ETF Trends
ETF Trends

Tech has wrought plenty of changes in the economy, some of which we saw coming, some of which no one saw coming; but how many of us are ready for the idea that Apple and/or Amazon (and/or Google) may end up obsoleting banks?

Oh sure, banks will still have things to do after they’re no longer issuing debit cards and processing checks and getting in the way of electronic transactions. Banks will still make loans and give away toasters and try to sign you up for various financial products you don’t need. But they won’t be controlling transactions.

Right now, things like Apple Pay (and its imitators) are sitting clumsily in the middle of a cumbersome old-school transaction infrastructure, with banks and credit-card companies acting as the gatekeepers. But that’s temporary. The endgame will be one in which peer-to-peer transactions, using blockchain technology for trust propagation, will obviate the need for external gatekeepers.

Your Apple Watch is your wallet.

Once every month or so, you’ll stash a cache of iCash in your wallet. (That’ll be automated someday, but for purposes of example, imagine that your iTunes account has $100 in credits already.) You go shopping. You find a $20 article of clothing that you like and ask the seller: “Do you take Apple Cash?” She says “But of course.” You click wrists and you’re done.