A Story of Financial Services Today…and Soon

tl;dr: I have no idea when the change to the existing financial services sector will happen. I just bet that, when it does, it will seem lightning quick.

I have three kids and, when they were born, I set up bank accounts for them.

Every so often, they will get a check for something…e.g. a birthday or Hannukah.

At this point, they hand it over to me (since they have no idea what to do with it) and it is my job to get it into the bank.

Now, I certainly don’t want to go to the bank.

“Use mobile deposit,” you say.

And I would…if everyone had really neat handwriting.

Which they don’t.

As a result, mobile deposit will fail (at least for me, sometimes).

Plus, if I have a few checks (all with bad handwriting), I’d rather just put them in an envelope and mail them in.

I know, right? Crazy.

So, I do that.

But before I do that, I have to find the deposit slip from the book of checks that I have for each kid. Keep in mind, I got these checks over a decade ago when I opened the account.

Since 2 year olds write a lot of checks, but teenagers do not, I don’t write that many checks for my kids these days.

All of this takes a bit of time and then I have to endorse, put in an envelope, get an envelope, stamp, etc.

When all is said and done, we’re closing in on 10 minutes and the money is not even in my kids’ account…since that will take a few days.

I bring this up because, just before I began this little adventure in 2019 money transfer, I received a note from Dean about the post, “is web 3.0 a lifestyle brand?”

Dean, being Dean, simply said, “I like this. Do it more.”

But that was enough for me to say, “ok, let me go back and re-read it.”

Which I did.

I’m not sure how that post fits into a story about check deposits and the antiquated financial system we all have, but don’t even realize it’s so ridiculous (most of the time).

We just accept it.

However, what we need to remember is how quickly things are going to change. And when a much better alternative (the Web3 lifestyle) is available AND supported by faster technology and better experiences, it will be dramatic.

It was right after I finished the check process, I received an email from Gary who referred me to a link about how someone had reprogrammed the Apollo space mission computer to mine Bitcoin.

You just have to love geeks, man.

That computer, from the 60s, was able to perform one Bitcoin hash calculation in 10 seconds.

Not bad.

By comparison, today’s specialized ASIC machines for Bitcoin perform a few trillion hash calculations per second.

Read that again…a few trillion hash calculations per second.

I am not going to do the math here, but going from 1 every 10 seconds 50 years ago to a few trillion every second feels like a big growth rate.

Now, play that out….and think about how exponential the change will be as the processing capability continues to grow.

At that point, the idea that anything other than near-instantaneous value transfer will seem as quaint as the Pony Express, the fastest way to send information across the US 150 years ago, seems today.

A Story of Financial Services Today…and Soon was originally published in Data Driven Investor on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.