Building smart blockchains
19 February 2016
In trying to discern the signal from the noise in the blockchain space, the noise level is high, but the signal is strong. My recent report, Blockchain in the Capital Markets: A Smart Distributed Future
describes the implications of the blockchain and smart contracts in the capital markets across the value chain. The report explores the Fintech disruptors and the incumbents who are battling for position. Key themes that continue to arise in capital market blockchain use cases are the review of legacy systems (many of which grew up in a time of high margins), low cost of balance sheet, and freely extended credit. These systems need to be optimized for the realities of the regulatory, capital, and profitability metrics that exist today. I have also been reflecting on my participation in The Blockchain Conference
last week in San Francisco. This was a great event that brought together some of the leading players in this space. The conference clearly indicated the impact distributed ledgers will have across industry verticals, as well as showing the implications for both evolutionary change and revolutionary change. There was extraordinary commitment to developing enterprise grade, secure, private solutions that will most impact the capital markets. The presentations and panels offered a look into this rapidly moving space, where everyone (from the smallest startups to the largest tech vendors) is approaching a new database model that will have far-reaching implications. The signal is there, and it is strong!