Tibado, digital cash and crypto-currencies

June 16 2015


  • Tim Jones (Tibado)

  • David Everett (Tibado)

  • Bradley Howard (Endava)

  • Garrick Hileman (LSE)


I am a big fan of Tim Jones (who used to work at the CSFI). Anything he turns his mind to is worth a look – from the Mondex card, which he developed at NatWest (before becoming head of the retail bank), to NEST, the UK’s low-cost government-sponsored default pension fund, which he has been running since 2010. His latest baby is Tibado – a digital currency that he has developed with David Everett, who worked with him on Mondex and who now runs his own secure technology firm.

What Tibado offers (they say) is something very different from, say, Bitcoin. It is, as near as possible, a digital clone of cash. It is, essentially, fiat money which is digitized, and collateralized by real money in real bank accounts. Tibado ‘coins’ can be transferred from one ‘pocket’ to another – and when they have been transferred, they are extinguished. It is, they insist, scaleable – and it turns every smartphone (4½ billion, and rising) into a cash dispenser.

I am sure there is a lot more to it than that (there always is, with Tim) – and, even for chronic digi-sceptics, Tim is always good value on the broader FinTech landscape. But he and David won’t get things all their own way. I am equally delighted that we have two other experts to take a cool look at Tibado, and to kick off the response:

  • Bradley Howard is the head of digital media at Endava where he engages with clients to create leading digital platforms. He also blogs on innovation and technology matters at bradbox.com; and

  • Garrick Hileman is an economic historian at LSE, who is probably best known as an expert (and regular media contributor) on crypto-currencies. He is also the founder of MacroDigest.com.