Everything about blockchain

Federated Learning – Efficient Machine Learning That Respects Privacy?

In the financial industry, customers expect high standards with regard to data protection and the integrity of their own data. Nevertheless, from the perspective of value creation, it is essential for banks to evaluate customer data using statistical methods and algorithms. Banks are thus caught in a conflict between maintaining data privacy and enforcing their own business model. To address this problem, the concept of “federated learning” has become established on the market in recent years, in which the data used for model training is always stored decentrally and the models are trained decentrally.

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“Data-centric AI” – A shift in the AI mindset?

The traditional approach to AI focuses on the process of training the model. The underlying data is often a secondary concern. This approach works particularly well for Internet corporations, as they have vast amounts of data and the capabilities to analyze it. In contrast, there is little potential for using AI in small businesses with this approach due to a lack of data. Therefore, it is worth taking a look at the data – moving away from model-centric to data-centric AI.

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What Exactly Is “Decentralized Finance”?

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) has been one of the dominant trends in digital assets at least since the DeFi summer 2020. Since the summer of 2020, the digital assets community’s gaze has turned towards the possibilities of a decentralized financial ecosystem, DeFi applications have become highly popular and the prices of corresponding tokens have multiplied. Why is DeFi seen as having such great potential and what does this mean for regulated financial institutions? In the next three blogposts, I will outline these and other questions, show different perspectives and provide an outlook on the opportunities for regulated financial institutions in the context of DeFi. To get started, this blog post will outline the functionalities of DeFi applications, present selected use cases, and highlight opportunities and risks in this context.

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Money – What Is It Anyway?

What is money anyway? Sure, it’s something we pay with, and according to the International Monetary Fund, something modern economies couldn’t function without. In today’s blog post, we’ll dig a little deeper into the meaning of money and get a broader picture of what it is. The question is, in my view, particularly relevant today, when new constructs such as cryptocurrencies, which diverge from what is generally considered money, such as the euro, Swiss franc or US dollar, are sometimes considered “money”.

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Synthetic Data – The Future of Data-Driven Financial Services?

One of the biggest challenges in this context is the handling of bank-specific and personal data and its processing by artificial intelligence (AI). The basis of data-driven services is a high-quality and up-to-date database. But not all companies have a large enough database to train an algorithm, and the sharing and basic use of some data is strictly limited – sometimes even within the company. To counteract these problems, the concept of synthetic data has become established.

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Target Models for a Digital Asset Offering in the Regulated Space

The topic of digital assets has finally reached the mainstream. The potential for services that make it easier for customers to acquire digital assets is great, but so far only a few financial institutions offer such services. According to the banks, there are many reasons for the lack of a comprehensive offering, e.g. concerns about the value of digital assets, high scepticism regarding money laundering or a lack of know-how in the operational handling of the new asset class. This blog post addresses the last point and aims to show that there are various operational implementation options for a basic digital asset offering for regulated banks.

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Core Banking Radar – «From Modularbank to Tuum – a core banking system that’s not only for banks»

Since 2017, the Core Banking Radar has regularly analyzed the most common as well as emerging core banking systems in Switzerland using a comprehensive assessment model[1]. The latest publication highlights the Estonian neo-system Tuum and shows success factors for its use. The Core Banking Radar is a joint project of Swisscom and the Business Engineering Institute St. Gallen.

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Gaia-X – A Revolution for the Financial Industry?

Cloud solutions are faster, more flexible and less expensive than on-premise solutions. However, the best-known cloud infrastructures – Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and IBM’s Red Hat – all have one thing in common: they are headquartered in the USA and are therefore subject to the (decidedly lax) US data protection “law”. This makes using the services difficult from a data protection perspective, especially for financial institutions. The European Gaia-X project could be a real alternative.

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Towards a Framework for Understanding the Potentials of Tokenized Assets

When attempting to assess the potential of tokens for their business, decision makers face the challenge that while there are tons of technical literature on token design, there are no simple decision support tools to help identify suitable use cases for their own business.
Therefore, we conducted a study to derive archetypes that can be observed in a variety of existing token-based solutions. These archetypes provide companies with an initial starting point for addressing the benefits and potential applications of token-based solutions.

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Successful Cooperation: What Banks and Fintechs Need to Consider

For a long time, fintechs were seen as a direct threat and competitor to traditional banks due to their high innovative capacity and the disruption potential attributed to them. In recent years, however, it has become apparent that both fintechs and banks are more interested in cooperation than in competition. However, there are factors that can cause a cooperation between a bank and a fintech to fail. How to prevent this is the topic of this article.

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Classification of Blockchain-Based Applications: A Conceptualization from a User Perspective

Despite many known advantages, it is still difficult, especially for practitioners, to identify concrete application areas for blockchain-based applications. This article takes this as its starting point and presents a sector-independent typology of application fields, which not only serves to analyze existing blockchain applications, but also provides users with an orientation as to which general possible uses there are for the blockchain and how complex an initial implementation of the respective applications can turn out to be.

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An Analytics Marketplace for SMEs

For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), AI offers enormous potential for scaling and increasing efficiency, but for these companies in particular there is no alternative to using GAFA services because they themselves lack, for example, machine learning knowledge or the necessary data to train algorithms. An analytics marketplace could solve these challenges.

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The Business Side of the Blockchain Map

Two weeks ago, we introduced the BlockWiki here on the blog, a website where we compile and explain the most important blockchain and DLT terms. The blockchain map, a graphical summary of blockchain terms, can also be purchased there. The overview differentiates between the technical and the business view of the Blockchain. After the left side with the technical view was described in detail in the blog post “The Technical Side of the Blockchain Map”, in this article we focus on the business view of the blockchain universe and explain the terms depicted there within their context.

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The Technical Side of the Blockchain Map

In our last blog post, “The BlockWiki – The Blockchain Explained,” we introduced the BlockWiki, a compilation of blockchain terms and research on blockchain and distributed ledger technology. One component of the BlockWiki is the Blockchain Map, which graphically depicts the technical background, various uses and functions of the technology. It is divided into two sections: technical view and business view. In this blog post, the focus will be on explaining the elements of the technical side.

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The BlockWiki – the Blockchain Explained

The blockchain is gaining more and more attention and importance worldwide and across industries. Although there is a broad field of application behind this technology on both the technical and economic side, the terms surrounding blockchain in research are not entirely consistent and often unclear. The BlockWiki is a website where relevant terms regarding the blockchain are explained and related to each other and can therefore be used as a reference tool by anyone interested in the blockchain.

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20 Years Agile Manifesto – An Overview of the Values & Principles

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Agile Manifesto, I would like to take another look at the central concepts of the document. Because even after this long time, the values and principles contained represent the basic tenets of the agile working method and can be found in many different agile methods, such as Scrum, Kanban or SAFe.

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The Robo-Advisor – A Substitute for the Human Investment Advisor?

In my last post, I explained what characteristics distinguish the robo-advisory process from that of traditional client advice provided by a human advisor. Today, I explain how exactly these characteristics affect the traditional client advisory process and change it to create the robo-advisory process that I presented in the third post of this series. Finally, I answer the question of which of the two advisory processes is the better one.

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What Distinguishes a Robo-Advisor?

In my last post, I detailed the customer advisory processes for a human advisor and a robo-advisor. Today I explain what causes these differences. This step is important to be able to understand and explain the differences between the two advisory processes and then, in a next step, to be able to derive the impact of robo-advisory services and to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of robo-advisors compared to the traditional customer advisory process.

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