This fintech revolution can end the cash, but the next fintech revolution can end the money.

Well-known fintech investor Matt Harris, a partner at Bain Capital Ventures
, recently predicted here in Forbes that fintech would mean The end of money as we know it. He wrote that instead of money as we know it, “our assets will be 100% invested at all times” in the future. In this vision of the future of money, transactions are carried out through the transfer of baskets of assets between counterparties without a financial intermediary.

In a world that is always online, what’s the point of paying fees to sell assets, buy currency, and then transfer currency to someone who will sell it to buy other assets? In a time before the networks, when strangers did business, they preferred to trust cold money rather than each other. Today they prefer to rely on plastic card authorization systems. Both will no longer be necessary in the future. If you can be sure of the ownership and price of the assets, then the assets can be easily put to use.

You sell me an NFT, I’ll pay you half in Bitcoin and half in IBM
Camp. I’ll sell you a car, you pay me Giants tickets, office space, and a square inch of the Mona Lisa. It doesn’t matter if you want Giants tickets or not. There is no problem with what economists refer to as the “double coincidence of desires” as assets can be traded instantly, around the clock, and across the metaverse. Somewhere out there is someone who has the table model of a tarrasque that I want and who wants the Giants tickets or something I can trade the Giants tickets for. These trades can be completed in milliseconds to give the counterparties exactly what they want.

A world where assets are constantly moving sounds crazy – but I think Matt is right. And to be honest, this view of the future of financial transactions, where money is an intermediary who disappears because assets can be traded as money-like instruments, first interested me in the future of money many years ago. Here’s why …

The IBM dollar

the Center for the Study of Financial Innovation (CSFI) is a London-based think tank that has been studying the future of the financial services industry for many years (and I am very proud to be a member of their Governing Council). They have always had discussions about the impact of new technology across the industry, bringing together informed opinions to discuss important topics.

In 1994 I read a report by the KSFI published by DR. Edward de Bono, known to many as the inventor of “lateral thinking”. Dr. de Bono (who passed away at the age of 88 this year) had been thinking about the future of money (before the internet and web 3.0 or whatever) and his brochure had an immediate impact on me as it came that way like me from the tech side of electronic money.

It was called “The IBM dollar“and at the heart of de Bono’s vision was that IBM could issue” IBM Dollars “that could be redeemed for IBM products and services, but also traded for money from other companies or other assets in a liquid market.