This blog post was first published in the July 2021 edition of The Actuary magazine. I wrote it as a call to arms for actuaries to learn about blockchain, and to start building on decentralised networks. Further reading and learning resources are at the bottom of the post.
The actuarial profession has historically thrived in the insurance and risk management industries. While many of us have moved successfully to “non-traditional” actuarial areas, the profession has more to do to become the “revolutionary” elite Elon Musk hoped for when he tweeted about hiring actuaries to develop Tesla’s insurance proposition. The imminent arrival of fully autonomous vehicles is just one of a number of technological megatrends which are poised to change our industry and how we work.
This is the third of a multi-part series on decentralised finance (DeFi). DeFi is a blockchain use case that is potentially disruptive to the traditional finance industry. The first part of the series explains what it is and the philosophy behind the movement. The second part of the series delves into the state of the DeFi ecosystem as of October 2020. A primer on blockchain (including examples of insurance use cases) is available in this paper I co-authored.
Coinbase’s imminent stock market debut has been a long time coming. It’s a fortuitous time for a crypto exchange to go public; at US$2 trillion (at time of writing), crypto-assets’ total market capitalisation is at an all-time high. The frothy market makes people trade with abandon, bestowing lucrative transaction revenue and custody fees (c. US$1.8 billion in Q1 2021) to Coinbase. In good times, it’s easy to overlook the risk factors listed on Coinbase’s S-1 filing. “No risk, no reward” is the mantra of the day.
My Saturday morning routine when I was 7 years old was simple. I woke up and before long, I was in front of the television watching reruns of the 1980s cartoon, Voltron: Defender of the Universe. Voltron left such an impression on my younger self that many years later, I referenced it in my wedding vows.
This is the second of a multi-part series on decentralised finance (DeFi). DeFi is a blockchain use case that is potentially disruptive to the traditional finance industry. The first part of the series explains what it is and the philosophy behind the movement. A primer on blockchain (including examples of insurance use cases) is available in this paper I co-authored.
Naval Ravikant is a tech entrepreneur, angel investor, and a modern day philosopher. He’s not a household name; he once lamented that his fans are mainly young male geeks. That’s a shame because his wisdom is universal; transcending age, gender, and predilection.
This is the first of a multi-part series on decentralised finance (DeFi). DeFi is a blockchain use case that is potentially disruptive to the traditional finance industry.A primer on blockchain (including examples of insurance use cases) is available in this paper I co-authored.
When I’m not working, parenting or on TikTok, I read. In recent years, my reading material has veered towards biographies and memoirs. I’m fascinated by how great men/women ascend to the top of their chosen fields.
Quantum physicist and author, Michio Kaku, writes about the Cave Man Principle in his book, Physics of the Future. He argues that modern humans, despite many advances, still think like our caveman ancestors. Whenever there is a conflict between modern technology and our innate preferences, technology loses out and is not fully adopted. Case in point: remote working (in the pre-pandemic world) did not take off because we prefer interacting with our fellow humans in the flesh.
Corollary to the Cave Man Principle… there will be a premium placed on gossip, social networking, and entertainment.
I’m not a car guy. When I got the Tesla Model S (with the wife’s permission), it was out of my love for tech, and my genuine belief in the environmental ethos of zero-emission electric cars. The love affair started the moment Elon Musk unveiled the Model X. I fell for the car hook, line and sinker when Elon (yes, we’re on first name basis in a parallel simulated universe) promised autonomous driving capabilities.
The Model X was love at first sight. Alas, a car is a financial liability and the Model X, with the then base price of around £95,000, was the epitome of financial folly. So I settled for a modest Model S with a 75 kWh battery pack.