Finance & Technology – Disrupting the Status Quo. The FinTech track, newly implemented at re:publica 2016, explored one of the fastest developing and most realms of technology today: the advent of financial technology, commonly abbreviated to FinTech. Focusing on reimagining and redesigning processes that have been essential to human society for centuries, few trends in digitalisation have as much potential to disrupt long-standing power structures as FinTech innovators do.

At re:publica TEN, explorations of this area included a look the latest developments in the Bitcoin and its accompanying Blockchain technology. Bitcoin is a form of digital currency that has gained immense popularity and subsequently mainstream acceptance in recent years, paving the way for other alternative currencies to gain prominence. Blockchain, commonly thought of as simply the underlying technology for Bitcoin, has the potential to be applied to a multitude of digital circumstances beyond simply recording currency transactions. Blockchain provides a way of publicly recording and verifying digital actions, with possible applications including identity verification, smart contracts, and tracking and recording digital assets, among many others. re:publica TEN's FinTech sessions gave attendees both the chance to gain a basic understanding of these technologies and to dive deeper into how they have the potential to reshape not just economies within the coming years, but governance and society as a whole as well.

But despite what's dominating the headlines right now, FinTech is more than Bitcoin and Blockchain. Crowdfunding is also a major part of this area, and it provides a prime example of FinTech's ability to disrupt the status quo is the rapid rise of the concept of crowdfunding from novel idea to de facto funding source for independent inventors and innovators. Thanks to sites like Kickstarter, the determining factor for whether or not a product or initiative comes to fruition is no longer whether a few key decision makers can be persuaded. Instead, the internet public is empowered to express their interests, wants, and demands, turning the public into the gatekeepers for what products "make it."

Not explicitly falling under the FinTech banner but fitting with its focus on empowering individuals in financial matters, this track also featured a session on how to access and understand public budget data. We saw this as particularly important, since so much information on public budgets is freely accessible on the internet and can be instrumental in identifying government corruption, yet most people never bother to access such data.

Ultimately, FinTech is a field with immense potential to reshape the way we handle and view money, as well as to reshape power structures through empowering individuals. FinTech is disrupting the status quo, one Bitcoin at a time. 

Photo credit: BTC Keychain (CC BY 2.0)

  • STATION Berlin rpTEN silver balloon
    Seid an Bord und gebt euren Ideen eine Bühne zur #rp18. Unser Call for Participation läuft bis zum 7. Januar 2018. Macht mit! Holt euch hier noch Inspiration mehr zu unseren # rp18 POP Themen.
  • FinTech
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    Revolutionieren die Fintechs die Bankenwelt? Die Frage ist seit einigen Jahren immer mehr in den Fokus der Finanzbranche geraten. Einige Fintechs etablieren sich bereits am Markt und können Kunden immer mehr von sich und ihre Leistungen begeistern. Aber wie sieht es bei den großen Playern z.B. den Sparkassen aus? Haben die eine Antwort auf die neuen "Innovatoren" der Finanzwelt?
  • FinTech
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    Wir wollen den Weg ebnen für neue Produkte. Tauscht euch mit eurer Expertise, Hintergründen und Gedanken aus.
  • FinTech
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    Der plakative Titel ist dem aktuellen Trend in der Finanzbranche entnommen. Banken und FinTechs arbeiten immer mehr zusammen obwohl beide Seiten gefühlt aus einer anderen Welt kommen.
  • Global Innovation Gathering (GIG)
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    What are use cases for the blockchain beyond digital currencies? Land rights ledgers, anti-corruption tools, smart contracts...There are many possibilities, and as GIG we want to explore a few of them from all over the globe. We want to discuss critical questions, but also the potential that the blockchain has for collective yet distributed actions, like co-creation and co-manufacturing.
  • Politics & Society
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    Visualising large financial datasets provides insights in the data that takes it beyond the abstract numbers and provides a quick overviews and detailed drill down. Over the last year Open Knowledge International and Open Knowledge Germany have collected all EU structural funds data and used different data manipulations tools and tools specifically for visualising and analysing financial data. In this workshop, we will take the participants through this data journey, demonstrate the tools, and do a hands on sessions where participants can use the tools to visualise EU money flows.
  • Politics & Society
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    Blockchain is the driving force of the next generation Internet, also referred to as the Decentralized Web. It allows us to decentralise trust. Smart contracts on the Blockchain radically reducing transaction costs creating the basis for a P2P society, allowing for new forms of organisational structures that were not feasible before. What is the state of that technology and what are the pitfalls and challenges of Blockchain based DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations)?
  • Business & Work
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    Finanzmarktpolitik ist Netzpolitik. Der Börsenhandel ist digitalisiert. Zentrale Akteure sind die Trading Bots – hochfrequente, algorithmische Computerhändler, die in Millisekunden Börsenprodukte handeln. Doch schaffen diese Handelsroboter einen Mehrwert für unser Gemeinwohl? Und wie steuert man politisch ein digitalisiertes und automatisiertes Finanzsystems? Der Finanzmarkt braucht neue Antworten. Von den Grundsätzen der netzpolitischen Zivilgesellschaft, wie etwa Netzneutralität oder Datenschutz, kann der Börsenhandel dabei lernen.
  • Global Innovation Gathering (GIG)
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    The open software you’re using isn’t African. Or Middle-Eastern. It’s probably not Asian, either. In fact 1% of the contributions on GitHub are from Africa and the Middle-East. There’s a relevance gap in how open software talks about itself, and what sticks in the 99% of the world that isn’t currently contributing to open communities.

    That gap gets really urgent when we think about OSS opportunities like financial services for the poor, identity for migratory populations and medical record interoperability for outbreaks. Projects need the voices of the people who’d use it.

    This workshop is about how to close that gap. If you design products, communities, content or growth plans, attend to avoid blunders in your approach.
  • Business & Work
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    Konzept ‚Offener Preis‘ erleben – Wie fühlt es sich an, dein Angebot zu Markte zu tragen, ohne dass du weißt, was du dafür bekommst? Wie fühlt es sich an jemandem für ihr/sein Angebot zu zahlen, was du kannst und willst? Zahlst du verschieden, wenn du den Preis anonym wählst oder der Person dabei in die Augen schauen musst? Der Workshop lädt dich dazu ein, das Konzept ‚Offener Preis‘ auszuprobieren und gemeinsam zu reflektieren statt nur die Idee auszudiskutieren.
  • Am Tag 3 der re:publica TEN wurde die Bühne 8 vom "FinTech"-Track bespielt. Die TeilnehmerInnen hatten die Gelegenheit, sich über Bitcoin und Blockchain-Technologien zu informieren und zu erfahren, wie der Einsatz von neuen Technologien im Finanzbereich die bestehenden Machtstrukturen verändert.

  • Business & Innovation
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    Finance is neither good nor bad - it's a tool we can use to create opportunities for society at large. How can we innovate in finance with a different ethos? We'll share how we're doing it at solarisBank and engage attendees in an open discussion on the topic.