Filed Under: History and future, Money

Casino Royale-with-Cheese, Part 9

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Undercover at Money2020, our man in Las Vegas ls lost in booths, babes and benjamins. But can agent 0111 stop a killer new technology from falling into the wrong hands? It’s Main Street vs Infinite Loop in the major new blogbuster from CHYP End… welcome to… Pay Another Day

Part 9: For Your iPhones Only

Bond had sent word back to S. asking for emergency support as soon as he’d got up. He’s sent an urgent telegram by e-mail to Miss Moneysatoshi and asked her to take it to S. as soon as he arrived in the building.

“HELP. HAVE ACCIDENTALLY AGREED TO GIVE KEYNOTE TALK STOP. THE IMPACT OF APPLEPAY ON OTHER ECOSYSTEMS STOP. NEED PLAUSIBLE 30 MINUTE SPEECH. STOP.”

S. and the first floor boffins did not disappoint. The message from S. came through just as Bond walked through the door of the Mandarin Oriental. Apparently, the big brains at Consult Hyperion had been asked to prepare a report on HCE and Tokenisation for the GSMA and it was already in Bond’s in-box. 

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Bond pulled it up, grabbed a few strips of crispy bacon and a coffee, and was delighted to discover that the report was so well-written, so clear and accessible, so insightful, that by the time he stood at the lectern he knew exactly what he was going to say. 

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He began by explaining that because of the ApplePay architecture, which endorsed the hardware secure element (SE) and local authentication against a revocable token as a the chosen platform, the advance of tokenisation services would be swift. While the banks were currently using network tokenisation platforms, some would move to in-house and others to third-party services so a market would develop. This, in turn, reduced the marginal cost of applying tokens to other implementations and this, in turn, re-invigorated HCE. Tokens with appropriate token constraints set were a cost-effective way of bring standard payments to other platforms whether they had SE or not.

It went well.

He pulled it off.

Mission accomplished, Bond set off for the exhibition floor to see if he could pick up any intelligence from the buzz around the myriad vendors. At one point, he saw a few Hare Bitcoiners in the distance, so he slipped behind a curtain to avoid them. While he was there, he realised he could overhear a conversation from around the corner. He couldn’t tell who was speaking, or indeed what they were speaking about (something to do with Stella forking Rippled, but he had no idea who Stella was or whether the Rippled chap was one of us or not). But then he heard the distinctive voice of a Venture Capitalist chime in.

“Don’t let them know”, the VC said in a sinister drawl, “but we don’t care about their stupid play money pretend currency. Let them have fun with that. We want control of the blockchain.”

The blockchain? What was the blockchain? It must be something that A.P.P.L.E or M.C.X were working on, but then Bond heard another man.

“If we can move to an open, distributed, public ledger for digital assets, it will transform society let alone commerce. No-one will be able to control it. No-one”.

No-one? Not Facebook or Google or Amazon or Microsoft or A.P.P.L.E or anyone else? No-one? This sounded like information he needed to get back to the bods upstairs right away. Bond took out his Moleskine and was about to make notes but at that exact point, the curtain opened a crack and he was temporarily distracted by the free Haagen Dazs, and when he turned back, the men were gone. So he went back for another coffee almond crunch and resolved to make his way through the crowd and go to a session.

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Flashing smile at the woman on the door, Bond strode through into a payments cavern. A room of 1000 people, listening to a distant panel discussion, only visible because of the enormous monitor hovering above the stage. Bond was looking at the panel, he was looking at the crowd. He was looking for the furtive glance, the shielded exchange of business cards, the scribbled note passed in a flash that would alert into agents at work. This was their natural habitat, after all.

Bond glanced back up at the stage. The panel seemed a little unusual to him, you didn’t see many of these, after all. There was a middle-aged man in a suit and he was talking to for other middle-aged men in suits. Bond’s slunk towards a corner, hiding in plain sight, his mind racing. A panel like this sticks out like a sore thumb so it must mean something. But what? Some kind of signal?

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The men were all talking about NFC and how it was going to transform the customer experience because tap-and-pay is easy and quick and secure. But this was old news. Bond tried to read between the lines. But all he saw were the lines. 

[Part 10: Bitfinger]

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