Feb 15 – 5 Key Stories From The Digital World

By February 16, 2019 Insight

1.  JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business

  • The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day…In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called “JPM Coin,” the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients.
  • J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, move to the blockchain
  • J.P Morgan is betting that its first-mover status and large market share in corporate payments — it banks 80 percent of the companies in the Fortune 500 — will give its technology a good chance of getting adopted, even if other banks create their own coins.

2. HSBC forex trading costs cut sharply by blockchain – executive

  • HSBC has reduced the cost of settling foreign exchange trades by a quarter through its blockchain-based system – The bank processes between 3,500 and 5,000 trades a day on its “FX Everywhere” system, settling trades worth $350 billion
  • HSBC platform is a rare example of blockchain technology being put to practical use by a major bank.
  • scale of the HSBC project suggest that the potential of blockchain to make significant cost savings in the financial services industry – long touted by its proponents of the technology – is being realized.

3. The Increasingly Crowded AI Unicorn Club

  • define AI companies as those that use machine learning as a core differentiator, sell AI software, or build AI chips.
  • A total of 17 AI startups reached $1B+ valuations in 2018, up from 9 the previous year
  • AI startups valued at $1B+ nearly doubled in 2018. From banking fraud prevention to handheld ultrasounds to recruiting software

4. IoT and Commerce: How New Technology is Shaping the Way We Shop

  • Industrial products are being impacted the most, with 45 percent of businesses in this sector using IoT products (and another 22 percent expected to adopt IoT within the year).
  • According to Cisco’s annual Visual Networking Index, machine-to-machine connections supporting IoT applications will account for more than half of the world’s 28.5 billion connected devices by 2022. This will cause reverberations in numerous industries and niches, including ecommerce.
  • Retail ecommerce has been enjoying a steep and healthy growth curve over the past decade. According to Statista, worldwide ecommerce sales were right around $1.34 trillion in 2014, $2.84 trillion in 2018, and are anticipated to scale to $3.45 trillion this year. By 2021, it’s projected that global ecommerce sales will inch up near the $5 trillion mark.

5. How the Sharing Economy Is Transforming the Short-term Rental Industry

  • Business models will change, with hotels and short-term accommodations learning from one another; types of travel will blur. Ancillary industries will expand to fill the ecosystem, and with them employment will continue to change.
  • Given this acceleration, it is hardly surprising that investors are flocking to the short-term rental sector; indeed, Andrew Dowell, CEO of property management marketplace Rented.com, described the market as a “gold rush.”
  • Asia is an epicenter of the sharing economy. Nielsen research has found that the Asia-Pacific residents were the most willing in the world to participate in sharing, with 81% willing to rent or share others’ assets and 78% willing to rent or share their own (vs. global figures of 66% and 68%)