In a recent speech at Harvard Law School’s Fidelity Guest Lecture Series, US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Kara M. Stein stated that one can imagine a world in which securities lending, repo, and margin financing are all traceable through blockchain’s transparent and open approach to tracking transactions and that this could revolutionize regulators’ approach to monitoring systemic risk.
Though Stein backs down and clearly says she was not advocating the adoption or effectiveness of blockchain technology, she said that the disruptive technology has many potential benefits to the financial industry.
I wanted to touch quickly on blockchain. Blockchain technology has been getting a lot of attention lately. It is the technology behind bitcoin, the digital currency which many of you have undoubtedly heard of. Blockchain is a database network where messages create a digital record of a transaction that cannot be changed once approved in the “chain.” Anyone on the computer network can see the details of the transactions on a public ledger. Separate and apart from its use with bitcoin, some have been recently advocating that blockchain technology could revolutionize other areas of finance. It could be used to overhaul areas like securities clearing and settlements, payment processing by banks, and cumbersome loan transactions. It has the power potentially to increase quality and facilitate trust.
While I am not advocating for the adoption or effectiveness of blockchain technology, it appears to offer potential. One can imagine a world in which securities lending, repo, and margin financing are all traceable through blockchain’s transparent and open approach to tracking transactions. That could revolutionize regulators’ approach to monitoring systemic risk in these areas, including the oversight of collateral reuse, to name just one potential use.
However, creative uses of blockchain are still in their infancy, and a lot of questions will need to be answered, including on issues related to cybersecurity. I do think regulators, academics, and market participants in the U.S. need to be constantly evaluating potentially disruptive ideas like blockchain. Can it be used to enhance the quality of our markets and investor protection? Or, is there a way it could be used to monopolize markets or undermine competition? How should this technology be best deployed? Should it be run via a public-private partnership, somewhat like the Internet? If the market begins to move toward blockchain technology, regulators need to be in a position to lead, harnessing its benefits and responding quickly to potential weaknesses.
- Utrust Joins Forces with Alternative Airlines for Flight Bookings with Crypto - November 13, 2019
- Dark Web Drug Dealer Pleads Guilty To Using Cryptocurrency to Launder More Than $19 Million - November 13, 2019
- Dutch Police Bust CEO of Blockchain Game Firm, Komodore64 – €78 million Gone? - November 13, 2019
- Celsius Hits over $4 Billion in Crypto Loans – Leading the Industry - November 12, 2019
- Coinbase Introduces Staking Rewards on Tezos - November 6, 2019
- Volvo Cars to implement blockchain traceability of cobalt used in electric car batteries - November 6, 2019
- EU-Funded Acceleration Project, LEDGER, Offering Support Services and Up to €200k Equity-Free for Blockchain Data Governance Projects - November 6, 2019
- Global Financial System Regulators – the Financial Action Task Force – Issue Draft Guidance on Digital Identity - November 5, 2019
- David Chaum Releases XX Alpha Messenger Promising Unprecedented User Privacy - November 5, 2019
- Æternity Blockchain Developers Plan to Take On Ethereum With Final Hardfork – Handing over Governance to the Community - November 5, 2019
- Researchers Claim Cross-border B2B Blockchain Transactions set to Explode to $4.4 Trillion by 2024 - November 5, 2019
- Global Companies Unite to Unveil Comprehensive Framework for Tokenization – It’s About Time - November 5, 2019
- Microsoft Kicks Off Enterprise-ready Crypto Token Platform On Azure – Predicts Tokenization Is A Pillar Of The Coming Revolution In Multi-Party Applications That Blockchain Technology Ushered In - November 5, 2019
- Polish-British Blockchain Company Billon to Digitise Euro in Deal with Raiffeisen Bank International - November 5, 2019
- 500.com Limited Releases Intel on Blockchain Technology for China’s Lottery Industry - November 4, 2019
- Oxfam, Etherisc, and Aon Find Success with First Blockchain-Based Agricultural Insurance Policies for Smallholder Farmers in Sri Lanka - November 4, 2019
- Interview: Brock Pierce and Two Prime’s Alexander S. Blum - November 4, 2019
- Samsung Bullish on Blockchain – Pushing for Developers on New Samsung Blockchain Platform SDK - November 1, 2019
- Busted: SEC and CFTC Nail First Global Credit – a Swiss Security-Based Bitcoin Swaps Dealer That Allegedly Aimed at American Investors - November 1, 2019
- Zilliqa and Oxford Women in Computer Science Society Join to Bring Diversity to Blockchain Sector - November 1, 2019