“Is the Blockchain going to be useful? Discuss.” This would be a valid and great exam question. Good news; the good folks chez UBS have done some great research on this. Yes, big banks and useful in the same breath.

Cutting through the blockchain hype” is worth paying attention to for a number of reasons:

#1 Sponsorship: the Group COO has put his name to it. That sorts the wheat from the chaff. UBS publishes lots of stuff. If their COO is interested, it is worth paying attention.

#2 Identity: the UBS team present some intriguing possibilities for how Blockchain offers the ability to have a validated identity and then use that in a really discrete, almost anonymous way. Think of this as “need-to-know” management.

#3 Crypto-currency: the paper acknowledges the need to create a crypto version of each national currency. In fact, the central banks of both Singapore and Canada are looking in to this.

Lessons Learned: There is so much information flowing to us, so rapidly and without pause that it feels overwhelming. I, for one, have moments of doubt, when suddenly new information puts my thinking into a spin and I wonder if I grasp what this all means.

Selective reading is the answer. The UBS paper is an important piece.

About the Author: I help banks master their post trade processing; optimising, re-engineering, building.

I understand the front-to-back and end-to-end impact of what banks do. That allows me to build the best processes for my clients; ones that deliver on the three key dimensions of Operations: control, capacity and cost.

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