Pluralistic: When you hear "fintech," think "unlicensed bank" (01 May 2023)

Today’s links When you hear “fintech,” think “unlicensed bank”: “…with a computer.” Hey look at this: Delights to delectate. This day in history: 2003, 2008, 2013, 2018, 2022 Colophon: Recent publications, upcoming/recent appearances, current writing projects, current reading When you hear “fintech,” think “unlicensed bank” (permalink) In theory, patents are for novel, useful inventions that aren’t obvious “to a skilled practitioner of the art.” But as computers ate our society, grifters began to receive patents for “doing something we’ve done for centuries…with a computer.” “With a computer”: those three words had the power to cloud patent examiners’ minds. Patent trolls – who secure “with a computer” patents and then extract ransoms from people doing normal things on threat of a lawsuit – are an underappreciated form of “tech exceptionalism.” Normally, “tech exceptionalism” refers to bros who wave away things like privacy invasions by arguing that “with a computer” makes it all different. These tech exceptionalists are the legit face of tech exceptionalism, the Forbes 30 Under 30 set. They’re grifters, but they’re celebrated grifters. There’s a whole bottom-feeding sludge of tech exceptionalists that don’t get the same kind of attention, like patent trolls. Oh, and the fintech industry. As Riley Quinn says, “when you hear ‘fintech,’ think: ‘unlicensed bank.'” The majority of fintech “innovation” consists of adding “with a computer” to highly regulated activities and declaring them to be unregulated (and, in the case of crypto, unregulatable). There are a lot of heavily regulated financial activities, like dealing in securities…Pluralistic: When you hear "fintech," think "unlicensed bank" (01 May 2023)

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