A panel at a recent cryptocurrency event hosted by the Cato Institute discussed the differences between public blockchains (such as Bitcoin) and the distributed ledger technology currently being researched by various Wall Street firms and consortiums. Although many people view consortium blockchains as competition for Bitcoin, the reality is that these systems are mostly intended for different use cases.
While Wall Street’s distributed ledger technology may offer substantial improvements over their current systems, these permissioned ledgers may not be able to provide the level of openness and regulatory arbitrage offered by Bitcoin.
Bitcoin Enables an Open-Access Approach
LedgerX CEO Paul L. Chou was one of the participants on the recent Cato panel, and noted that the openness of the Bitcoin blockchain was the first thing that attracted him to this new technology. Chou recalled his excitement when first learning about Bitcoin:
“I think, for me, the most exciting thing was really this idea of an open-access ledger that anybody could use and anybody could, importantly, program on. So if you’re a 12-year-old kid with no relationships to Wall Street … before, it was impossible to get access to any of the ledgers that banks use right