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Global technology standards and coordination necessary for successful blockchain implementation: DTCC Vice Chairman

Industry-wide acceptance of an assortment of blockchains and software solutions without coordination and plethora of standards would only further complicate existing market structure, DTCC Vice Chairman said recently.

During his keynote speech at the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Research, European Central Bank and Bank of England Joint Workshop “Setting Global Standards for Granular Data: Sharing the Challenge”, Larry Thompson highlighted the importance of standardization in blockchain space.

Thompson noted DTCC’s efforts to embrace blockchain technology, which includes leveraging the technology for re-platforming its Trade Information Warehouse; partnership with Digital Asset to explore how the technology can be used to enable DTCC’s Fixed Income Clearing Corporation to become the settlement counterparty for the start leg of new repo transactions, in real time; partnerships with blockchain consortiums and trade associations and much more.

“Collaboration begets standardization – there is not the latter without the former”, he said.

Thompson also emphasized on the importance of collaboration between public and private sectors. He said that the industry has a responsibility to share its knowledge, and to engage with regulators.

“Without coordination to settle on a common set of standards applicable to DLT [distributed ledger technology] and used globally, we are at risk of repeating the past and creating new siloed systems that cannot interact with each other”, he said. “We need to increase awareness of the need for harmonized technology standards and best practices for the purposes of integration and interoperability. The official sector can help.”

He further said that for successful blockchain implementation, every user must agree to standardized protocols, programming language, data fields and dictionaries. Thompson concluded saying:

“[W]e do not expect that the regulatory framework, which has been created over the past 70 years, will change significantly or need to be replaced to make way for an embrace of DLT. Rather, the framework will likely evolve as innovation has the potential to provide supervisors with enhanced oversight of the markets and a deeper understanding of risk.”

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