While central banks are among the most cautious institutions in the world, they are actually, perhaps surprisingly, among the first to deploy blockchain technology.

Central bank activities with blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) are not always well known or communicated. As a result, there is a lot of speculation and misunderstanding. Yet dozens of central banks around the world — from South Africa to Singapore — are actively investigating whether blockchain can help solve long-standing issues in banking, such as payment-system efficiency, payment security and resilience, as well as financial inclusion.

At the World Economic Forum, we recently published…


Central banks around the world are experimenting with so-called CBDC. But what is it and why does it matter?

At the World Economic Forum, we recently published an in-depth paper on CBDC and central bank experimentation with blockchain technology — find it here for more information.

CBDC is a digitized version of domestic currency where the central bank issues new money equivalent to — and redeemable for — its domestic currency, often removing the equivalent amount of currency from the money supply.

It could be issued using distributed ledger technology, where transactions would operate and settle on a peer-to-peer basis.


MOBI is a new, open consortium for blockchain innovation in the mobility industry. It stands for the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative.

MOBI launched on May 2, 2018 at the Dubai Future Blockchain Summit. The consortium was founded by leading automakers including Renault, Ford, GM, and BMW, and now represents more than 80 percent of global auto manufacturing by volume. I’m proud to be one of MOBI’s three co-directors and co-founders to have helped build this impactful organization.

In this article, I explain MOBI, but also expand on its significance as a leader and example for cooperative enterprise blockchain R&D. …


Over the past year, several leading cryptocurrency investors and thinkers have proposed a variety of frameworks, heuristics, and metrics that investors can apply to value crypto assets.

In this article, I summarize today’s crypto asset valuation frameworks. I intend to briefly explain the major frameworks and explore their limitations as well as discuss potential further areas of exploration. I conclude with thoughts about the best way to approach valuation for today’s market and the future.

  1. “Store of Value” Thesis

Main idea: A notable component driving value in digital currencies is an ability to provide a monetary store of value to…


Blockchain is a breakthrough technology that is sparking innovation and R&D across industries.

Most major Fortune 500 companies, from retail and finance to automobiles and airlines, are exploring blockchain technology for its possible benefits in business operations and security.

In this article, I discuss the following questions:

  • What does blockchain R&D and adoption look like in industry today?
  • Which companies are leading R&D and investment in blockchain technology, and what use cases are they exploring?
  • What are noteworthy challenges and decisions that companies face when considering and implementing blockchain technology?

Blockchain in Industry Today

The year 2017 brought a wave of blockchain research and…


I took the past summer off between my two years in business school to read, write, and immerse in blockchain from friends’ flats in Europe.

From there, I discovered a bounty of articles that are at once cogent, detailed, and edifying. They led to “aha” moments and a deeper understanding of blockchain technology and its game-changing attributes, limitations, and applications. I cited many articles in the three-part series I wrote over the course of the summer, Blockchains, Cryptocurrencies & the New Decentralized Economy.

This post is meant to be a well-rounded yet playful, approachable, and non-technical reading list for those…


Blockchain technologies and decentralized applications can together build a new Internet and, more broadly, a new economy.

In Part 1 of this post, we introduced blockchain mechanics, digital currencies, and key trends such as enterprise adoption and ICO financing. In Part 2, we developed the concept of decentralized applications, called “DApps,” and their new token-based business models.

In the 3rd and final part, we explain the role of data openness and interoperability in blockchain technology and how they support the new era of heightened interaction, decentralization, and efficiency that makes up the “Web 3.0.”

A New Internet Architecture

The Old System

The current Internet and World Wide…


Blockchain startups are building the apps of the future.

In Part 2 of this series, we develop the concept of decentralized applications, called “DApps.” These new, open-source applications are built using blockchain technology. They decentralize the delivery and operations of app-based products and services, which can have positive implications for users.

Decentralized apps have a low level of control and ownership by a centralized authority. They have less ownership over user data and product content, often charge lower fees, and are built in an open-source manner by a community of contributors. This stands in contrast to the centralized apps we…


Blockchain is the most important technology you might not yet understand.

It is building a future that can be more decentralized and democratic, whose beneficiaries could range widely from Syrian refugees to investment banks. The World Economic Forum estimates that by 2027, 10% of global GDP will be stored on blockchain technology.

Rapidly evolving blockchain technology and startups could fundamentally change entire business models, fundraising models, business operations, payments systems, and more. Despite the importance of this emerging technology, much unfamiliarity surrounds the topic.

The purpose of this essay, divided into three parts, is to 1) explain blockchain, cryptocurrency, and…


On March 31, Wealthfront announced its 3.0 model. Wealthfront is a leading robo-advisor, or online automated personal investment advisory platform. To launch version 3.0, the company’s design and engineering teams have remodeled the service to accommodate artificial intelligence and APIs for account aggregation.

Wealthfront 3.0 heralds a new phase of robo-advisory that delivers even more personalized and sophisticated advice and that participates in the rise of the application of artificial intelligence to financial services.

According to its blog, by connecting with APIs, Wealthfront 3.0 integrates popular consumer fintech apps Venmo, Redfin, Lending Club, and Coinbase. It also connects to external…

Ashley Lannquist

WEF Blockchain Team // MOBI Blockchain Consortium // Berkeley-Haas

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