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Where Finance Finds Its Future

Future of Finance

The New Face of Finance, Where Finance Finds Its Future. Future of Finance has one overriding goal. It is to host meetings (at the moment virtual meetings) that bring together long established members of the financial services industry (banks, brokers, asset managers, insurers, financial market infrastructures) with entrepreneurs (challenger banks, technology companies and FinTechs) and market authorities (central banks, regulators and policymakers) to explore how the financial services industry can grow faster by being more open, more innovative and more trustworthy. If you would like to get in touch about featuring on a podcast, please email wendy.gallagher@futureoffinance.biz

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Episodes

The clue is not in the name: AsiaNext is thinking globally not regionally 
07-02-2024
The clue is not in the name: AsiaNext is thinking globally not regionally
A Future of Finance podcast with Neil Thomas, Chief Commercial Officer of AsiaNext.AsiaNext, a 24/7, Singapore-based institutional-only digital asset trading platform, opened for business in January 2024. Owned by the Swiss stock exchange (SIX) and SBI Holdings of Japan, AsiaNext emphasises its sound governance and regulatory compliance, which its owners and management believe are the keys to attracting institutional money. The new exchange has already secured two operating licences from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and has applied for a third. But easily the most striking ambition of the new exchange is its commitment to a global strategy, in which AsiaNext will form a triad with the Swiss Digital Exchange (SDX, owned by SIX) in Zurich and Osaka Digital Exchange in Japan (where SBI is a major shareholder). To make a reality of this ambition, much depends on the behaviour of others. Technologists must create the tools to facilitate the transfer of digital assets between platforms (interoperability) and central banks must provide the trusted, on-chain fiat currency (CBDCs) to pay for them. But AsiaNext is moulded in the image of its parents and its management does not hesitate to speak of ten-year time horizons as well as the returns that are waiting to be collected on the investment in radical change. Dominic Hobson, co-founder of Future of Finance, spoke to Neil Thomas, Chief Commercial Officer of AsiaNext, about the origins, character and destiny of the first self-consciously global digital asset trading venue. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Whither digital asset custody?
25-01-2024
Whither digital asset custody?
This podcast will cover these regulatory developments and other issues, all of which are also raised in the second edition of Future of Finance’s Digital Asset Custody Guide (DACG2), which can be accessed here. The event will open with a presentation that draws on Future of Finance proprietary data about licences, registrations and certifications secured by digital asset custodians to illustrate the changing structure and geographical compass of the digital asset custody industry – and what it means for the service providers and their customers. This will be followed by a discussion between the online audience and a panel of experts, moderated by Future Finance Co-founder Dominic Hobson.What topics will be discussed?At what pace are regulated custodian banks approaching the digital asset opportunity?How important is custody to the unexpected success of Germany in tokenising and digitising issuance?How large a factor is SAB 121 in deterring the engagement of American custodian banks in digital asset custody?What does the proposed “safeguarding rule” introduced by revisions to the 1940 Investment Advisers Act mean for custodian banks?What do registrations to provide custody services tell us about the evolving structure of the industry?Why is it so hard to obtain a licence to provide custody services?Why are digital asset custodians so enthusiastic about professional certifications?Are custody markets, regulators and providers aligned on the ultimate destination?PanellistsTariq Rasheed, Partner at Reed Smith https://www.linkedin.com/in/tariq-zafar-rasheed-81b22018/Thilo Derenbach Head of Sales & Business Development Digital Securities Services at Clearstream https://www.linkedin.com/in/thilo-derenbach-2102031/Marius Lunding Smith Director Strategy and Growth at Finoa https://www.linkedin.com/in/mariuslundingsmith/Mark Mayerfeld Chief Revenue Officer at GK8 https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-mayerfeld-0566874/Moderator: Dominic Hobson, Co-Founder of Future of Finance https://www.linkedin.com/in/dominic-hobson-49b8222/ Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
21X: The European token exchange with a reassuringly German personality
24-01-2024
21X: The European token exchange with a reassuringly German personality
A Future of Finance interview with Max Heinzle, CEO of 21X21X is a Frankfurt-headquartered token issuance, trading and settlement platform built on blockchain technology, and underpinned by a group of long-term investors, that expects to be the first to receive a licence to operate under the EU DLT Pilot Regime that allows operators of market infrastructures to test blockchain technology in the issuance, trading and settlement of tokenised financial instruments. The boldness of the company strategy is evident in its preference for a public, non-permissioned blockchain network, and the fullness of its commitment to automating as many functions as possible by the use of smart contracts. That said, the founders of 21X are astute enough to recognise that it will be easier to attract issuers and investors by working with rather than against the incumbent institutions that currently own those relationships, and within the regulatory frameworks that institutions prefer. They are confident that the shareholders of 21X support their long-term strategy and that the regulators would like to see the business succeed and thrive within the parameters set by investor protection and financial stability. Interestingly, 21X has also chosen Germany, the surprising market leader in digital asset market innovation in Europe, as its initial base of operations. Dominic Hobson, co-founder of Future of Finance, spoke to Max Heinzle, CEO of 21x, about where the company came from, where its I now, and where it intends to be in five years’ time. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
The Swiss token exchange creating a market for small company shares
20-12-2023
The Swiss token exchange creating a market for small company shares
A Future of Finance interview with Nicola Plain, CEO of Aktionariat. Success in tokenising equity is unusual. Most issues of tokens are asset-backed versions of existing bonds or fund shares. So the fact that Zurich-based token platform Aktionariat has succeeded in attracting a variety of small company issuers is a considerable achievement. The goal of the firm is to help start-ups and SMEs, initially in Switzerland but eventually around the world, raise equity capital from third parties at low cost. Its strategy is to reduce dramatically the costs of issuance and post-issuance operations such as settlement and registration. Aktionariat has also formed a string of partnerships with specialist service providers and with SDX, the digital arm of the Swiss stock exchange, which helps the company secure access to the clients of the Swiss private banks. An ingenious liquidity model, based on the principal-based trading of shares in mutual funds, meant that by the end of 2022 Aktionariat was already host to 29 issuers, had as many companies again preparing to issue, and had identified dozens more on a target list that ultimately spans the entirety of the enormous Swiss private company market. Dominic Hobson, co-founder of Future of Finance, spoke to Nicola Plain, CEO of Aktionariat, about where the company came from, what it has achieved so far and what it plans to accomplish in the future. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
The Future of Money is Now Visible: What Does It Mean for You?
01-12-2023
The Future of Money is Now Visible: What Does It Mean for You?
Once true digital money is available on blockchain networks, the token revolution will begin. What that money will be is coming into focus. The idea that cryptocurrencies and Stablecoins will one day replace fiat currencies seems less realistic today than at any time since blockchain technology was first applied to traditional financial markets. In fact, the most plausible future of money is now one in which an inverted pyramid of tokenised deposits sits on top of a fulcrum made of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). It looks awfully like a past and present in which commercial bank money (including e-money) sits on a fulcrum of central bank money. Which suggests that national and international monetary establishments have reasserted their control of money, defeating the ambitions of the libertarians and the innovators that spawned myriad cryptocurrencies. The truth is more complex. The innovative ideas and technologies of the cryptocurrency pioneers are now being embedded in a monetary system that is evolving towards faster, cheaper, more transparent and more open forms of money and payment but which has yet to find its equilibrium. Instead of re-visiting details, such as CBDC design choices or the regulation of Stablecoins, this webinar discussion will stick to a higher-level question: What is the likeliest future of money now?What topics will be discussed?Is regulation intended to restore public confidence in cryptocurrencies or destroy it?Are CBDCs in major currencies ready to move beyond the experimental stage?Are CBDCs a workable solution to inefficiency in cross-border payments?Are CBDCs relevant to making domestic payments faster?Are Stablecoins now a relic of the cryptocurrency past?Are tokenised deposits a glimpse at the future of commercial bank money?Is atomic settlement a flawed concept?Why is netting making a comeback?Where do Fnality, Partior and the ideas of The Regulated Liability Network (RLN) fit into the future of money?Has T+1 accelerated or postponed the payments revolution?Is tokenised, programmable money a reality already?Could all forms of digital money and digital assets be issued, traded, stored and serviced on a common, programmable platform?Who is on the panel?Matthew OsborneSenior Manager for Payments Policy at Bank of England https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthew-osborne-49552716/Jack FletcherHead of Policy and Government Relations (Digital Currencies) at R3 https://www.linkedin.com/in/jack-fletcher-465060101/Mathias StudachHead Finance, Risk and Organisational Development at SDX https://www.linkedin.com/in/mathias-studach-77a427a0/Moderated by Dominic HobsonCo-Founder at Future of Finance https://www.linkedin.com/in/dominic-hobson-49b8222/ Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Can the carbon credit markets institutionalise and tokenise at the same time?
06-11-2023
Can the carbon credit markets institutionalise and tokenise at the same time?
The voluntary carbon credit market has emerged rapidly as a market-friendly way of combating climate change. It has attracted blockchain-based entrepreneurs that see carbon credits as ripe for tokenisation, in large part because a novel idea developed by people outside the traditional financial services industry has yet to develop an infrastructure capable of hosting issuers, investors and traders safely. Greenwashing, double-counting, lack of transparent prices, an absence of trustworthy intermediaries and even outright fraud are prevalent. Existing efforts to overcome the lack of information and integrity in carbon offset projects have not met with success but both policymakers and institutional quality infrastructure providers are now getting involved, and hopes are rising that the carbon credit market will grow rapidly. But there are formidable obstacles to overcome.What topics will be discussed?Carbon taxes are a mess (e.g., fossil fuels are subsidised as well as taxed, and at differential rates). Is that good or bad for the carbon credit market?What is preventing the carbon credit market from growing?Registries do not seem to have solved the integrity problem in carbon credit markets. What can (e.g., the ICVCM Core Carbon Principles (CCPs))?Which bodies – securities or futures or commodities regulators – should regulate the carbon credit markets?The Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets (TSVCM) advocated “core” carbon spot and futures contracts as “reference contracts” for other carbon credits. Has that idea progressed?Can and should carbon credit contracts be standardised?Can existing securities and commodities market infrastructures play a role – or is a completely new infrastructure required?How might carbon credit markets can be linked to ETS markets, potentially enhancing liquidity?Is tokenisation an appropriate technology for the carbon credit market?Does it make more sense to issue carbon credits natively on to a blockchain or to tokenise existing carbon credits?Is the lack of digital money a problem in the tokenised carbon credit markets as it is in the other token markets (and, if so, are Stablecoins an answer?)What might the carbon credits market of the near future actually look like?How durable are carbon credits as an asset class? To what extent are asset managers and asset owners deluding themselves that sustainable investing can also deliver high returns (echoing politicians that dress up costs as benefits)?Who is on the panel?James C. Row, Founder and Managing Partner at Entoro Capital, LLC, a middle-market, traditional and alternative investment bank based in Houston, Texas, and CEO of Capturiant. Deanna Reitman, Partner Head of Carbon and Commodities at DLA PiperSean Mullins, Senior Vice President – Digital Assets and Financial Markets at Northern Trust Gbemi Oluleye, Assistant Professor (Lecturer), at Imperial College LondonModerated by Dominic Hobson, Co-Founder at Future of Finance Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
What are you doing about regulated Stablecoins?
23-06-2023
What are you doing about regulated Stablecoins?
Download the Future of Finance Stablecoins Paper NowRegulated banks are waking up to the threats and opportunities created by the decision to bring Stablecoins within the regulatory perimeter. In both domestic and international payments and securities markets, regulated Stablecoins offer liberation from the status quo as well as the threat of disintermediation. Where doing nothing is not a survivable option, understanding exactly what is going on is essential to the formulation of a viable strategy.What topics were discussed?Have Stablecoins escaped their origins in the cryptocurrency markets?What makes Stablecoins unstable?Are Stablecoins a vector of contagion that threatens financial stability?How do tokenised deposits differ from Stablecoins?How do Stablecoins create credit?Could Stablecoins develop into a shadow banking system?How will Stablecoins inter-operate with central bank digital currencies?For banks, are Stablecoins friend or foe?Do Stablecoins threaten non-bank incumbents in the payments industry?How are Stablecoins being regulated in the major financial centres?What is the capital treatment of Stablecoins?Must non-bank issuers of Stablecoins secure banking licences?Are Stablecoins the future of international and/or domestic payments?Are Stablecoins the key to the growth of tokenised digital assets markets?Are Stablecoins an end-state or an intermediate stage in the evolution of money?Download the Future of Finance Stablecoins Paper NowThe panelGilbert Verdian CEO at Quant https://www.linkedin.com/in/gverdian/Amarjit Singh Partner | EMEIA Assurance Blockchain Leader | Financial Services at EY https://www.linkedin.com/in/amarjit-singh-jeet/Ricardo Correia Senior Technology Executive at R3 https://www.linkedin.com/in/ricardo-m-correia/Keith Bear Fellow at the Centre for Alternative Finance at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge https://www.linkedin.com/in/keith-bear-2b7407/Moderated by Dominic Hobson Co-Founder at Future of Finance https://www.linkedin.com/in/dominic-hobson-49b8222/ Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Is this how CBDCs will happen in the major global currencies?
24-03-2023
Is this how CBDCs will happen in the major global currencies?
When it came to digital money useable on blockchain networks, the choice between central bank money and commercial bank money used to feel binary: Stablecoins and tokenised deposits and e-money were stopgaps pending the introduction of CBDCs. But as the threat of Stablecoins that were either global or issued by unregulated non-banks has receded, a more traditional hierarchy of money has asserted itself. CBDCs are likely to become the central bank digital money foundation on which myriad forms of digital commercial bank money will blossom.Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) originated in need (to put fiat currency on blockchain networks) but also fear. Central banks were fearful that private forms of money based on blockchain technology would rob them of control of national and international monetary conditions. These fears were crystallised by the prospect of Facebook issuing a multi-currency Stablecoin called Libra.Having crushed Libra – whose remnants were sold to digital asset bank Silvergate in January 2022 – developed market central banks around the world are now bringing Stablecoins within the regulatory perimeter by privileging banks as issuers and prescribing what assets they can use to back a Stablecoin. This has released much of the pressure on the major central banks to issue CBDCs.There are currently just four CBDCs actually in issue – the Bahamas Sand Dollar, the Eastern Caribbean Dcash, the Nigerian eNaira and the Jamaican JAM-DEX – and all are developing slowly, with limited take-up. Significantly, all four were issued in developing economies, where the benefits of CBDCs in promoting financial inclusion and fighting financial crime are easiest to capture.Of another 93 countries exploring a CBDC – as monitored by the Atlantic Council CBDC Tracker – the most advanced (Brazil and Kazakhstan) fit the pattern. In all, just 17 are at the pilot testing stage. Of them, the Swedish eKrona project is the only one being pursued by a Western economy. 72 central banks are still developing or researching their plans, and the rest have stopped doing even that. True, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) website records ten CBDC experiments in progress, with various combinations of banks and central banks taking part, and it is not hard to find others where the BIS is not involved. So the leading central banks have not lost interest in CBDCs, but they do now seem relaxed enough to let the private sector lead the digitisation of money.This reflects a consensus that a CBDC in a developed market must not disintermediate the commercial banks through which central banks influence monetary conditions. Nor are most central banks credible providers of customer-facing services such as digital wallets, foreign exchange and checking customers are not money launderers, terrorists or sanctioned businesses or individuals.There is an even more profound sense in which central banks are content to cede the leadership role, and it is this: CBDCs are emerging as the foundation of a layered system of issuance and distribution in which asset-backed Stablecoins issued by regulated banks, tokenised cash on deposit at regulated banks and e-money backed by cash held at regulated banks will provide the bulk of digital monies.To carry on reading, go to : https://futureoffinance.biz/is-this-how-cbdcs-will-happen-in-the-major-global-currencies/PanellistsRicardo CorreiaSenior Technology Executive at R3 Gilbert VerdianCEO at QuantBarney ReynoldsPartner, Global Head Financial Institutions, Governance & Advisory at Shearman and SterlingKeith BearFellow at the Centre for Alternative Finance, Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.