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The Future of Finance
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - The Digital Triumvirate of Computation, Data, and Connectivity 13

1.1 Increasing computational power 13

1.2 Increasing data collection and availability 16

1.3 Increasing digital connectivity 18

1.4 Bringing computation, connectivity and data together in the cloud 20

Chapter 2 - New Interfaces for the Digital World 22

2.1 The evolution of visual displays 23

2.2 Voice as a user interface 24

2.3 Wearables and the body as an interface 25

The Fundamentals of Fintech 27

Chapter 3 - The Rise of Fintech 28

3.1 Drivers of the fintech revolution 29

3.1.1 A changing economic/regulatory landscape 29

3.1.2 A rapidly evolving technology environment 29

3.1.3 Shifting customer expectations 30

3.2 Types of fintechs 31

3.2.1 Fintech and payments 31

3.2.2 Fintech and lending 36

3.2.3 Fintech and wealth management 38

3.2.4 Fintech and insurance 41

3.2.5 Fintech and digital banking 43

3.2.6 Regtech: A different sort of fintech innovation 45

3.3 Challenges faced by fintechs 49

3.3.1 Access to talent 49

3.3.2 Regulatory compliance 51

3.3.3 Customer trust 53

3.3.4 Scaling the customer base 53

3.3.5 Raising capital 55

Chapter 4 - Incumbent Financial Institutions and their Response to Fintechs 55

4.1 Impediments to incumbent innovation 56

4.2 Incumbents building/replicating fintech offerings 58

4.3 Incumbents investing in fintechs 61

4.4 Incumbents partnering with fintechs 62

Chapter 5 - The Emergence of Techfin 64

5.1 The case for tech to techfin 64

5.2 China as a template for the growth of techfin 65

5.2.1 Alibaba and Tencent's transformation of payments in China 65

5.2.2 Alibaba and Tencent's expansion beyond payments 66

5.2.3 Alibaba and Tencent's international expansion 67

5.3 Early techfin developments outside of China 68

Chapter 6 - The Changing Structure of the Financial Ecosystem 70

6.1 Incumbent collaboration with techfins 70

6.2 Fintech collaboration with techfins 71

Chapter 7 - Financial Innovation and Inclusion 72

7.1 Fintech as a driver of financial inclusion 72

7.2 Government as an enabler of inclusive fintech solutions 75

The Fundamentals of Crypto-assets 76

Chapter 8 - The Basics of Cryptography and Encryption 77

8.1 Early encryption 77

8.2 Asymmetric or public key cryptography 78

8.3 Early experiments with cryptocurrencies 79

Chapter 9 - The Rise of Bitcoin 80

9.1 The Bitcoin white paper 81

9.2 The technical foundations of Bitcoin 84

9.2.1 The role of cryptography in Bitcoin 84

9.2.2 The role of decentralization in Bitcoin 86

9.2.3 The role of immutability in Bitcoin 87

9.2.4 The role of proof-of-work in Bitcoin 87

9.3 The growth of Bitcoin 89

9.4 Challenges facing Bitcoin 93

Chapter 10 - Blockchain as an Enabling Technology 95

10.1 Defining the characteristics of a blockchain 96

10.2 Challenges 99

10.3 Use cases of blockchains 100

Chapter 11 - The Proliferation of Crypto-assets 103

11.1 The emergence of new crypto-assets 103

11.2 Mechanisms for distributing new crypto-assets 105

11.2.1 The creation of new tokens via mining 106

11.2.2 The creation of new tokens via a hard fork 106

11.2.3 The distribution of new tokens via sale 108

11.3 A closer look at ICOs 108

11.3.1 Technical structure of an ICO 109

11.3.2 The regulatory treatment of ICOs 112

11.3.3 Advantages and challenges of ICOs 115

Chapter 12 - A High-Level Taxonomy of Crypto-assets 117

12.1 Establishing a taxonomy of crypto-assets 117

12.2 Payment tokens 119

12.2.1 Characteristics of a payment token 119

12.2.2 Challenges facing payment tokens 120

12.2.3 Regulation of payment tokens 121

12.3.4 Stable coins 122

12.3 Utility tokens 124

12.4 Investment tokens 126

12.4.1 Tokenization of new investment instruments 126

12.4.2 Tokenization of pre-existing investment instruments 127

12.5 Non-fungible tradable tokens 130

12.6 Non-fungible non-tradable digital assets 131

Chapter 13 - The Crypto-asset Ecosystem 132

13.1 Crypto-asset exchanges 133

13.1.1 Centralized crypto-asset exchanges 133

13.1.2 Decentralized crypto-asset exchanges 136

13.2 Crypto-asset custodians and wallets 136

13.2.1 Crypto-asset custodians 137

13.2.2 Crypto-asset wallets 138

13.3 Advisory and consumer services for the crypto-asset ecosystem 139

The Fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence 139

Chapter 14 - Understanding Artificial Intelligence and its Capabilities 140

14.1 The surprisingly tricky problem of defining AI 140

14.2 Why artificial intelligence matters 142

14.3 Selected AI techniques 143

14.3.1 Machine learning 143

14.3.2 Neural networks and deep learning 144

14.3.3 Genetic and evolutionary algorithms 145

14.3.4 Limitations of these techniques 145

14.4 Selected capabilities of AI 145

14.4.1 Machine vision 146

14.4.2 Natural language processing 146

14.5 High-level implications of AI for business 147

Chapter 15 - Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Financial Services 148

15.1 Key artificial intelligence opportunities for financial institutions 148

15.1.1 AI-enabled automation 149

15.1.2 AI-enabled improved decision-making 150

15.1.3 AI-enabled customization 150

15.1.4 AI-enabled new value propositions 150

15.2 Specific applications of AI in sub-sectors of financial services 151

15.2.1 Key applications of artificial intelligence in lending 151

15.2.2 Key applications of artificial intelligence in wealth and asset management 153

15.2.3 Key applications of artificial intelligence in insurance 155

15.2.4 Key applications of artificial intelligence in payments 157

15.3 Key challenges to the deployment of artificial intelligence in financial institutions 159

15.3.1 Data challenges to deploying of AI in financial institutions 159

15.3.2 Technology challenges to deploying of AI in financial institutions 160

15.3.3 Talent challenges to deploying of AI in financial institutions 160

15.3.4 Regulatory challenges to deploying of AI in financial institutions 162

Future Trends in Fintech, Crypto, and AI 163

Chapter 16 - Fintech and the Future of the Financial Ecosystem 164

16.1 The changing shape of the financial ecosystem 165

16.1.1 The shift from in-person to digital channels 165

16.1.2 Larger shifts in the financial ecosystem on the horizon 167

16.2 A new approach to customer experience 168

16.2.1 Open banking and the 'platformization' of the customer experience 168

16.2.2 Who will own the financial platform of the future? 170

16.2.3 Broader challenges of a platform model of customer experience 171

16.3 New market dynamics for competing financial products 172

16.4 Renovating the back office and shared financial infrastructure 174

16.4.1 Outsourcing the back office 174

16.4.2 The much needed modernization of financial infrastructure 175

Chapter 17 - The Continuing Evolution of Crypto-assets 176

17.1 Regulators provide improved clarity on crypto-assets 177

17.1.1 A positive disposition to crypto-assets 177

17.1.2 A neutral approach to crypto-assets 178

17.1.3 A negative approach to crypto-assets 179

17.1.4 The future of crypto-asset regulation 180

17.2 Financial incumbents as facilitators of crypto investments 181

17.2.1 Institutional investors and crypto-assets 181

17.2.2 Incumbent financial institutions as crypto-asset service providers 182

17.3 Large tech firms' forays into crypto 183

17.4 Central bank-backed digital currencies 185

Chapter 18 - Future Trends in Artificial Intelligence 189

18.1 The perils of predicting AI developments 189

18.2 The democratization of artificial intelligence 191

18.3 AI trends in financial services 193

18.3.1 Alternative data and 'quantamental' asset management 194

18.3.2 AI-as-a-service by and for financial institutions 196

18.3.3 AI enabled 'self-driving finance 198

18.4 Responsible regulation of AI in financial services 201

Artificial Intelligence Meets Cryptoassets 202

Chapter 19: Selected Scenarios for a Crypto-AI World 203

19.1 Real-time auditing 203

19.2 Artificially intelligent distributed autonomous corporations 206

19.3 Blockchain based identity powered by AI data managers 208

19.4 Data marketplaces and the democratization of AI 210

19.5 AI catalyzing the adoption of cryptoassets 213

19.6 The machine-to-machine payment economy 214

A Financial Future Full of Possibilities 217

About the Author

Henri Arslanian is the PwC FinTech & Crypto Leader for Asia, the Chairman of the FinTech Association of Hong Kong and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Hong Kong where he teaches the first FinTech university course in Asia. A lawyer and banker by background, Henri is a TEDx speaker and a published author, and has delivered keynotes at some of the most prestigious conferences globally. Henri has been awarded many industry and academic awards over the years from being regularly named one of the Most Influential Individuals in FinTech in Asia to being awarded the Governor General of Canada Gold Medal for Academic Excellence.Henri was also recognized as one of the global LinkedIn Top Voices in Economy & Finance and is regularly featured in global media including Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.
Fabrice Fischer is the Founder and CEO of blu, an Artificial Intelligence advisory firm specializing in disruptive innovation within the Financial Services industry. He is also a co-founder of the Insead Angels Asia and a Director of the Asia Transformation & Turnaround Association. Fabrice has spent over 20 years in Financial Services and IT in Asia, Europe and North America. Over the past six years as CFO of Sentient Technologies, he oversaw a period rapid growth, which has led to the company being one of the world's best funded AI outfits. He was also instrumental in the launch of Sentient Investment Management, Sentient's hedge fund, anchored on artificial intelligence to continually evolve and optimize its investment strategies.

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