Collaboration FTW: How Blockchain Came So Far, So Fast

Rob Palatnick is a managing director and the chief technology officer at the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation, one of the world’s largest financial market infrastructure providers.

In this opinion piece, looking ahead to next week’s annual Sibos conference, Palatnick takes stock of blockchain technology’s progress in transforming the plumbing of global markets, and explains why cooperation is critical for further advancement.

While 2016 was referred to as the year of the blockchain proof-of-concept, 2017 has become the year of the blockchain pilot. While the progress has been remarkable, it’s important to be mindful of the critical role that industry collaboration has played in accelerating development and advancement.

Shortly after the blockchain conversation started across the financial services industry in 2014, a number of participants began to realize the value that distributed ledger technology could bring to the financial markets.

For DTCC, distributed ledger technology represents a generational opportunity to reimagine the post-trade infrastructure through its potential to harmonize and streamline the costly, burdensome reconciliation process the market currently operates in. By providing a single version of the truth to all parties, DLT can fundamentally alter how financial transactions are entered, stored and shared.

Just three years later, the industry has made significant strides in turning blockchain from a concept to reality. We’ve seen initiatives move from PoC to pilot, and a number of efforts are underway to operationalize the tech.

Although still in the early stages of implementation, the industry has learned that collaboration is critical. The key to reaching the full potential of blockchain technology lies in fostering industry-wide collaboration and aligning the technology with the industry’s longstanding core principles of mitigating risk, enhancing operational efficiencies and driving cost efficiencies.

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