As we build out financial market infrastructures (FMIs) based on distributed ledger technology (DLT), face-to-face human interaction has much to contribute to the pace and direction of progress. This truth was self-evident at SWIFT’s Sibos 2019 conference, attended by 11,000-plus delegates at ExCeL London. I was privileged to moderate a panel discussion on the possible paths toward efficient digital cash settlement; a prerequisite step to realising new efficiencies, risk reductions and value in DLT-based financial markets.
We often read that we live in an increasingly polarised society, retreating too easily into digital echo chambers, inhabited only by like-minded souls. We also see divided opinions in the financial sector, such as over the adoption of technology innovations. When assailed on either side by fierce optimists and implacable sceptics, the pragmatist will remember that any new platform multiplies its chances of success by attracting a large and diverse range of participants.
Among the new technologies being explored, the crypto asset space is perhaps the most controversial. Certainly, it has earned many column inches, from Bitcoin’s surges in Q4 2017 and Q3 2019 to Libra’s recent launch. True...