Traditional financial giants haven’t always been kind to cryptocurrencies. Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, one of the most influential financial institutions in the world, infamously called Bitcoin a “fraud” in 2017. On the other hand, some of the most powerful corporations and organizations, including financial behemoths, have praised the potential of blockchain technology. It appears as though the London Stock Exchange (LSE) is interested in examining how it can implement blockchain, as well.
The LSE is one of the oldest stock exchanges in the world. Its CEO, Nikhil Rathi, had no problem pointing out how blockchain can be used in both the issuance and settlement aspects of stock records. He pointed out how a distributed ledger could bolster transparency within the markets. He did not appear rushed to use blockchain, but rather is willing to see what works out with respect to some competitors, stating “we will see which ones gain market traction.”
The LSE has been testing out potential use cases for blockchain in a “regulatory sandbox”, to figure out potential applications. It refused to comment about how blockchain would be deployed, or any possible timetable for that deployment.
This marks the increasing shift among major financial institutions regarding blockchain. One prominent example is the fact that JP Morgan Chase, mentioned earlier, has created its own stablecoin for digital payments in February 2019.
Rathi was quick to temper his language when it came to acknowledging that there were bad actors in the space. The cryptocurrency sector has fallen prey to its own share of “exit scams”, where teams of individuals run off with investor money after either misrepresenting the value of the project and/or their connections, and Rathi seemed to realize this was an issue. He urged “a little bit of caution” when it came to the crypto markets.
Other stock exchanges have been vocal about exploring use cases, as well, including Switzerland’s SIX exchange and the Gibraltar Stock Exchange, which has launched digital versions of various securities already.
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