give the details and send internet banking login details/key pads to someone."

Why are Britain’s banks blaming customers for online banking fraud? | Miles Brignall | Opinion | The Guardian

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Hero who tracked bank fraudsters to win back £20k | Daily Mail Online

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"The judge agreed and Gideon sent the documents to Santander's court orders team, which faxed over the fraudster's bank statements, postal addresses, email addresses and phone numbers."

Hero who tracked bank fraudsters to win back £20k | Daily Mail Online

Unfortunately, there’s nothing in the story to suggest that the police were able to use these details to collar the fraudsters.

August • Future of Retail - Credit card payment fees to be scrapped

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"‘These small charges can really add up and this change will mean shoppers across the country have that bit of extra cash to spend on the things that matter to them.’"

August • Future of Retail - Credit card payment fees to be scrapped

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POST When the revolution comes, it will be about parking

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"The motoring organisation's survey of 16,000 members suggests seven out of 10 would look for parking elsewhere rather than use the 'pay by phone' meters."

via Drivers avoid pay-by-phone parking bays, says the AA - BBC News

Who are these people? I sign with relief when I pull into a car park and see the signs that I can pay with my phone instead of rummaging around on my hands in knees to try to find a couple of quid in coins.

I love RingGo. It works great. One minor plea though: even Arriva buses have managed to add ApplePay to their in-app payment options, so please can you? I forget my CVV about one in every three times I use the app and I’d like to be able to switch between personal and business cards on the fly.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Their invention is valued at $250 million. Here’s why they’re not satisfied - The Boston Globe

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"Data on Sia are broken into pieces and stored on multiple computers, a method intended to keep data accessible even when some hosts are offline."

Their invention is valued at $250 million. Here’s why they’re not satisfied - The Boston Globe

I remember writing about “eternity servers” a couple of decades ago (approvingly, as I thought it was a good idea).

Countess claims art dealer shortchanged her: suit | New York Post

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"She was shocked to learn in 2014 that Sammons had sold the painting to a Liechtenstein gallery for the ‘egregiously low price’ of $650,000, her suit says."

Countess claims art dealer shortchanged her: suit | New York Post

This is the sort of thing that can happen when you have a market that is as opaque as, say, Bitcoin trading.

Some old observations on reputation and social networks

The Talmud also deals with identity in the context of reputation and social networks See Tractate Sanhedrin – folio 23a https://www.sefaria.org/Sanhedrin.23a.22?lang=bi As Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: Witnesses do not sign a document unless they know who is signing with them. One does not sign a document unless he recognizes that those signing with him are fit to bear witness.

Returning to the matter itself, Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: Witnesses do not sign a document unless they know who is signing with them. That is also taught in a baraita: This is what the scrupulous people of Jerusalem would do: They would not sign a document unless they knew who was signing with them, and they would not sit in judgment unless they knew who was sitting with them, and they would not join a meal unless they knew who was reclining, i.e., eating, with them.

The medieval scholar Rashi (1040-1105) explains that one needs to know one’s co-witness, because of the potential reputational damage to oneself of countersigning a document which is invalidated because of character defects of one’s co-signatory. The concern is that third parties will hear that the document has been rendered invalid and may assume that you are the cause (no smoke without fire).

eHarmony boss Grant Langston reveals the mantra for daters | This is Money

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"Tales of lonely hearts who believe they have found their match, only to be ripped off by money-grabbing crooks are legion. And according to Grant Langston, chief executive of one of the leading global dating and relationship sites eHarmony, many cases are down to organised crime."

eHarmony boss Grant Langston reveals the mantra for daters | This is Money

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Deutsche Bank backs pan-industry online identity platform

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"Deutsche Bank and partners Allianz, Axel Springer, Daimler and Postbank [will] work on a standard access procedure for online activities, with customers using a 'master key' for registration and identification across industries."

Deutsche Bank backs pan-industry online identity platform

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How liability stands in way of banks’ digital ID ambitions | American Banker

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...if banks were allowed to rely on the work other organizations have done to identify customers they could eliminate redundant paperwork and spare the customer a branch visit to open another account… But banks would need a lot to change before they would partake in this sort of outsourcing of identity provision. At the moment, they are clearly liable, under anti-money-laundering and know-your-customer rules, if they provide accounts to bad actors, wittingly or not."

How liability stands in way of banks’ digital ID ambitions | American Banker

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How liability stands in way of banks’ digital ID ambitions | American Banker

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...if banks were allowed to rely on the work other organizations have done to identify customers they could eliminate redundant paperwork and spare the customer a branch visit to open another account… But banks would need a lot to change before they would partake in this sort of outsourcing of identity provision. At the moment, they are clearly liable, under anti-money-laundering and know-your-customer rules, if they provide accounts to bad actors, wittingly or not."

How liability stands in way of banks’ digital ID ambitions | American Banker

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Monday, 7 August 2017

Cash no longer king as contactless payments soar in UK stores | Money | The Guardian

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"For years, cards have accounted for the majority of retail spending by value, but 2016 was the first year they also accounted for more than 50% of all transactions. It is also the first time that debit cards have overtaken cash. They now account for 42.6% of all transactions, putting them a whisker ahead of notes and coins, which fell almost five percentage points to 42.3%."

Cash no longer king as contactless payments soar in UK stores | Money | The Guardian

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Cash no longer king as contactless payments soar in UK stores | Money | The Guardian

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"For the first time, notes and coins have been toppled from their position as the UK’s number one payment method. Cards now account for more than half of all retail purchases, according to the main body representing shops."

Cash no longer king as contactless payments soar in UK stores | Money | The Guardian

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RBS boss says customers are to blame if they're defrauded | Daily Mail Online

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"‘Banks are still placing too much responsibility on consumers to spot and protect themselves from sophisticated online scams. We’ve heard from many people who have lost life-changing amounts of money through bank transfer fraud, through no fault of their own, who are unlikely to get their money back from the banks involved.’"

RBS boss says customers are to blame if they're defrauded | Daily Mail Online

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Friday, 4 August 2017

NSPCC's contactless face-to-face trial raised three times as much as cash | Third Sector

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In a trial with 10 other charities, it raised an average donation of £3.07, compared with £1 for cash

From NSPCC's contactless face-to-face trial raised three times as much as cash | Third Sector

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As Goldman Embraces Automation, Even the Masters of the Universe Are Threatened - MIT Technology Review

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At its height back in 2000, the U.S. cash equities trading desk at Goldman Sachs’s New York headquarters employed 600 traders, buying and selling stock on the orders of the investment bank’s large clients. Today there are just two equity traders left.

Automated trading programs have taken over the rest of the work, supported by 200 computer engineers.

From As Goldman Embraces Automation, Even the Masters of the Universe Are Threatened - MIT Technology Review

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SEPA INSTANT CREDIT TRANSFERS ARRIVE - Payments Cards & Mobile

The SEPA Instant Payments scheme goes live in November. 

The EPC’s SCT Inst scheme will enable interoperable euro credit transfers in SEPA for transactions of up to €15,000 initially to be available on the payee’s account within ten seconds.

From SEPA INSTANT CREDIT TRANSFERS ARRIVE - Payments Cards & Mobile

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Wednesday, 2 August 2017

UK home secretary Amber Rudd says 'real people' don't need end-to-end encryption | Business Insider

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UK home secretary Amber Rudd has called on messaging apps like WhatsApp to ditch end-to-end encryption, arguing that it aids terrorists. [She] said that “real people” don’t need the feature and that tech companies should do more to help the authorities deal with security threats.

From UK home secretary Amber Rudd says 'real people' don't need end-to-end encryption | Business Insider

I am not privy to this level of decision making in the body politics, but I suppose that Amber’s plan is to make everyone else’s communications as vulnerable to hackers, pranksters and agents of foreign powers as MPs’ communications are.

Parliament has been hit by a “sustained and determined” cyber-attack by hackers attempting to gain access to MPs’ and their staffers’ email accounts… Fewer than 90 email accounts were compromised during the cyber attack on Westminster, sources told the Press Association.

From Cyber-attack on parliament leaves MPs unable to access emails | Politics | The Guardian

Why this is considered a good idea by the Home Secretary is entirely unclear. Presumably she thinks that if everyone can read everyone else’s messages then it will not only add to the gaiety of the nation but will render terrorists unable to communicate. How wrong can you be? If you make it against the law to send encrypted messages, then the terrorists will simply switch to encryption schemes that don’t look like encrypted messages. Surely a noted historian such as Amber is aware of