Embrace change, take risks, and disrupt yourself

Hosted by top 5 banking and fintech influencer, Jim Marous, Banking Transformed highlights the challenges facing the banking industry. Featuring some of the top minds in business, this podcast explores how financial institutions can prepare for the future of banking.

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Blockchain, NFTs, Web 3.0, and Technologies Enabling the Metaverse

If there was any doubt about the mainstream acceptance of cryptocurrency, you didn’t need to look any further than the ads during this year’s SuperBowl, where three of the top five apps whose ads delivered the strongest download growth were crypto ads.

At the same time, the recent NFT boom has seen many individual NFTs sell for upwards of $1M each, with one selling for close to $70 million. There is also more discussion than ever around the future of Web 3.0 and the Metaverse.

To unravel all of these future trends, we have my friend, Simon Taylor, the co-founder and chief product officer of 11:FS on the Banking Transformed podcast.

This episode of Banking Transformed is sponsored by FIS.

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FIS. Advancing the way the world pays banks and invests.

This episode of Banking Transformed is sponsored by mParticle.

mParticle believes that better decisions start with better data. Cleanse, visualize, and connect your customer data from any source or system to any API. Better data, better decisions, better outcomes. Visit mparticle.com for more.

Jim Marous:
Hello and welcome to Banking Transformed. I'm your host, Jim Marous, owner and CEO of the Digital Banking Report and co-publisher of The Financial Brand. If there's any doubt about the mainstream acceptance of cryptocurrency, you didn't need to look any further than the ads from this year's Super Bowl, were three of the top five apps whose ads have delivered the strongest download growth for crypto ads. At the same time, the recent NFT boom has seen many individual NFTs sell for upwards of $1 million each, with one selling for close to $70 million. There's also more to the discussion than ever around the future of Web 3.0 and the metaverse.

Jim Marous:
To unravel all these future trends, we have my friend, Simon Taylor, the co-founder and chief product officer of 11:FS on the Banking Transformed podcast today. So welcome to the show, Simon. As you referenced in your most recent FinTech Brain Food newsletter, one of the benefits of working for 11:FS is how helping organizations prepare for the future of finance really provides you an amazing window of the marketplace. To get started, it is obvious that your window on the marketplace is like being in a bullet train where the landscape's going by so quick, in a blink of an eye. While many legacy organizations are still trying to make digital banking work, concepts like blockchain, crypto, NFTs, Web 3.0, and the metaverse are changing the rules daily, both in finance and outside of finance. What is the area of most dramatic change that you've seen from your perspective?

Simon Taylor:
That's such a big question and so hard because everything's changing so fast. But if I was to zoom right out, I'd say that the biggest thing is we now have so much choice in financial services generally and broadly. As I look at everything from consumer to commercial, small business banking, to insurance, all the way up to capital markets, name a sector of financial services that has not been disrupted by digital. You can't name one, it's all coming. And then you can look at the entire value chain, you look at everything those organizations do, there's that classic slide of Wells Fargo and all of the little startups that do all of the pieces of Wells Fargo. Well, it's not just the bits and the offerings of the consumer banks on the high street, it's everything they do behind the scenes.

Simon Taylor:
So there's this ecosystem of providers and vendors that has completely changed the landscape. And what that's done, it's meant for entrepreneurs, their time to market has come down, their cost of building new services has come down. So we see innovators and disruptors getting products and services to market just so much faster, so much cheaper than their incumbent competition can get to market. So you have this battle of, it maybe costs you $25,000 and it takes about eight weeks to get a debit card into the market. Can an incumbent bank do that? No. But what can an incumbent bank do? Well, it can lend, it has a license to do things that other people can't.

Simon Taylor:
So this battleground is super interesting and you see the innovators scaling. But maybe now, they've got to find revenue as the markets have started to turn. You've got the provider landscape that is just selling shovels in a FinTech gold rush. And then you've got the incumbents who... I think, some of the best are starting to react. I look at JP Morgan and Goldman in particular or even what Wells Fargo's started to do, not Wells Fargo, sorry, Walmart's started to do with Ribbit. There are some really interesting incumbents on the horizon that have gone, "Okay, it's not just enough anymore to do digital banking, mobile banking, we have to figure out how we fundamentally change our value proposition and our go-to market motion for this set of segments." And that's exciting.

Jim Marous:
It's interesting too because the consumer's changing it. I talked about the fact that while open banking may not be here yet, either in the UK or certainly not in the US, the consumer's building their own ecosystem of open banking providers. I know myself, I'm using Acorns, I'm using Robinhood, I'm using SoFi, and I'm using another lender for my car than I am from my house, but I still have my main financial institution. But what's interesting is, their share of mind, and I'm not going to say share of [inaudible 00:04:39] because it's all how you define it, but their share of my mind has gone down significantly while these other organizations become a much bigger player in my banking ecosystem. And this isn't just for people like myself that is in the industry, it's for everybody. We don't even keep track of how all this dynamic is changing. When you look at blockchain, has it already attained mainstream adoption from your perspective? And what is some of the more interesting ways that you've seen blockchain technology deployed in banking?

Simon Taylor:
Do you know? The crypto Super Bowl probably said it all to me. I don't know if you saw that, but-

Jim Marous:
Oh, my God. It was interesting because when you saw the QR code going on the screen, some people go, "Oh, oh, something went wrong." I go, "No, it's not wrong. I'll tell you already who they're talking to. This is the crypto audience because they already have their phones out trying to figure out what's being offered." It was crazy.

Simon Taylor:
And it's $15 worth in Bitcoin, became the second most downloaded app in the app store. FTX sponsors arenas now, you've got Crypto.com sponsoring arenas. It was probably mainstream six months ago. So there's three topics here that we probably need to unpick. There's crypto and crypto assets, there's blockchain technology as it's called and sort of the technological underpinnings, and then there's everything happening in Web 3, and we can come back to that.

Simon Taylor:
So the consumer's appetite for crypto is definitely there. But the primary thing was like it was a gold rush and it's speculative. And so everybody laughs at that and goes, "Oh, well, it's tulip mania, it's a speculative bubble, this thing's going to go away." But guess what? The institutions are the biggest buyers. You have companies like Square and Tesla putting Bitcoin on their balance sheet and you have regulated financial market participants like the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the CBOE offering Bitcoin futures contracts. We have a Bitcoin ETF now. Papa Bitcoin is all grown up. This is part of the woodwork now, it's just baked right into the financial system. Crypto's not going away. And actually, look at the Infrastructure Bill in November 2021 as being a real watershed moment. And whatever the US does reverberates around the world, but you see the same in Europe as well where regulators are not trying to ban crypto in most Western markets, they're trying to figure out how to tax this thing, they're trying to figure out-

Jim Marous:
How to be part of it. Exactly. Yep.

Simon Taylor:
And everywhere that has tried to ban it has systemically failed. The only place that might actually ban it is China, and that's because they're building a centralized alternative. And so, that says, I think, crypto itself is already mainstream. You might not like it, but it is.

Simon Taylor:
And then the second thing is, all right, what else is coming as a result of that? And this is where NFTs really happened and crossed over. And NFTs are almost not a crypto story, NFTs are almost entirely an alt movement, they're almost entirely sort of a generational movement. And if you have people under 30 that just do not see their 401ks or investment accounts delivering them the kind of return that's going to be... Are they going to ever be able to own their own house? Are they ever going to be able to retire? Then suddenly this other thing that's generating a return looks really, really interesting. And the same is true if you're a corporation and you're looking at 7% inflation and you can get 0.5% return on your US dollar money market fund. Suddenly this thing called a stable coin that gives me a 7% APY yield actually looks pretty great and it's from a company called Circle or Paxos and they're regulated, why wouldn't I go do this? Actually this is pretty great. So I think it's already mainstream, a long way of saying.

Jim Marous:
So crypto, while it's mainstream, as far as the adoption and from the consumer perspective, it's starting to get some real headway as far as adoption within financial services institutions where they're going to offer the ability to trade and to monitor their relationship, basically to keep their share of the wallet. How long do you think it will become, I'm going to call it mainstream within financial services institutions as opposed to as a separate entity?

Simon Taylor:
Yeah, I think every financial institution is now seriously looking at this space. But which part of the financial institution? Because you have companies like State Street that have already partnered to offer crypto custody. I think Citi now offers crypto custody. And a lot of their broker dealers will help buy futures on behalf of their institutional clients. So if you look at the investment banking divisions, they're already started. What they want to do is become prime brokers directly against the spot Bitcoin markets. So capital markets, it's already happening and there are people inside that want to go faster, there's too much demand.

Simon Taylor:
I think the worry inside of a lot of those financial institutions is a lack of regulatory clarity. And it doesn't help actually that there's so much demand for DeFi and stable coins and the SEC seems intent on regulating through enforcement rather than issuing any form of clarity or working on the legislation side. Although that may yet come, there's some interesting bills that are being proposed in Congress at the moment. So that lack of regulatory clarity is really kind of holding people back.

Simon Taylor:
But if I look like one layer below the C-suite, there's people hearing from their customers that they want this product and they need to get it to market. And the US, for better and worse, is a free market and I think that will eventually get served and that demand will be fulfilled.

Jim Marous:
One way or the other.

Simon Taylor:
Radio was going to poison people's minds, television was going to poison everybody's mind, then it was rap music. There's always something that the older generations, typically, historically, think is the end of the world, and yet the world doesn't end. Technology is neither good nor bad, humans are good and bad and they use technology in different ways. Crypto can be very, very good for humanity if we use it in the right way, and same is true for financial services. I think the most conservative institutions will be the very big banks in starting to offer crypto. But you've seen companies like NYDIG, or NYDIG, they've partnered with some smaller financial institutions. They did a study, a survey of 2,000 consumers who said 71% of consumers would rather buy crypto off their bank because they've heard of their bank. So I think there is an opportunity there. But the reality of this is the banks aren't touching crypto, they're partnering with somebody behind the scenes who is. So it's companies like Anchorage and Fireblocks and all of those guys that impact us that are really, again, the infrastructure providers here selling shovels in this crypto gold rush.

Jim Marous:
You mentioned it, you mentioned regulation and the whole issue of the friction in the marketplace right now around crypto and the friction, I'm going to call it friction, around legacy leadership of the friction because there's not an understanding of what crypto really is and what it can be. Regulations, we already talked about that. Educating and understanding of what crypto is within a financial institution, if you're going to offer it, it probably isn't going to just be within the wealth management area. So we have to be able to educate the employees around what the benefits and other issues are.

Jim Marous:
And then, safety issues are kind of like a friction in the periphery about [inaudible 00:12:24] or something at risk here that we have to manage. What's interesting is the regulations is the most interesting part because the regulators are even further behind than the legacy financial institutions around what the potential is. So how do we address these frictions? How do we address the issues that really make the traditional financial institutions hesitate? Or do we simply play it the way it has been recently, which is the FinTech organizations start making hay, and all of a sudden, the banks say, "We can't be on sidelines anymore"?

Simon Taylor:
Yeah, I think there's a little bit of that. But the banks have come out swinging against the FinTech organizations. Right. I don't know if you've seen, but the bank lobby is talking about the lack of a level playing field a lot at the moment, this term's just everywhere. And the argument goes that with Durbin debit and the Durbin amendment, there's a rise of neobanks who were able to monetize better swipe fees. So every time I go in store and I buy something because what's actually happened is that neobank has partnered with a smaller community bank or a financial institution below 10 billion in assets, then they're getting quite a decent chunk of revenue that the larger banks can't benefit from. And the larger banks go, "Well, that's unfair." And in isolation, that's not incorrect, but there's also a bunch of things those large banks can do that the smaller banks cannot do. So like glass houses and throwing stones sort of comes to mind a little bit, especially in the shadow of the financial crisis. So the banks are definitely coming out swinging. But-

Jim Marous:
Yeah, it's interesting too because regulations, we can't continue to have regulations try to level a playing field, which always means slow up innovation, it just doesn't work.

Simon Taylor:
Completely. So I think that we can take a lesson from Section 230 and what the United States did in 1996 when the internet appeared and the lack of designation of publishers for the internet, sure, it unleashed a wave of an innovation. It had some unintended consequences. Arguably, some of the things we've seen with social media and the political discourse have sort of become an interesting challenge. Now we have all of this. But would the United States be the home of technology for the past two, three decades if it had not done that? That's a really good question. Can anywhere else really claim to be the legitimate home of those global tech giants in quite the same way as the United States? I don't think it can.

Simon Taylor:
And yet with crypto, we immediately worry about anti-money laundering. And there are a lot of myths about crypto that are not based in evidence and data. One of the biggest myths is that this is absolutely terrible for the environment. It's no more terrible for the environment than a Google data center or AI running in a data center. And also, when you are running a Bitcoin mining farm or any form of mining, you are incentivized to get the cheapest form of electricity. And if the cheapest form of electricity happens to be renewable, you will absolutely switch to that. So what we really need to do is have a green energy policy and you would see automatically that the crypto industry would move to that. So that is-

Jim Marous:
And we're starting to see that already because of the marketplace. As you said earlier, the marketplace kind of drives the way things are going to be done. We're seeing that the challenge there has been changed dramatically because of the awareness of it.

Simon Taylor:
And then the second big myth is the one around, "Oh, well it's full of criminality." I think that one has now largely been put to death because you have this global, public, transparent record where you can see every transaction ever. The Department of Justice announced they'd seized $3.6 billion worth of Bitcoin because they had essentially done an investigation where some thieves and scammers had been followed for the past sort of half decade and every transaction they ever made in Bitcoin, they were able to piece together the dots.

Jim Marous:
Better than it would've been done in traditional banking. Exactly.

Simon Taylor:
Right. So there's a wonderful study which we'll cite for your show notes, and it was really good academic research, that estimates that there's anywhere between two to five trillion US dollars of money laundered on an annual basis. And of that, 1% is effectively detected. And 1% of the 1% is then prosecuted. So this is a 99% ineffective financial system that we have. Imagine if you had a car that didn't work 99% of the time, you would not buy that car. And yet, what we're trying to do from a regulation policy standpoint is take these rules that do not work 99% of the time and just copy/paste that onto crypto and go, "Aha, we fixed crypto." No you didn't, you broke it. Actually, it is an upgrade, crypto, the way it is built is an upgrade for preventing risk and criminality. It's also an upgrade for individual privacy if it's done correctly.

Simon Taylor:
So how can we balance privacy and have a much fairer, more transparent and effective financial system? I, for one, I'm not a fan of money laundering, I don't think anybody should be. The rules around anti-money laundering are there for a good, good reason. Money laundering sounds like a jargon term, but what we're really talking about is drug trafficking, people trafficking, we're talking about modern slavery, we're talking about terrorist financing, we are talking about some of the most horrible things in the world. And the rules that are designed to prevent that are 99% ineffective. Second only to the climate emergency, this should be headline news every single day of the week.

Jim Marous:
Right. Right.

Simon Taylor:
It's absolutely shocking how bad the financial system is and how ineffective it is at preventing this stuff. And the only solution the government seem to have is, "We want to invade more of your privacy. I want to see more. I want to see more." And that concerns me, not only because... Hey, if by doing that you got to prevent more of this, I might actually be okay with that. But because it's ineffective, what if there's a better way? And let's look at that. So this is why the education piece is so important.

Simon Taylor:
But going back to the Infrastructure Bill, when the Infrastructure Bill was written and it was done, written so broadly that it was essentially going to kill the crypto industry in the United States, the crypto lobby grew teeth. And what you saw is that every representative, every Senator had tens of thousands of individuals calling their phones and they've realized this is an issue at the ballot box. The other thing is the crypto industry has a few dollars in its pocket, so it has come to play.

Simon Taylor:
And so as I look at the industry in the past sort of 10 years, the bank lobby always knew how to play the game in Washington, I don't think the FinTech industry does. I think the FinTech industry is still a babe in the woods and it does not lobby effectively. I look at things like Dodd–Frank and 1033 and what they could be doing there and there are some good industry organizations, but if I were to ask one thing of everybody in a FinTech listening to this, it's like, grow up and get at this because you got to play hardball in this space because the banks are definitely playing hardball. But the crypto industry has come to play. And so it's going to be an interesting few years for sure.

Simon Taylor:
And I think the education's happening. As I listen to crypto podcasts, I'm seeing representatives and senators popping up on crypto podcasts sounding educated, sounding informed because they know it's an issue at the ballot box and they know that it's going to help them fund their next campaign.

Jim Marous:
As an extension of the innovations around blockchain and crypto is the emergence of the NFTs. Many people only know of NFTs as they relate to the creator economy and digital art, but how could NFTs possibly transform commerce? And is there an avenue where NFTs could possibly transform banking?

Simon Taylor:
So let's just step back to what is an NFT, right, the technical definition of a non-fungible token, let's read that backwards. So a token is something that represents ownership or access. So a token could be the key to my house because that lets me access my house. A token could be the deed to my house because that represents ownership. Neither the deeds nor the key are the physical house, they're not the house itself, they just represent it. So people get confused between the picture of a cat and the token for the picture of a cat. Like the deed to my house is not my house, but it means I own the thing so long as we're cool with that. Right. So that just deals with the right-click-save-as crowd, hopefully.

Simon Taylor:
So tokens, fungible tokens means if I give you one and you give me one, we're the same. So if I give you $1 bill and you gave me $1, we're even, we net out. But if I gave you my daughter and you gave me a cabbage, those things are not easily tradable, right, they're non-fungible. Most things in the world are actually non-fungible rather than fungible. So in the physical space, we understand this and we built an economy and a set of systems around it in the digital space. That's a little bit harder.

Simon Taylor:
So if I was an artist and I wanted to create a hundred unique or one unique experience or bit of access, then I could do that on a centralized service. So let's say I release an album and there's only a hundred people, a hundred Spotify customers that ever get to listen to this album, what happens if they don't use Spotify anymore? What happens if they get kicked off of Spotify? What happens if Spotify ceases to be? So this has actually happened. There are a bunch of services like... I think Sony used to have an online version, it had its own iTunes store. And in the Sony iTunes, you could buy music and movies. When they closed that store, people who'd bought those movies no longer owned them, just gone, disappeared.

Simon Taylor:
Whereas in the physical space, if I have a DVD, it doesn't matter if they stop selling that DVD, I can just stick it into any player and it still works. That's not how things work in the digital world, I always need the provider to continue running the service for my thing to work. And that happens in video games too, if any of your kids, are you playing Fortnite or Roblox or anything like that? If Fortnite says you don't have that anymore, you are SOL, my friend. That is it. It is gone.

Simon Taylor:
So the digital economy does not function like the physical economy. What NFTs do is make the digital economy function like the physical economy. It means it brings ownership back into the digital economy. Ownership can mean many things to many people, but that ownership could be hugely, hugely exciting. There's a great blog by Chris Dixon from Andreessen Horowitz that says the next big thing always starts out looking like a toy. And if you remember the early days of the iPhone, you probably remember every senior banker saying, "Ah, the Blackberry's the real business device. I don't want to play this silly Angry Birds thing."

Jim Marous:
There's no buttons.

Simon Taylor:
Yeah. Right. "Well, what we're going to do with that?" And the then five years later, they're all trying to figure out how they hire mobile specialists to go build a digital banking app. Right. That's going to happen with NFTs. You can almost index somebody's mental age by how they react to NFTs, how old are they at heart by how they react to NFTs. Because if you are sort of taking on the world and still open-minded, then sure. They look a bit silly at the moment, but you see the potential in them. And then, if not, then people tend to see them, "Oh, well, it's just a JPEG. I've got JPEGs." Don't look at that, look at what the future digital economy could be. So I find that hugely exciting.

Simon Taylor:
But in that space, now we've got people who have these things, these bits of art, these bits of the digital economy worth tens of millions of dollars, who's going to be the banker for that? How am I going to wealth manage that? Can I lend against that?

Simon Taylor:
And the really exciting thing is that the financial ecosystem that's popping up around NFTs is like a whole other world that the incumbents just aren't going to get to. So as I look at it from a banking perspective, it's like, how do you serve? How do you do what you always did in this new market, in this growth space?

Simon Taylor:
It may not be a case that you build a branch in the metaverse, shout out to Ron Shevlin and Alex Johnson for that because I think they're exactly right. But it may be that you bank the metaverse, which is their point and I think it's correct. You may also be the wealth manager for somebody in the NFT space. You may also recognize that your consumers want to play in that space.

Simon Taylor:
My good friend, Cuy Sheffield at Visa did a lot of... Visa famously bought a CryptoPunk. And the way Visa is looking at NFTs is as this new type of commerce. So old economies tend not to go away, they just erode and don't grow quite so fast. New economies grow like new mountain ranges, like a volcano. You think about how disruptive a volcano is, but how fast it appears out the ground, that's what's happening in the digital economy space. And our temptation is to copy/paste like, "This is how it works in the physical world so this is how it will work in the digital world." Uh-uh (negative). It's not going to work like that. You can't take the branches that you built on the eroding mountain range and just plant them on a volcano, it's not going to happen.

Simon Taylor:
You need to figure out what's new about this space and what value do I add as a lender or as a banker or something else into that world? And the answer could be quite a lot. The answer be educating regulators. The answer could be making it compliant. The answer could be providing lending into it. The answer could be, heck, if some of these things go to the wall, but there are good projects and they're not being funded in two or three years time, maybe you are the people that show up. Maybe if I'm a payments business, this is a new form of commerce. So I think there's so much there to unpack. I know you had some other questions around it, but that's-

Jim Marous:
No, it's interesting because you look at it and you're right, it's the speed of transition. And even mobile payments without the card have been fast but still, in many ways, slow. But you look at buy now, pay later and how fast that transformed the payments industry and where, what I'll call legacy FinTech firms like a PayPal got caught a little bit off guard with Klarna and others that took really an old concept and made it right for digital. You look at NFTs and we're right now in the toying phase, there's a lot of different ways to view it and a lot of... It's very much like crypto where there's a lot of ways to use it. But I think the innovation is still coming about as far as, as you mentioned, commerce, which I think is cool.

Jim Marous:
I was on a podcast lately that I mentioned how it could completely change the ticketing industry, because why do I need a digital ticket or a physical ticket when I can have an NFT that's collectible on top of being able to go to an event of some sort. So there's all different ways of looking at this. And you watch the money that's behind this and there's a lot of people behind it that are not just throwing money out all the time, they've invested in some really good concepts in the past, and they see the whole NFT movement as being something that's huge potential going forward. So it'll be interest to see.

Jim Marous:
I was going to ask what timeframe do you have in mind, but I think we'd probably make it slower than it would really end up coming about. I mean, we've overestimated amount of time it's going to take for a lot of these things to transform the industry.

Simon Taylor:
And I guess that's what I was pointing at with, and your point about the payments industry and the mobile payments and the contactless payments is a really good one. The payments industry moves in seven-year increments. I think when I used to work at TSYS back in the day, somebody said that to me and I thought that it's so true. Like you look back seven years in mobile payments, it's like, "Oh, they've launched." And now it's like, "Oh, they're a thing. And you can use them everywhere, but not everybody does."

Jim Marous:
Right.

Simon Taylor:
And that's so true. And for those of us who've been in the industry for a while, you sort of see it. And it's like, it's never really happened, but it also just sort of does when you look back, it's sort of gradual. Whereas, buy now, pay later just hit. And I think the reason buy now, pay later hit was because it was really selling something that just had incredible product market fit and it wasn't reliant on a new type of payment infrastructure, it wasn't reliant on what was already there to really work, it was doing something different. And when you're building a new market, growth is almost so much faster than when you're changing an old market. Building the future is a better business than trying to transform the past. Transforming the past is essential because we need to get the capital out of the past, but it just will not happen as quickly.

Simon Taylor:
So this is when people look at NFTs, they go, to your point about ticketing, ticketing in the physical space, maybe. Ticketing in like a 3D space, ah, that's interesting because that's something where I don't have to change my physical turnstiles at my sports stadium for the thing to work, it just works because it's built from the ground up to do that.

Simon Taylor:
The metaphor I always give is like, it's not like Citi and Wells and [inaudible 00:29:50] don't use the internet, they absolutely do, they use mobile. But they didn't benefit from it in quite the same way as Google or Facebook or Amazon. And if you are native to this new technology, you will see entirely different growth. And so, the trick, if I'm an incumbent is not to think, "How do I do what the growth market is doing?" it's, "How do I get there first as the supplier to the growth market and then benefit from its index growing?" And that is, I think, a bit of a mindset shift because it means swallowing the ego, it means going away from innovation theater to recognizing what value do I create and therefore, what value can I capture? And then, what do I need to change in my products and services in order to get there? And the answer is always just have great APIs, just start there and work backwards.

Jim Marous:
It's interesting when you look at this. The whole concept of how it can be done in the future and the way it can impact commerce is really going to be something that we have to get our hands around really quickly. I'm going to do some rapid fire right now because we're getting close to our time limit here. When we have a discussion around Web 3.0 and the metaverse, what's the difference between these two concepts from your perception?

Simon Taylor:
Web 3 is a collection of technologies and ideas that center on ownership in the digital economy. And what do I mean by that? Well, in Web 2, I could read and write whatever I wanted and publish it anywhere, but I didn't really own that. The old saying is if the service is free, then you are the product being sold, your data is being sold. Right. And so I don't own that data in quite the same way. Yeah, under legislation I kind of do, but I can't take that Facebook data easily and put it in another competing social network somewhere else. So Web 3 is really about ownership, and again, this is Chris Dixon and Packy McCormick, shout out to those guys for really defining it as being around ownership. And we talked about NFTs being about ownership, but also just that sense of the community and a bunch of people owning the technology platforms, the marketplaces of tomorrow.

Simon Taylor:
Just as a couple of examples, there's one called the Helium Network, there's another one called Brain Trust, these are live case studies of talent marketplaces or telcos where the operators, the individuals that use the service also part-own the service. So it's like cooperatives, marketplaces, completely different business models. Web 3 is about the business model of ownership.

Simon Taylor:
The metaverse is about the changing set of interfaces. People confuse the metaverse with VR and Ready Player One. It's not not that, but it's really about sort of the combination of this ownership economy and this 3D space or different set of interfaces and ways of working with each other that might involve 2D art, that might involve collaborating in real-time, that might involve video conversations, that might be the interoperability of all of that starts to come along. So metaverse is sort of an open generic concept around the future of interfaces and how we meet online and how we start to see that almost like we see it as a physical space.

Simon Taylor:
Jim, if you and I were in the same physical space, we have a bunch of conditions and a bunch of ways of thinking about that. Since the pandemic, we don't mind jumping on a video call. And so, that is heading towards this world in which we default online, we default to digital rather than defaulting to physical, or at least, digital is becoming as good. So metaverse is about how we interact and engage with each other and Web 3 is about the ownership economy really done properly in the digital economy.

Jim Marous:
Simon, I can't thank you enough. It's been too long. We have so many things to cover still, we didn't touch upon digital identity, APIs. There's just so much ground to cover. And one thing I want to recommend everybody listening today is please subscribe to Simon's FinTech Brain Food, it's a Sunday publication that he does an amazing job of curating everything that's gone on every week. It is kind of like picking up the Sunday New York Times for FinTech because it's the best of the best out there. And it's not too hard to find it. It's FinTech Brain Food with Simon Taylor and make sure you're subscribe. And Simon, thank you so much for being on the show today.

Simon Taylor:
Thank you Jim for having me. This was awesome.

Jim Marous:
Thanks for listening to Banking Transformed, rated the top five banking podcast and the winner of three international awards for podcast excellence. I appreciate the support you have provided since the beginning of this endeavor. If you enjoy our show, please be sure to provide review on your favorite podcast app. Finally, be sure to catch my recent articles on the Financial Brand and check out the research we're doing on the Digital Banking Report.

Jim Marous:
This has been a production of Evergreen Podcasts so a special thank you to our producer, Leah Longbrake, our audio engineer Sean Rule-Hoffman and video producer Will Pritts. I'm your host, Jim Marous. Until next time, remember, keep your eyes open and your brain empty as you try to understand the changes in the future.

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