William Essex
William Essex

Follow the money! How else can we exploit the full potential of the blockchain?

Although William Essex believes that large parts of the FX industry have tried to disassociate the blockchain from Bitcoin he argues that ultimately this doesn’t matter as long as this potentially transformative technology is exploited to its full potential.

We’re talking here about crypto-currencies. In the past, that term has referred to Bitcoin and a collection of more-or-less wacky sub-Bitcoin clones. Then everybody started talking about the “underlying technology”, while not mentioning the crypto-currency, and then we worked out how the blockchain actually operates. For a while, distributed architectures seemed to dispense with any need to trust each other (or mention Bitcoin), but then reality (and inconveniently well-founded regulatory obligations) kicked in, and we moved on to a distinction between the “permission-less” Bitcoin blockchain, in which everybody can join in, and “permissioned” blockchains, which are closed groups (see the box Who gave you permission?). Now we’ve moved on again. Today’s innovation is still focused on the blockchain, but in at least one current initiative, Bitcoin is being brought back into the mix – to good effect. We may need the “overlying”...continued

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