US Federal Reserve Releases First Distributed Ledger Research Paper

The US Federal Reserve has released a new working paper on blockchain and distributed ledger tech.

AccessTimeIconDec 5, 2016 at 6:22 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:44 p.m. UTC

The Federal Reserve has published new research on distributed ledger tech.

The paper, which explores applications of the technology in payments and transaction settlement, was drafted by teams from the Federal Reserve Board as well as the Federal Reserve Banks of New York and Chicago.

Though research has been published in the past by members of the Federal Resrve system, most notably the Federal Reserve Banks from Boston and Chicago, the paper's release represents the first major release from the Federal Reserve Board.

Overall, the research casts a wide net, including both a top-down view of the concepts behind blockchain, as well as both the challenges and opportunities for financial firms or payment system operators looking at potential integrations.

The paper's authors wrote:

“An important goal of this paper is to examine how this technology might be used in the area of payments, clearing, and settlement and to identify both the opportunities and challenges facing its practical implementation and possible long-term adoption.”

Its publication comes just under two months after Fed governor Lael Brainard detailed the central bank's interest in the tech, as well as its intention to pursue in-depth research on the topic.

According to the Fed, researchers interviewed 30 representatives from both the public and private sector, drawing from established companies and startups working with the tech.

The full research paper can be found below:

Federal Reserve image via Shutterstock


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