On Friday, August 12th, the World Economic Forum published a 130-page report indicating the blockchain (otherwise known as Distributed Ledger Technology, or DLT) framework could have wide-reaching effects on mainstream financial technology, and the financial industry overall.
Founded in 1971 for promoting global entrepreneurship and cooperation between the public and private sectors, the Geneva-based non-profit World Economic Forum collaborated with American firm Deloitte Consulting LLP in creating the extensive report, which received input from big names in high finance such as MorganStanley, UBS, Deutsche Bank, JPMorganChase, and BlackRock, in addition to many crypto-related groups including Coinbase, BitFury, and Blockchain. The report was also advised by government financial organizations like the US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Key findings include:
- DLT has the potential to drive simplicity and efficiency by establishing new financial services infrastructure and processes.
- DLT will form the foundation of next generation financial services infrastructure in conjunction with other existing and emerging technologies.
- Similar to technological advances in the past, new financial services infrastructure will transform and question traditional orthodoxies in today’s business models.
- The most impactful distributed ledger technology applications will require deep collaboration between incumbents, innovators, and regulators, adding complexity and delaying implementation.
While it seems that the promise of blockchain may live up to the hype, its integration will require careful cooperation with governments and businesses alike, if it is to assume the mantle of becoming the Atlas holding up a new era of global finance.