Socrates: 2018 Summer Reading List for Blockchain, FinTech & RegTech

By Contributor

Financial services colleagues globally are inundated with requests for our counsel on “special projects” and regulatory reforms featuring new transformative tools and methodologies, which most of us have never studied.

Are you concerned its risky business to be so dependent on Google searches, YouTube videos and the occasional podcast for quickie briefings on “How X works” before you put your professional reputation on the line with advice and commentary?

Know that you aren’t alone!

This 2018 Summer Reading List is curated for peers, who over the next couple months may just be able to steal a few hours for some old fashioned “reading”. One aim is to help us all prepare for the fourth quarter with a tad more digital savviness. The other goal is to help us rejuvenate. Take a break with a book and explore something new, you know like when we were kids on holiday!

#Algorithms / #BigData / #Data / #DataAnalytics / DataMining / #Warehousing

Maheshwari, A. (2018) Data Analytics Made Accessible. Seattle: Amazon.

Easy to read. Helpful examples flesh out concepts like algorithms, big data, business intelligence, data analytics, data mining and warehousing. Added value: tackles related myths and fake news; plus, chapter synopses solidify what you’re learning.

#Artificial Intelligence #AI

Tegmark. M. (2017) Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. New York: Random House

What it is and where it may go. MIT Professor Tegmark is that cherished academic who makes their work accessible to the layperson. Thought provoking for your individual self, as well as for use in your and your regulator’s workplace. Might we sooner than later have real-time — or even advance – detection of fraud, money laundering and more?


Miller. T. (2017) China’s Asian Dream: Empire Building along the New Silk Road. London: Zed Books

China’s cultural and economic Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) connects Asia, Europe and Africa along 5 land and water routes. Two international commercial courts in China will settle BRI disputes among the near 90 countries and international organizations. If your operations touch the BRI, this is a phenomenally well researched guide to your new environment.


Birmingham. M. (2017) Biometrics: Your Body and the Science of Security. Toronto: Owlkids Books Incorporated

Did you know there are 9 biometrics? A rewarding simple read with intro to each with the bonus of some compliance context such as: privacy, security and use as identification. Shhh, technically it’s a children’s book. Learn from it and gift it forward. Our secret!

Gregory. P., Simon. Michael (2008) Biometrics FOR DUMMIES Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons Ltd

The alternate good read. No need for snobbery. It’s fine to have a well-crafted DUMMIES book in your library! The concern is that available textbooks are too dense and you’ll end up throwing them into the pool in frustration!

#Blockchain/ #Crypto/ #FinTech/ #ICO/ #Internet of Things (#IOT)

Lewis. A. (2018) The Basics of Bitcoins and Blockchains Miami: Mango

Singapore-based author, who works for blockchain consortium R3, Lewis presents a particularly useful read for anyone called upon to support – or considering an investment in – cryptocurrency or Initial Coin Offering (ICO). Balanced content. Good fundamentals. Hot off the presses, be one of the first to take it in!

Tapscott. D., Tapscott. A. (2018) Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology behind Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies Is Changing the World. Toronto: Penguin Random House

Optimal book for colleagues tapped to support an initiative, which is still in discussion. FYI, in Asia where Quanxi / social networks matter, Don Tapscott is esteemed. In June 2018 China Central Television (CCTV), the state’s station, featured him on a panel in an historic 60-minute broadcast briefing the nation on Blockchain.

Chishti. S, Barberis. J. (2016) The FinTech Book: The Financial Technology Handbook for Investors, Entrepreneurs and Visionaries Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons Ltd

The bestseller’s title well reflects its content. Bottom line: there’s a very high likelihood peers in your company and your regulator have already read this. You don’t need to sing from the song sheet, but it’s good to know the popular lyrics!

Hoff.T. (2017) Explain the Cloud Like I’m 10: Los Gatos: Possibility Outpost Inc

The dream summer tech book! It’s like you’re on a cloud oblivious you’re learning via this simple, straight-forward read with graphics and examples from your everyday life: FacebookMessenger, Kindle, Netflix, OnlineBanking and more.

#VirtualBanking / #DigitalPayments

Schatt. D. (2014). Virtual Banking: A Guide to Innovation and Partnering Hoboken: WILEY Finance.

Written by a former PayPal executive it weaves in Facebook, Google, PayPal, Square, plus Twitter case studies for relatability. This is for you if you work in digital payments and/or HongKong where the first round of virtual bank licensing applications are due on 31 August 2018.

The author is a veteran Hong Kong-based consultant who advises some of the world’s largest financial institutions. Socrates column brings articles that are aligned with the spirit of the eponymous philosopher’s famous saying “unexamined life is not worth living.”