Modern technology enables stock markets to be faster and more complex than ever.
But while the speed of order executions are infinitely more impressive across the board, the conceptual backbone behind the stock market itself hasn’t changed much. In fact, the model we use today for settling trades and ensuring proper share ownership is still based on the one initially created in the 17th Century.
The market for fintech, or financial technology software, was one of the hottest sectors in 2015.
The time is ripe for financial innovation: new technologies are helping end users skip past gatekeepers and intermediaries to customize their use of financial products. Meanwhile, many of the same technologies are also erasing the inefficiencies of banks and other financial institutions to cut costs in ways the industry never deemed possible. Lastly, innovations such as the blockchain are changing the way banks approach their most basic mechanisms – as a result, even the most fundamental practices in banking are evolving.
Natixis, have pioneered the first Blockchain solution in commodity trade finance for US crude oil transactions. The distributed ledger platform, built on the Linux Foundation open source Hyperledger Fabric, allows major steps in a crude oil transaction to be digitized on the Blockchain, ensuring improved transparency, enhanced security, and optimized efficiency.
The volume of potential use cases being tipped for blockchain are increasing day by day – yet few seem to be ready in practice – so, when I received an email suggesting that the next area ripe for disruption was the energy sector, I was interested to learn more. A lightly edited Q&A with Guy Halford-Thompson, founder and CEO of BTL Group, which develops and invests in blockchain technology, can be found below.
At the beginning of the year, the UK Government’s Office for Science released a paper entitled ‘Distributed Ledger Technology: beyond blockchain.’
For many who heard the government’s chief scientist, Sir Mark Walport, discussing the report on BBC’s Radio Four, it might have felt liked they’d banged their heads and woken up a few years later to when a technology called blockchain was being adopted so widely that even the government were paying attention to it. But in reality this is still a relatively new technology that most people haven’t even heard of, yet right now the government, regulators and institutions want a look in.