Penning Down The Thoughts: The Disruption of Payments

PAYMENTS
PAYMENT
FIAT
MONEY
BLOCKCHAIN
CURRENCY1
By Jimmie Steinbeck

The blockchain technology did for the world of finance what the internet did to access to information. The blockchain changed every aspect of finance, investing, and payments. The core soul of blockchain technology is to eliminate intermediaries, and for the world of payments, the blockchain has reduced long settlement timeframes, centralized cost structure, and increasingly bettering the speed of payments and 1:1 financial transactions. Here’s the first drop of the year from the series “Penning down the thoughts” by Penning’s co-founder and CEO, Jimmie Steinbeck. Have a good read.

CREDIT CARDS, APPLE PAY VS BLOCKCHAIN-BASED PAYMENT SOLUTIONS

In 2014-18 a new race started in the crypto tech space, crypto assets-backed debit cards. A solution that allowed users to get a payment card that was connected to our crypto wallets. The need for spending your crypto in everyday payments is huge and a lot of ICOs were founded on that idea. Crypto.com started as a debit card solution with a native token solution. There was a handful of very successful ICOs but they all ended up doing nothing of the stuff they told in their white paper. https://www.getstack.ca was one that still is in operation, but their STK token is nowhere to use in their system. they raised $17 million on STK token sales. Today these tokens are worth zero, and every single exchange or wallet provider has their own solution today.

Credit cards are old technology, and pretty complex, your payment details are shared with many middlemen. Each of these parties is also taking a cut of the action, which is built into the price of nearly everything you buy. Credit cards handle almost $20 trillion of transactions per year.

A credit card is a financial product that allows the cardholder to borrow money from the issuer to make purchases or withdraw cash. Credit cards are issued by banks or other financial institutions and can be used to pay for goods and services at merchants that accept them. The cardholder is required to pay back the borrowed money, plus interest, at a later date. 

Credit cards work by allowing the cardholder to borrow money from the issuer up to a certain credit limit. The cardholder can then make purchases or withdraw cash using the credit card, and the issuer pays the merchant or cash provider on the cardholder's behalf. The cardholder is then required to pay back the borrowed money, plus any applicable interest, at a later date.

Credit cards typically have a variety of features and benefits, such as rewards programs that offer points, miles, or cash back for purchases made with the card. They may also offer additional perks such as extended warranties, purchase protection, or travel insurance. Credit cards can be a convenient and secure way to make purchases and access cash, but they can also be a source of debt if not used responsibly. It is important for cardholders to understand the terms and conditions of their credit card, including the interest rate, fees, and repayment terms, to ensure that they are using the card in a financially responsible way.

If you purchase something internationally, double the number of middlemen and triple the fees and why is that? It’s just for updating numbers in digital ledgers. After all, it's just moving data. We can send a picture or video to anyone on the planet almost instantly, for free. We live in the age of the Internet sharing data today shut be zero to none in cost, but the banks won't send the data after 5:00 p.m., or on a weekend? That doesn't make any sense.

The big issue about credit cards today is that we use them online and they actually are not designed for being used for that. That’s also the reason that companies like VISA and Mastercard spend billions of dollars every year on internet fraud and protection.

WHY NOT TO USE CREDIT CARDS

There are a few reasons why credit cards may not be the best choice for making purchases or payments online.

Security concerns: Credit card information can be vulnerable to fraud or identity theft when it is transmitted online. While credit card companies generally offer protection against unauthorized charges, there is still a risk of a financial loss if the card information is compromised.

High-interest rates: Credit cards often have higher interest rates than other types of loans or financing options. This can make it more expensive to use a credit card to make purchases online, especially if the cardholder carries a balance from month to month.

Hidden fees: Credit cards may have hidden fees, such as annual fees or foreign transaction fees, that can add to the overall cost of using the card. These fees may not be apparent at the time of purchase but can significantly increase the overall cost of the transaction.

Limited protections: Credit cards may not offer the same level of protection as other payment methods, such as debit cards or payment services like PayPal, for online purchases. For example, a credit card may not offer the same level of fraud protection or the ability to dispute a charge with the merchant.

Overall, while credit cards can be a convenient and secure way to make purchases and payments online, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and costs associated with using them.

INTERNATIONAL PAYMENT SYSTEM

That’s why we need an international payment system and digital cash that prevents users against it. A solution that transcended borders between countries and jurisdictions. Digital cash we can send to each other without needing a traditional bank connection. By the way + 2 billion people in the world do not have access to banking because they don’t fit the boxes today to get a bank account around the world.

But can we not just use the international banking network they have been building for years? yes, we can, but it will not make it easier, cheaper and more secure than if we built it on a decentralised and open blockchain. The Key is the development and making things better for everyone.

In the United States and other places in the world, the corporate intermediaries providing today's critical but privately-owned infrastructure are becoming fewer larger and more powerful and their failures are increasing increasingly grave. The Equifax, an American credit bureau data breach occurred between May and July 2017, private records of 147.9 million Americans along with 15.2 million British citizens and about 19,000 Canadian citizens were compromised and their social security numbers were exposed to hackers. The swift network has relayed hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulent transactions because of hacked member banks in Bangladesh Vietnam Ecuador and Russia. The FBI suspects now that the largest of these hacks was perpetrated by North Korean corrupt low-level employees at an Indian bank Punjab national was able to fraudulently certify swift messages stealing 1.8 billion dollars it's the largest electronic bank robbery in history.

In October 2016 an estimated 1.2 million internet-connected devices were hacked and turned into a botnet that for several hours made prominent websites unavailable across Europe and North America including CNN, Fox News, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal.

THE ISSUE WITH WEB 2.0

Increasingly physical machines are being connected to the internet to augment their capabilities they're wired through servers that are owned and maintained by private and trusted intermediaries the so-called internet of things pacemakers from st Jude’s hospital have been hacked. Baby monitors from Trendnet have been hacked. Jeeps from jeep have been hacked to the point where they can be remotely commanded and driven off the road. 

Now those vulnerabilities are inescapable in systems that have single points of failure it doesn't matter if the point of failure is a corporation or if it's a government there shouldn't be a single point of failure similar choke points existed before the internet if you wanted to deliver a message you'd have to go through one of three television broadcasters or a handful of newspapers private corporations are essential but no critical infrastructure should rely on one or two the internet removed single points of failure in communications infrastructure and ushered in a wave of competition among new media corporations building on top of its public rails blockchains can similarly disintermediate critical payments and IoT infrastructure the technology is not yet ready to answer all of those questions today but it is our best hope and as with the internet in the 1990s we need a light touch pro-innovation policy to ensure that these innovations flourish. Digital money is made for a digital world economy and must run on a digital open ledger.

“Penning for the thoughts” is a series compiled by the CEO and Co-Founder of Penning, Jimmie Hansen Steinbeck. A compilation of his vast experience, knowledge, failures, successes, know-how & ideas. Jimmie has spent the last decade (almost since the birth of bitcoin), working in the crypto, blockchain (also known as Web3) space, as an investor, entrepreneur, and expert advisor to numerous crypto companies.

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