A long awaited paper taking a good, hard look at Blockchain technology from the US Federal Reserve has examined how Blockchain aka Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) can be used in the area of payments, clearing and settlement and identifies both the opportunities and challenges facing its long-term implementation and adoption.
In the context of payments, the report, called Distributed Ledger Technology in Payments, Clearing, and Settlement, states that DLT has the potential to provide new ways to transfer and record the ownership of digital assets; immutably and securely store information; provide for identity management; and other evolving operations through peer-to-peer networking, access to a distributed but common ledger among participants, and cryptography.
And that potential use cases in payments, clearing, and settlement include cross-border payments and the post-trade clearing and settlement of securities. These use cases could address operational and financial frictions around existing services.
Nonetheless they add that the industry’s understanding and application of this technology is still in its infancy, and stakeholders are taking a variety of approaches toward its development.
“Given the technology’s early stage, a number of challenges to development and adoption remain, including in how issues around business cases, technological hurdles, legal considerations, and risk management considerations are addressed. Finally, as a recent innovation, DLT has the potential to also drive change to the financial market structure in ways that take advantage of the new technology.
Although it is too soon to predict what these changes may be, the way that the industry finds use cases and addresses the challenges identified in this paper will provide clarity over time. As the technologies and experimentation with these technologies continue to develop, it will be important to thoroughly understand how these changes apply broadly. Understanding the potential range of DLT adoption and its link to changing the financial market structure is an area for future research. “
Read paper in full here in the Blockchain News Library.