March 13, 2014 by John Greenough In February, Mt. Gox, one of the world’s largest Bitcoin exchanges, was forced to shut down due to cyber-attacks against their system. While the cause of these attacks remains unclear, the Bitcoin ecosystem has been exposed to potential problems that may irreversibly hurt the currency. However, whether Bitcoin collapses or can regain its momentum and thrive again, financial technologists should be less focused on the strength and legitimacy of the currency, and instead on the technological innovations Bitcoin has produced.
After completing a detailed analysis of the sites and digital resources that make the Bitcoin ecosystem work, Corporate Insight has identified three noteworthy innovations that Bitcoin has made to the financial world that could benefit the banking industry:
February 11, 2014 by John Greenough The growing popularity and mainstream acceptance of Bitcoins has made it important for consumers and investors to gain a deeper understanding of this preeminent virtual currency. The Complete Bitcoin User Experience: Mining, Exchanges, Wallets and Beyond provides a detailed analysis of how Bitcoins are created, traded and stored. The study includes reviews of the top websites and online services driving the Bitcoin marketplace including Slush’s Pool, Blockchain.info and Coinbase among others. The Bitcoin Study Focuses On: • Mining: Breakdown of the virtual currency's creation process • Trading: Closer look at Bitcoin exchanges and trading platforms • Wallets: Reviews of popular Bitcoin wallets and a look at how they work • Marketplace: Bitcoin's uses, value, outlook and virtual currency competitors
January 29, 2014 by John Greenough Virtual currencies are a decentralized form of “electronic cash” that users send to each other through a peer-to-peer payment system in exchange for goods and services. Consumers and investors have long debated the new type of currency’s long-term legitimacy. While some have flocked to use and invest in virtual currencies, others warn of a possible bubble in the making. This whitepaper offers an introduction to the world of virtual currencies. We begin by looking back at the history of currency and point to successes, failures and trends in an effort to show what is required of any currency to be successful. With that context, we then provide an overview of the predominant virtual currency, Bitcoin.
December 05, 2013 by John Greenough In recent years, numerous personal financial management (PFM) tools have emerged online. These tools give consumers a detailed view of their finances, allowing them to effectively budget and manage their money. Many of the PFMs offer both easy-to-use online interfaces and mobile apps to manage finances on-the-go. This slide deck analyzes two of the major players in the PFM space: Manilla and Mint. While different in terms of functionality and purpose, both PFMs offer user-friendly websites and apps that are popular with consumers and continue to grow.
December 04, 2013 by John Greenough In recent weeks consumers have been abuzz about Coin, the next big payment service out of San Francisco. Coin aims to eliminate the bulk of plastic cards in consumers’ wallets by consolidating up to eight of them into one credit card sized device. The device, which is expected to be released in the summer of 2014, had a significant presale. The company sold $50,000 worth of the devices in just 40 minutes, reinforcing the growing demand for e-wallet technology. The remarkable pre-sale can be attributed in large part to Coin's engaging social marketing campaign highlighted by the video below:
October 08, 2013 by John Greenough Online peer-to-peer (P2P) lending websites, often referred to as “Shadow Lenders”, have gained significant traction since the credit crunch resulting from the 2008 financial crisis. The purpose of these rapidly-growing websites is to facilitate loans of under $35,000 between borrowers and investors. The result is a transparent loan platform where individual investors can determine a borrower’s credit worthiness and partially or fully fund a loan at an attractive interest rate.
September 16, 2013 by John Greenough PNC recently introduced PNC Achievement Sessions, a sitelet that provides money management educational resources for consumers. The Achievement Sessions are centered around instructional videos focused on four areas of consumer money management – Spending, Savings, Borrowing, and Investing – and are presented by personal finance experts. Six sessions are currently offered, conducted by four separate instructors. PNC encourages users to suggest additional instructors and session topics.