BIS warns rolling back globalisation would be ‘detrimental’ | World news | The Guardian

“Attempts to roll back globalisation would be the wrong response to these challenges. Globalisation, like technological innovation, has been an integral part of economic development.”

Fuente: BIS warns rolling back globalisation would be ‘detrimental’ | World news | The Guardian


Payments networks battle new breed of criminals in cyber attacks – FT.com

Payments networks — whether Swift or the latest peer-to-peer money transfer app — are only as trustworthy as their weakest link. Even if data are encrypted in transit, each bank or individual on a network must be able to reliably prove who they are — and authentication in payments still has a way to go.

Fuente: Payments networks battle new breed of criminals in cyber attacks – FT.com


Big banks plan to coin new digital currency – FT.com

Four of the world’s biggest banks have teamed up to develop a new form of digital cash that they believe will become an industry standard to clear and settle financial trades over blockchain, the technology underpinning bitcoin.

Fuente: Big banks plan to coin new digital currency – FT.com


¿Que aprendí ayudando a clientes del Qatar National Bank (QNB)? Somos tan fuertes, somos tan débiles

Experiencia personal respecto a la fuga de datos del Qatar National Bank, el banco más grande en la Península Arábica.

Fuente: ¿Que aprendí ayudando a clientes del Qatar National Bank (QNB)? Somos tan fuertes, somos tan débiles


Se acaba el monopolio de Transbank: Andrés Navarro y Javier Etcheberry entran con Multicaja a darle competencia – El Mostrador

Hace casi una década que el ex director del SII y presidente de Banco Estado, junto a Sonda, Consorcio y otros socios, quería entrar a competirles a los bancos. Multicaja se sumará a la red de medios de pago en Chile. En una primera etapa aceptará tarjetas de crédito y prepago (en comercio físico y online) emitidas tanto local como internacionalmente y, en el futuro, también las tarjetas de débito.

Fuente: Se acaba el monopolio de Transbank: Andrés Navarro y Javier Etcheberry entran con Multicaja a darle competencia – El Mostrador


Should we hack the hackers? | Technology | The Guardian

Should we hack the hackers? | Technology | The Guardian.

Banks are considering striking back at hackers – but what are the implications?Banks are considering striking back at hackers – but what are the implications? Photograph: Alamy

If we’re losing the war against cybercrime, then should we take off the gloves and strike back electronically against hackers?

As banks reel from another major hacking revelation, a former US director of intelligence has joined some of them in advocating for online counterstrikes against cybercriminals.

In February, security firm Kaspersky detailed a direct hack against 100 banks, in a co-ordinated heist worth up to $1bn. This follows growing sentiment among banks, expressed privately, that they should be allowed to hack back against the cybercriminals penetrating their networks.

At February’s Davos forum, senior banking officials reportedly lobbied for permission to track down hackers’ computers and disable them. They are frustrated by sustained hacking campaigns from attackers in other countries, intent on disrupting their web sites and stealing their data.

Dennis Blair, former director of national intelligence in the Obama administration, has now spoken out in favour of electronic countermeasures, known in cybersecurity circles as hacking back, or strikeback.

Blair co-authored a 2013 report from the US Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property. It considered explicitly authorising strikeback operations but stopped short of endorsing this measure at the time.

Instead, the report suggested exploring non-destructive alternatives, such as electronically tagging stolen data for later detection. It also called for a rethinking of the laws that forbid hacking, even in self-defence.

Western law enforcers don’t have jurisdiction in the countries where cybercriminals operate. Ideally, they would pass information about hackers onto their counterparts there, said Blair, but in many cases local police are un-cooperative. It’s time to up the ante, he suggested.

“I am more leaning towards some controlled experiments in officially conducting aggressive cyber-tracking of where attacks come from, discovering their origin, and then taking electronic action against them,” he told the Guardian.


Peer-to-peer lending: The wisdom of crowds – FT.com

Peer-to-peer lending: The wisdom of crowds – FT.com.

Online loan services have expanded as an alternative to banks
A mass group of anti capitalist and climate change activists converge on the Bank of England©Getty

People power: anti-capitalism protesters in London. Peer-to-peer lending took off as fury at the banks was at its peak

Julie Robinson does not consider herself to be a financial innovator. But when the 44-year-old secretary from Hertfordshire left her bank and began borrowing money from an online peer-to-peer lender she became part of an industry intent on disrupting the future of global banking.

After she ran up debt renovating her house in 2009, Ms Robinson took out a £7,500 personal loan at Lloyds Banking Group with a repayment rate of 12.9 per cent. The rate was high, but she was told she could renegotiate later. The renegotiation never happened.

So Ms Robinson went online to look for a new lender. The best deal – at a rate of 10 per cent – came not from a bank, but from Zopa, the UK’s first peer-to-peer lender.“Anything I can do to make a stand and move my money away from my bank is a good thing,” says Ms Robinson. “I can’t understand why bankers haven’t received prison sentences for what they did in the financial crisis.”

The global credit meltdown may have shattered public faith in mainstream financial institutions by those like her in need of funding, yet it could not have come at a better time for the fledgling and fast-growing P2P loan industry.

In less than a decade a handful of crowdfunding websites around the world have provided billions of dollars’ worth of small loans to individuals and businesses by matching investors with needy borrowers and offering better rates than banks.

Yet as the sector grows, it is attracting the interest of the mainstream financial industry that it professes to undermine. First in the US and now in Europe, P2P is being co-opted by professional investors and even banks themselves.

Ashees Jain and Joseph Marra, two former Lehman Brothers bond traders based in New York, have created a fund to invest in what they see as a new booming asset class. “This year it’s going to be a $3bn origination market. In five years’ time this will be a $25bn-plus market and there will be a large institutional component,” says Mr Marra.

Global regulators are also beginning to scrutinise P2P lending as they explore its potential. Last week, for instance, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York hosted a meeting to discuss the role crowdfunding can play in jump-starting the US economy.

But other organisations are questioning whether the phenomenon is the next evolution of responsible banking or a financial wild west in need of tougher oversight.

The recent surge in interest is a far cry from the early days of the industry. In 2005 a group of British internet bank employees dreamt up Zopa, one of the first examples of P2P lending, as a way for strangers to lend one another small sums of cash.

“In the late 90s there was a lot of innovation about in tech and financial services,” says Dave Nicholson, one of Zopa’s co-founders. “We started to ask the question: why is it that financial services for individuals are so limited compared to corporates? Why can they only go to banks for a loan? Where are the personal bond markets?”

Just like a bank, P2P loan sites check the credit history of borrowers, charging more to those who have a history of defaulting on loans. But unlike banks they use new technology to keep their overheads low, and rates are largely determined by the people who lend the money.

With the permission of a potential borrower, the sites can sweep social media profiles and dive into online bank accounts to approve or reject loans within seconds.

The approach is a canny way to perform the necessary due diligence on loan applicants, and contrasts with the often outdated and creaky information technology systems used by traditional banks.

The use of technology also nets lower rates for borrowers and higher returns for lenders. At a time when average personal loan rates in the UK are hovering at about 6.3 per cent, Zopa advertises a borrowing rate of 4.9 per cent. Lending Club, the world’s largest P2P, offers its most creditworthy borrowers repayment rates of less than 6 per cent.

 


Días complicados para ‘bitcoin’ | Economía | EL PAÍS

Días complicados para ‘bitcoin’ | Economía | EL PAÍS.


‘Bitcoins’ acuñados por Mike Caldwell, un entusiasta de esta moneda virtual en Sandy (Utah), y fotografiados el 31 de enero. / JIM URQUHART (REUTERS)

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Un conocido inversor de Silicon Valley y un prestigioso bloguero de las finanzas se han enzarzado en una particular apuesta que recorre blogs y foros de los apasionados del bitcoin, moneda electrónica que no ha hecho otra cosa que generar debate desde su nacimiento en 2009. Ben Horowitz, que invirtió en plataformas como Facebook y Twitter cuando estas estaban naciendo, y Felix Salmon, conocido bloguero financiero de Reuters, se han jugado un par de calcetines de alpaca en torno al futuro de esta moneda cifrada y no regulada que se genera en Internet y que permite realizar pagos instantáneos en cualquier parte del mundo. Si dentro de cinco años un 10% de los norteamericanos han comprado algo con bitcoins, Horowitz habrá ganado. De lo contrario, lo habrá hecho Salmon.

Lo de los calcetines de alpaca obedece a que una firma que los vende en Estados Unidos fue la primera en aceptar esta criptomoneda (moneda codificada) como medio de pago en su web.


Bitcoin me: How to make your own digital currency | Technology | theguardian.com

Bitcoin me: How to make your own digital currency | Technology | theguardian.com.

Move over Dogecoin: the Herncoin is here. But what can making your own currency teach you about the world of bitcoin?

 

 

A physical bitcoin.
A physical bitcoin. Photograph: Alamy

 

Bitcoin may have become a thing of fascination for the media very recently, but the digital currency actually celebrated its fifth birthday this month as its value hovered at around $1,000 per coin.

 

Bitcoin was never intended to be the one cryptocurrency to rule them all, because anyone can make their own version of it. The code which underpins the currency is released under what’s known as an open-source licence. Anyone can use it themselves, and alter any aspect they want, in order to create a whole new currency.

 

A whole class of alternative crypto-currencies, based on the fundamental aspects of bitcoin, have been created over the past couple of years. The first and biggest of the “altcoins”, called Litecoin, was created in 2011 to address some perceived flaws in the Bitcoin protocol.

 

Litecoin is much harder to build specialised “mining” machines for, which, according to its founders, prevents it from being dominated by a few rich miners. Additionally, it clears payments faster and has a much higher cap of 84m coins.

 

Since November 2011, Litecoin has tracked the value of Bitcoin fairly closely, but in December last year it spiked in value. Overnight, a Litecoin was worth 10 times what it had been before, and its total market cap now stands at $623m, around 16% of that of its parent.


Cable Across Atlantic Aims to Save Traders Milliseconds – Bloomberg

Cable Across Atlantic Aims to Save Traders Milliseconds – Bloomberg.

Mar 29, 2012 6:00 PM GMT-0300

In April, the Canadian research ship Coriolis II will set out from Halifax to survey parts of the continental shelf stretching 1,000 miles off the east coast of Nova Scotia.

The ship has been hired by Hibernia Atlantic, a Summit, New Jersey-based company that operates undersea telecom cables, to map out a new $300 million trans-Atlantic fiber-optic line called Project Express. The cable will stretch 3,000 miles beneath the North Atlantic, connecting financial markets in London and New York at record transmission speeds. A small group of U.S. and European high-speed trading firms will pay steep fees to use the cable.

When it opens in 2013, Project Express will be the fastest cable across the Atlantic, reducing the time it takes data to travel round-trip between New York and London to 59.6 milliseconds from the current top speed of 64.8 milliseconds, according to Hibernia Atlantic, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its April 2 edition.

Those five milliseconds might not seem like a big deal, but to the handful of electronic trading firms that will have exclusive access to the cable, it will be a huge advantage.

“That extra five milliseconds could be worth millions every time they hit the button,” says Joseph Hilt, senior vice president of financial services at Hibernia Atlantic.