Technology Strikes Back

FinTech Articles of the Week 7/10/15

Financial technology made national news last week not so much for the new technologies or market disruptions, though cryptofinance and bank disruptors made news as well.  No, this week’s major stories focused on the shutdown of the New York Stock Exchange, caused by human error. So much for the nice conspiracy theory heard around a client’s office on the coincidence of the stock exchange, United Airlines, and Wall Street Journal outages occurring on the same day. The LA Times has the story:

Outages at NYSE, United Airlines, expose digital vulnerabilities

The outages came one after another: one of the nation’s biggest airlines, its largest financial news publication and its main stock exchange.

NYSE shutdown caused by engineers loading wrong software to system

The Guardian followed up the NYSE outage with a story on the critical need for systems to back up the all-too-common failings of under-pressure software engineers. The publication’s lead: “New York Stock Exchange admits three-and-a-half-hour suspension of trading was related to a new software update and was not the result of cyber-attack.”

Y2K.00001: Markets Take a Leap Second Into the Void

In other technology news, Institutional Investor covered the implications of leap-second, which occurred June 30, in a fascinating short on the history of market disruptions influences by time. “We can now sit, look back and save some take-aways for the next edition of the event,” as A sysadmin’s logbook reports.

Warning to Banking Industry: Innovate or Die

The Financial Brand continues its excellent coverage of innovation in banking, delivering this advice up front: “To this end, banking innovation needs to focus on creating a customer-centric business model and an infrastructure that is seamless to the customer.” Last month, the publication took a “Peek Inside 7 of the Banking World’s Coolest Innovation Labs,” where you can see startup culture meeting banking.

Citibank Is Working On Its Own Digital Currency, Citicoin

Yes, it was inevitable, as TechCrunch reports, quoting Kenneth Moore, head of Citigroup Innovations Lab: “We have up and running three separate systems within Citi now that actually deploy blockchain distributed ledger technologies.” For a recent detailed look at the technologies, see “The Future of the Web Looks a Lot Like Bitcoin,” from the IEEE Spectrum.