January 09, 2023

Happy New Year everyone! I hope all of you were able to take some time during the holidays to relax and make memories with loved ones! 

I’m very excited about our first shows for this year, which are going to include one with my own predictions and plans for 2023. For today, I want to start the year with an episode that I promise is going to make you think.

For most people — even financial professionals — crypto is … cryptic. It’s hard to understand. People who are really good at explaining it are few and far between. One of the very best is my guest on today’s show: Simon Taylor.

Simon is Head of Strategy at the anti-fraud tech company Sardine and Co-Founder of the incomparable 11:FS. He also writes the indispensable blog, Fintech Brain Food — which is one of my very favorite publications. Simon has a real gift for translating financial innovation concepts into common-sense discussion, especially in crypto and DeFi. I want to start this new year by sharing his thoughts with you.  

We began, of course, with the collapse of FTX. We recorded this show before the holidays, so a few weeks have elapsed since he made these observations, but I know you’ll find them interesting, especially in his focus on the differences between FTX activity that was happening transparently on-chain, versus the activities that were being concealed on the side, off-chain.

From there, he digs into the challenges of getting crypto right — what industry needs to do, and what policymakers need to do. He talks about some of his own efforts,, and he offers what he describes as a “call to arms” to both the public and private sectors. We spend some time discussing his extraordinary ruminations in the November 17 issue of his blog, which focused on the role of trust in financial services. He’s been thinking deeply about how we maintain trust today in traditional finance, and about both the pros and cons of building trust through decentralization and code through DeFi.  His insights are exceptionally thought-provoking and offer a great conceptual framework on how to move forward.

Simon also talks about what he calls the “massive fraud problem” in crypto, which is a focus of his firm, Sardine. And he reminds us that anything that happens on a crypto blockchain is forever. As he says, be careful out there.

More on Simon Taylor

Simon Taylor is the head of Strategy at Sardine and Co-Founder of 11:FS. He is a self-proclaimed “Fintech nerd” and writes the blog, Fintech Brain Food, which publishes new content every weekend and is meant to give an unbiased view on the fintech market.

Simon has 20+ years of experience in software, payments, banking, and financial services. He was on the founding team of Barclays Rise, Head of Crypto R&D for Barclays, and Co-Founder of the not-for-profit Global Digital Finance.

More for our Listeners

Watch for a special show soon sharing what I see coming in 2023; where we’re taking Barefoot Innovation this year; and the big plans that my colleagues and I are cooking up for AIR.  Meanwhile we have terrific podcasts lined up. We’ll have one of my favorites we’ve ever recorded, with two visionary women – Cleve Mesidor and Delicia Hand. And we have a fascinating show with the Chairman of the National Credit Union Administration, Todd Harper, and another with one of his board members, Kyle Hauptman – to name just a few. Be sure to watch this space!

AIR is continuing to grow.  We’re about to announce the addition of a key new executive, and we have some exciting positions open. Please visit our careers page to learn more and apply!

Don’t forget to follow AIR on LinkedIn and Twitter. Be sure to leave us a five-star rating on your favorite podcast platform. And please follow me personally on Twitter @JoAnnBarefoot.

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