Fintech Podcast Episode 134 – MoneyGram Merger, Quora’s successful fund raise and Neural Hooks

Episode 134

This week the trio is back after a long break. Mike, Brian, and Faisal discuss a wide variety of subjects points for this week’s show.  Faisal updates us on his travels to Madrid, attending the IMTC (International Money Transfer Conference) EMEA 2017 earlier in April, and his trip to Istanbul. The conversation then flows in the direction of Ant Financial, MoneyGram and Euronet’s bizarre love triangle. The quest to buy MoneyGram is growing stronger, but don’t be surprised if a third suitor emerges. Brian comments on Quora’s recent raise of US$ 85 million, valuing the company at US$ 1.8 Billion. As both Brian and Faisal are Top Writers for 5 years in a row 2012-2017 – they briefly comment on what is working for Quora and what is not.

Brian then discusses Facebook’s F8 Conference which he attended and discusses in depth how Neural hooks on humans are right around the corner as Elon Musk cites. Brian and Mike both hold opposing viewpoints if they would like neural taps to happen or not.

Article shoutouts:

  1. Gadi Evron: https://medium.com/swlh/how-strong-techies-destroy-startups-and-how-it-can-be-avoided-b633c6a721d9
  2. David Weinberger: https://backchannel.com/our-machines-now-have-knowledge-well-never-understand-857a479dcc0e
  3. Ali Mese: https://medium.com/swlh/build-a-product-vs-focus-on-growth-addc4d8fa7c2

Live Topics:

  1. Ant Financial, MoneyGram, Euronet love triangle. https://www.ft.com/content/de2b5514-231c-11e7-a34a-538b4cb30025
  2. Quora raises $85M at $1.8B:
  3. F8 Updates: https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/27/elon-musks-neuralink-wants-to-boost-the-brain-to-keep-up-with-ai/
  4. http://readmultiplex.com/2017/04/19/facebook-is-working-on-silent-voice-first-systems/
    1. Facebook plans ethics board to monitor its brain-computer interface work
  5. Elon’s Neurolace:
    1. Dangers of being hacked
  6. GOOGLE HOME NOW HAS INDIVIDUALIZED VOICE IDENTIFICATION.

http://readmultiplex.com/2017/04/20/google-home-now-has-individualized-voice-identification/

As always, if you have a question or a comments, write to us or tweet to us.

Fintech Podcast Episode 133 – Blockchain, The Dark Side of AI and Jeff Bezos Talks About Day 2

Episode 133

Brian and Mike back on the show for another fun thought provoking discussion across many topics. We first covered Brian’s in person presentation to startup founders, investors and payment executives at Propeler VC last week.

This week’s two special shout outs are:

Jason Fiedler VC Investor @ Red Sea Ventures

https://medium.com/@jasonfiedler/the-magic-of-mobile-pay-60136a886f9a

Brett Caine CEO Urban Airship https://medium.com/mobile-engagement/the-question-for-mobile-payments-isnt-when-but-how-c4b45d78cc58

During the conversation, we discuss banks –  the purpose of them in the past vs the future, and how banks will or won’t survive the change on the horizon. We touch on the benefits of writing on paper vs. typing on a computer to retain information as well as whether it is appropriate to take notes on your phone during business meetings.

We next dive into blockchain in healthcare and talk about some opportunities for innovation there. A healthy portion of the conversation was spent covering the Jeff Bezos’s annual shareholder letter which was released this week. This letter was different than years past for one big reason! Lastly, we wrapped up with an always engaging debate about the power of A.I. and the incredible rate of progress. It remains to be seen how quickly A.I. will catch up to all human interaction capabilities, but recent developments are astonishing.

Enjoy and let us know if you have suggestions for guests, topics or special shout outs!

Topics Covered:

  1. http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/blockchain-faces-tough-roadblocks-healthcare
  2. http://readmultiplex.com/2017/04/12/jeff-bezos-makes-presents-a-rare-insight-into-amazon-voice-first-ambitions/
  3. Will Knight: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/604087/the-dark-secret-at-the-heart-of-ai/

 

Fintech Podcast Episode 132 – Bitcoin Blockchain Breakdown with Matthew Mezinskis

Episode 132

Guest Matthew Mezinskis dials in from Latvia where he’s lived for the last 10 years working in banking, finance, and payments. Matthew is the founder of Crypto Voices (https://cryptovoices.com/) an audio blog that focuses on Bitcoin, the blockchain, cryptocurrency, digital ledger technology, and broader FinTech, including all of the benefits and challenges that come with these breakthrough technologies.

 

 

Matthew Mezinskis and Mike Townsend have a passionate conversation about the decisions facing Bitcoin that will make or break the currency. Specifically, the 1MB block limit that says Miners can mine blocks up to the 1MB fixed limit, but any block larger than 1MB is invalid. Whatever happens, this will have huge implications on Bitcoin.

The second major topic touched on was the idea of monopolies and how they affect the surrounding economy. We discussed government controlled monopolies and whether or not there is any role for a monopoly in cryptocurrency.

Matthew has an inspirational story and a unique perspective living in Latvia. Enjoy!

Notes:

Book mentioned by Matthew: A History of Money and Banking in the United States 

Cryptocurrencies mentioned: Dash, Ethereum

Contact Matthew at:

Site: https://cryptovoices.com 

Twitter: @crypto_voices