Flame and burn

I have been side-eyeing the whole controversy surrounding the Cryptocurrency Boy Wonder. His actual initials are SBF but I’ll just call him CBW.

Today the GG watched Senate hearings regarding CBW. I am not EXACTLY sure what went on in the hearings. I didn’t watch them but I’m told they were discussing how to regulate cryptocurrency and good luck to that. CBW seems like just another get-rich-quick (at someone else’s expense) kiddo to me. If that’s true I hope it does bite him you-know-where. I don’t really care which political party he supports. That seemed to be an issue of some sort.

What got my attention? Well. These were *Senate* hearings. I’m not sure many of our senators can even begin to understand cryptocurrency. I sure don’t and I am employed by the fintech industry. What was scary to me was that someone in the hearings was suggesting that ACH needs to be replaced. Say what? Every time you write a check or buy something with a plastic card or send somebody money via Venmo or autopay your electric bill, an ACH transaction is involved. How many billions of ACH transactions happen every day?

Yes, ACH is probably outdated but it is GLOBAL! It is one of the main technologies that drives the banking industry. I wrote a specification for my company a few years ago when we moved our ACH processing from old “green screen” technology to our web application. I certainly didn’t spec the ACH industry standard, just how our organization was going to incorporate it into our product. I think of that spec as my magnum opus. I have written some specs that I’m not proud of. That is not one of them.

If the world needs to move on from ACH (and it’s possible we should at some point), it will be an arduous task that will require very very careful planning and design. We can’t just flip a switch. It will have to be incremental. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time with PLENTY of quality assurance testing. I have NO confidence in our elected legislators (as a body of people) to be able to figure that out or even to understand what the heck ACH does.

Do they even know what an ACH file looks like? Do you? I do.

One Response to “Flame and burn”

  1. Margaret Says:

    My son-in-law worked with Bitcoin for a while and I never understood it. He tried to explain it to me but even he struggled with it. Smoke and mirrors. When he trained for that job in Halifax, he claimed that most of the trainees were anarchists who wanted to bypass the regulations and banking industry to do whatever. Scared me to death! I don’t know what ACH is but I love on-line banking and the ease of using my debit card. (except when I couldn’t find it in my purse today–I’d stuck it in the wrong pocket!)