The 12 Year Old Fund Manager


“I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words… When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly disrespectful and impatient of restraint”.

Hesiod, 8th century BC

Allot is and has been said about the youth since the very beginnings, and today with our millennials, the story goes in the same one-dimensional manner. On that note I refer to the renowned speaker Simon Sinek as he has been known to describe our youth as superficial, unsatisfied, lazy, impatient, entitled and more. Although I do personally admire his motivational work, generally agree with principals and appreciate his intent, I do disagree specifically with this generalization of his claims on millennials specifically.

In our modern world of semi-absent parenting, technology, multimedia and environmental hazards I actually find as in generations before, as is tradition, that our millennials do challenge the world, question it and yes expect more from it. As youth, that is their right and role! Sure, in taking risks, one can fail, be wrong, cause disruption – but then again, risks if understood, managed and explored through trial and error, can occasionally result in one being right and succeed in ways that never seemed possible! – The process itself, if you allow it, can trigger a rupture in innovation.

So, youth as a ‘species’ is here to dare, to be bold, to question everything and everyone, discover new boundaries of what is expected. On one side, as a social being they have a need to be accepted, but then again have quite an urge to be different, unique and make their own claim on the next ‘impossible’. Continue reading

Happy New Year!


A great year ends today. I wish you an even more successful 2019 and many great stories from the banking, blockchain, crypto, financial services and other sectors!

Africa Fintech Summit: The Rise of Fintech


Fintech is disrupting banking, finance, and even money as we know it. It’s a global phenomenon, but in Africa more than anywhere, the impact has the potential to be both socially and economically transformative (source:

Read our “Fintech in Africa” article here.

Africa – The Rise of Fintech


There is something mysterious going on in Africa, the cradle of mankind.

For decades, Africa has been growing at an extraordinary rate and in fact the unweighted annual average GDP growth overtook Asia’s average in early 2000 and has not only maintained this, but the growth gap is holding its own and potentially increasing.

Much has been said about BRIC nations, but in that group only China has been in the top 10 along with 6 from the continent of the lion. Overall though within Africa, taking growth and stability into account, the top cheetah of the pack is Botswana.

And guess what, fintech in Africa is booming! In the last years a good third of venture capital funding raised by African startups was directed at the fintech sector. This might seem surprising since most adults in Africa do not have a bank account, they are “unbanked”. Around 80% of adults did not have access to banking services, in a traditional sense.

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PSD2 – Open Banking


This is not just another compliance decree. PSD2 could change or even revolutionize the payments industry, in fact it actually mandates the idea of open banking!
In the past, the words ‘open’ and ‘banking’ seldom mixed. So, what is open banking?
Provocatively speaking, open banking suggests that “anyone” can have access to your bank account! Anyone, being a trusted 3rd party. With that, banks no longer have the monopoly on your account information!

But let’s start from the beginning! Back in October 2015, the European Parliament decided to promote innovative Fintech service providers e.g. for online and mobile payments. This means allowing access to bank data by third parties, by non-banks.
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Predicting Bankruptcy


Yes, believe it or not, it is possible to reliably estimate the probability of a company going bankrupt! The z score was published in 1968 by renowned professor of the NYU Stern School of Business Edward I. Altman.

The z score has since been used to measure the financial distress of a company i.e. its financial health. The z score is linear combination of various ratios and weighted coefficients of firms that declared bankruptcy and matching them to a set that survived bankruptcy in the same industry.

The predictive accuracy of Altman’s z score is remarkable, attaining up to 90% accuracy for a one year time horizon and 72% for a two year horizon!
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Float: Bitcoin’s little Problem


A cashless society, a true alternative money, an asset backed currency as opposed to fiat money. That and other hopes filled the jackpot expectations of many. But what is the true value of a crypto currency from a fundamental point of view. Yes, blockchain technology is useful, an elegant solution to securely verify a transaction on decentralized ledgers.
So, using Bitcoin as an example, does it really matter if Bitcoin is traded at $0.1 or $1000’000? Does that momentary perception of market capitalization bear any real meaning? Let’s ask the question differently; what was Bitcoin made for? One might argue it was created to be a currency, indeed to purchase goods and services, to sell goods and services. Is that really taking place? Fact is that it’s real free trading ‘float’, the actual amount of bitcoin that is truly performing it’s function as a currency, is almost insignificant. Most of Bitcoin is locked and bolted in investor wallets. So even the amount available to investors, the amount that is actively traded is formidably thin. This very limited supply in circulation, the limited active float is the basis for this dramatic volatility over the last months.

Going back to the initial statement, does it really matter what Bitcoin is traded at? Not really, what really matters is if Bitcoin is fulfilling it’s true function, namely that of a currency. So far, that part is negligible.
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Crypto Jargon – HODL, ALTCOIN, WHALE



In 2013 a message was posted on the Bitcoin Forum. It was meant to express a buy and hold strategy, a strategy that many see as superior to constant flipping as in daytrading.
The HOLD misspelt (allegedly after one too many drinks) and the typo resulting into HODL, now a doctrine of Bitcoin holders and one of the most famous crypto slang memes in coin investment culture.



All coins other than BITCOIN are referred to as ALTCOIN. These can include Lightcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and many more. Standing for an alternative to bitcoin, most based on blockchain technology and generally have less market cap than Bitcoin. Altcoins are often forks of Bitcoin and have suffered after the sell off the current ‘Airdrop’ (another jargon describing the distribution of tokens to addresses).




This meme is often used to describe the big money Bitcoin investors. Small traders are always on the lookout for whale buying or selling. Wrong judgment by ‘small fish’ could lead to heavy losses, so now whale detector algos are on the watch for whales. Bearwhales can be dangerous since they can cause a significant sell-off.

MiFID II, no joking!



Wow, a GRAND start into the new year 2018! MiFID II just took off! The “Market in Financial Instruments Directive”, what an awkward name, even according to Bloomberg! Not many I know can memorise this easily. Maybe it looks better like this:
– Markets
– in
– Financial
– Instruments
– Directive
Not really! Nevertheless, MiFID II just took effect on January 3rd 2018. This European legislation had grand intensions, since it’s first implementation back in 2007 as MiFID I. Increase consumer protection and increase competition! Great, sounds good!

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