1. Santander Innoventures Fintech 2.0 Paper: Rebooting Financial Services
Very well done high level summary of the opportunities in re-engineering financial services, with an emphasis on the collaborative uses of IoT, big data and distributed ledgers.
In time, distributed ledgers will support “smart contracts” – computer protocols that verify or enforce contracts. This will lead to a wide variety of potential uses in securities, syndicated lending, trade finance, swaps, derivatives or wherever counterparty risk arises. For example,smart contracts could automate pay-outs by the counterparties to swap contracts.
Cutting operational costs is not the only benefit in securities trading. Distributed ledgers can increase investor confidence in products whose underlying assets are now opaque (such as securitisations) or where property rights are made uncertain by the role of central authorities. Our analysis suggests that distributed ledger technology could reduce banks’ infrastructure costs attributable to cross-border payments, securities trading and regulatory compliance by between $15-20 billion per annum by 2022.
2. UBS Crypto 2.0 Legathon
Alex Batlin of UBS hosted an afternoon brainstorming session at UBS's Level 39 Innovation Lab. You can read a review in his own words here, along with a list of attendees here. Ian Grigg expands a bit on the discussion to revisit his thought experiment of smart contracts as the genesis block of a new blockchain, where any legal dispute is settled by siding with the longest chain.
3. The Weekend
- Weekend Read darling David Andolfatto: Fedcoin And The Implications Of Cryptocurrencies Issued By Central Banks (don't miss scrolling down for the comments to see David take on the crypto-anarchist trolls head on, entertaining stuff!)
- BBC News: Does Blockchain Technology Work?, featuring Derek White of Barclays and an announcer with a very BBC voice telling us that the blockchain "comes from the shady anarchic world of Bitcoin!"
4. Odds and Ends
- Fred Wilson of USV says Banks and Brokerages Should Be Mining The Blockchain (cue those shady, anarchic heads exploding)
- Further anarcho-head explosions: Elliptic can tell banks where coins come from with incredible accuracy (joking aside, the Elliptic team are very smart lads)
- Speaking of smart: Privacy Technologies for Bitcoin, a (very civil) throwdown between the Zerocash and Blockstream teams comparing the benefits and trade offs of their two approaches to cryptographically secured privacy