This year’s Money 20/20 Conference, which took place in Las Vegas in October, was a huge success as a star-studded lineup of technology decision makers brought their expertise to bear on topics from artificial intelligence (AI), cryptocurrency, finance and tech, peer-to-peer (P2P) payment systems and even Star Wars.
The three day affair kept audiences educated and entertained, and participants left with a clear vision for what the future holds for the tech industry. Technology is rapidly changing, and as the front line of the industry shared their vision of the future, it’s clear that advancement this and next year will be apace.
Nothing artificial here
The conference began by being dominated with a discussion about AI, as presenter Dr. Matt Wood from Amazon provided a clear vision of what has already happened in the AI field and cloud technology. It specifically focused on Amazon and their success with Prime being a strong indicator of how investments in AI are paying off.
After Wood, the AI discussion continued through Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who explained that AI is coming, and fighting it is foolish. While it’s clearly a ‘scary thought’ that machine learning will quickly begin to replace human jobs, that’s been the case since the Industrial Revolution.
When asked about Bitcoin, he was apparently optimistic, saying it is neither like cash nor gold. Because it is decentralized, it cannot be arbitrarily manipulated like fiat currencies, and because it has a fixed amount, it’s more limited than gold that can be mined. He said:
“Bitcoin is mathematical. There is a finite amount. It is like a house. If you buy a house today and sell it, it is a house today and a house tomorrow. You may think it has gone up in value, but it’s still a house.”
Payments and more
As the conference continued, the focus shifted to payments platforms, and specifically considered was voice payment, as speakers dealt with inclusive methodologies for bringing consumers into the voice payment world.
Dan Schulman, CEO of PayPal came next, and focused largely on the need for collaboration rather than competition when it comes to bringing payments to the masses. With more than 70 mln in the US without access to financial services, the need for industry help is huge.
A panel of financial payments experts gave suggestions regarding how to connect the world with payments, and how new technologies need to be careful to be consumer focused.
Digital currencies and women
The show continued its focus on payments, as Simran Singh, BDD at Hyperwallet focused on ways to digitize payments. Regarding digital currencies, Singh expressed his doubts regarding security, saying:
“Digital currencies are not completely secure, that is just the media story around it. No matter what type of payment type you come up with, there will always be fraudsters and hackers will come up with a way to attack it.”
The panel of peer-to-peer payment platforms provided additional clarity on the needs for the industry, as well as thoughts about going forward, and Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture North America closed out the discussion regarding the undervalued role of women in the payments industry.
Sweet explained that, both from an office side and also from a consumer side, women should be considered to a greater degree as the industry changes and progresses. Sweet’s concluding remarks summed up an overall amazing conference, filled with helpful direction for technology insiders.