Over the past year, The Fintech Times team has had the pleasure of exploring and reading the latest books published in the industry. Though we get news and insights in our inboxes every day, there is something special about sitting down with a tea and enjoying a good book. With this in mind, we want to share our favourite fintech books from 2023.
The financialisation of everything
The Great Transition: The Personalization of Finance is Here by Emmanuel Daniel delves into the future of finance and fintech, breaking down complicated industry terms and discussing the future of finance.
One of the biggest topics raised by Daniel is the fear of missing out (FOMO) effect created by VC investors who sink money into the industry not because they believe in the innovations, but purely due to a herd mentality.
The book also reminds us that the biggest change in the financial industry is yet to come as traditional licences and regulations are holding it back. Once these have evolved, finance can truly prosper. Daniel talks about the past and present of finance and optimistically looks to the future too.
“Money makes the world go round. It’s not a statement of preference. Just a statement of fact”
Dr Leda Glyptis has been dubbed a “true believer that fintech is changing the world for the better” by Brett King. In her first book, Bankers Like Us: Dispatches from an Industry in Transition, Glyptis celebrates the world of bankers and recounts the journey the industry has taken despite its stubborn nature and resistance to change.
Although the book has its target audience (bankers), it is hard not to feel motivated to get up and be proactive as it ends with a to-do list of what still needs to be done to achieve meaningful change in the industry.
The book is broken down into digestable sections making it easy to approach, banker or not.
‘Redecentralisation’… what is it anyway?
In an increasingly digital world, the concept of redecentralisation is seemingly more and more relevant in the field of technology. Especially when thinking about finance. With the rise of cryptocurrency and the emergence of decentralised finance, or DeFi, as well as the more recent push for Web3, this surge in interest around redecentralisation, or just a return to decentralisation, starts to make sense.
In their book, Redecentralisation: Building the Digital Financial Ecosystem, Ruth Wandhöfer and Hazem Danny take a deep dive into the key concepts and framework surrounding decentralisation. They look at money and payments as well as AI and other technological advancements that have helped lead a shift in the transformation of the digital financial ecosystem.
What the heck is the metaverse?
Over the past year, the metaverse has proven to be somewhat of an enigma within the fintech industry. Nonetheless, its uses in financial services are gradually becoming more and more pronounced.
Despite the buzz when it was first unveiled, there is still an air of mystery surrounding the metaverse. Arun Krishnakumar and Theodora Lau attempt to unfold this within their book: The Metaverse Economy: how finance professionals can make sense of web3.
Pre-empting the development of the metaverse and its eventual importance to the industry, they have created a handbook of sorts to guide readers through the world that is Web3. Both authors lay out their vision for the future as well as delivering a solid foundation for the situation at hand.
Prepare for the cognitive revolution
It was only with the launch of ChatGPT by OpenAI in November 2022 that the world really sat forward and took notice of the massive potential of generative artificial intelligence (AI).
As we try to come to terms with how every aspect of human life could be affected by the seemingly exponential growth of AI, it isn’t uncommon to wonder what other technologies are quietly already in the works and could be thrust into the public view at any given moment. With Unsupervised: Navigating and Influencing a World Controlled by Powerful New Technologies, Daniel Doll-Steinberg and Stuart Leaf attempt to give the reader the tools to better understand the answer to this very question.
The book aims to provide a core understanding of new and emerging technologies so readers can better follow the issues and problems discussed.
Uncovering ‘why DeFi Matters’
Decentralised finance (DeFi) is not new in the fintech world. During the pandemic, the discussion around DeFi surged, although it had been around for years. This was in large part due to the popularity of cryptocurrencies. Although the crypto hype has died down somewhat, the adoption of DeFi continues to expand.
Ian Horne explains the reasons for this in his book: Why DeFi Matters: What cryptoassets, web3 and the metaverse really mean for finance. Afterall, with a historical lack of regulation in the digital asset world, some of those who have been in the industry for a long time could call the legitimacy of DeFi into question.
While some may fear the impact that tech can have on our futures, Horne creates a narrative that suggests technology can only act as a gateway to the solution of our problems, rather than being the solution itself.