Working with Ulster Bank is a pleasure. We get paid to be helpful to small businesses, we are housed in Dogpatchlab and we get to work on some cool projects.
RBS distinguished engineers
It also means an opportunity to meet some very cool people. This week Ulster Bank hosted a fire side chat in Dogpatch with the RBS distinguished engineers, a RBS skunk team that fly around the world solving problems, innovating, developing prototypes in spikes of less then a week. This week they were in Dublin.
The topics of discussion
The discussion points were around the future of fintech, bitcoin and blockchain. Convergence, faster banks, slower fintech, surviving digital, customer experience, trust actors, digital assets, the role of operating systems, compliance, regulators, Kenya and Ireland, bit torrent, Ripple, etc. A very rich vain of conversation and discussion.
I learned a lot
I learned that banks now move 30% of the UK economy (salaries) at the end every month in 10 seconds. That banks are the most regulated sector in the world. That fintech companies that want to scale will eventually have to deal with the same regulators, which is no picnic.
That in the middle ages stealing would get you killed, but forging would get you boiled in oil. That banking as a term is protected in Ireland and the UK and that I still can’t explain bitcoin to my mum (but I am getting there). I now also know that half of the bitcoin stock is hold by only a 1000 people and we don’t know who they are.
Innovation in Ireland
There was an interesting view on the innovation eco system in Ireland. It was compared to Kenya and that was meant as a compliment. Kenya was the birthing ground of Mpesa. We can do the same.