Ethical Considerations of Blockchain: Do We Need a Blockchain Code of Conduct?

Courtesy of Michele Benedetto Neitz  Blockchain technology is not as decentralized as we think. From the outset, the original innovators of blockchain viewed the technology as an opportunity to solve the “problem” of government oversight over economic activities. A truly decentralized, immutable ledger, would remove the potential for human shortcomings and state control, impacting everything […]

Smart Contracts for Securities Transactions on the DLT Network: Legal Obstacles and Regulatory Challenges

Fintech developers and financial institutions[1] have presented the benefits of using smart contracts to facilitate securities/interests transfers (trading) on distributed ledger technology (DLT) platforms. The benefits are DLT’s technological ability to bring about decentralization and disintermediation which are the main characteristics of peer-to-peer (P2P) trading platforms and reduction of transaction costs for users and financial […]

Blockchain Disruption and Decentralized Finance: The Rise of Decentralized Business Models

Courtesy of Yan Chen and Cristiano Bellavitis Over the last few years, blockchain and its applications – such as Bitcoin – have gone through a cycle of high promise and setback. In September 2017, some commentators argued that blockchain was the most important invention since the internet and electricity. Then, a few months later, governments […]

Issuing a Central Bank Digital Currency: Possible Motives, Characteristics and Consequences

Courtesy of Christian Pfister* In 2018, the Bank for International Settlements conducted a survey to which 63 central banks responded. According to the results, 70% of the central banks were then (or planned to be soon) engaged in central bank digital currency (CBDC) work. However, only three central banks reported that they were likely to […]

Blockchain Finance: On the Prospect of Decentralized, Pseudonymous Financial Markets

Courtesy of Cameron Harwick and James Caton  The Bitcoin blockchain was launched in 2009, providing for the first time a secure, decentralized, and electronic platform for monetary exchange. It was not purely anonymous – public account information was available – but users did not have to know or trust each other in order to participate in “money” […]

Governance in the Absence of Regulation: A Study of Initial Coin Offerings

Courtesy of William C. Johnson and Sangho Yi Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are a novel financing method in which crypto tokens are auctioned to the public in return for fiat or cryptocurrencies using blockchain-based platforms such as Ethereum. The technology building ICOs creates a new landscape within financial economics where many important economic concepts need […]

Building Fintech Ecosystems: Why Regulatory Sandboxes Tend to Get the Plaudits and Innovation Hubs Do the Work of Promoting Development, Innovation and Competition in Financial Services

Courtesy of Ross Buckley, Douglas Arner, Robin Veidt, and Dirk Zetzsche Regulatory sandboxes are the flavor of the month. Over 50 countries have now established or announced a “financial regulatory sandbox” since the UK Financial Conduct Authority established the first one in 2016. Sandboxes are safe spaces in which FinTech start-ups and other innovative enterprises […]

Can Technology Undermine Macroprudential Regulation: Evidence from Marketplace Lending in China

Courtesy of Alberto Manconi, Fabio Braggion, and Haikun Zhu The Global Financial Crisis led economists and regulators to refocus on the relationship between household leverage and macroeconomic performance. The ensuing debate has revolved around how best to contain household debt using a variety of approaches, with much emphasis being placed on loan-to-value (LTV) caps, i.e. […]

A New Source of Systemic Risk: Cloud Service Providers

Courtesy of David Fratto and Lee Reiners Last week’s announcement that a hacker accessed the personal information of approximately 106 million Capital One card customers and applicants has cast fresh light on financial institutions increasing reliance on the cloud. The hacker, a former employee of Amazon Web Services Inc., allegedly breached Capital One’s firewalls to […]

What Congress Should Ask About Facebook’s New Cryptocurrency

On June 18th, Facebook released a white paper and additional documentation that describe a new cryptocurrency, called Libra, which will be governed by the twenty-eight member Libra Association (the “Association”). Shortly thereafter, the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee announced they would hold hearings to look into Libra and Facebook’s involvement; these […]