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The ledger of the future

Could blockchain technology be the next step in the evolution of ledgers? Dawn Cowie speaks to Charles Cooper, managing director at R3, about the development of this technology.

Distributed ledgers are a shared system of record that many hope will transform the speed, efficiency and security of transferring assets around the global financial system. They have the potential to cut out the middlemen needed to validate transactions; reduce the duplication of record-keeping; minimise transaction errors and increase settlement rates. So is the industry aiming for a frictionless financial market, free from intermediaries? Not exactly.

It looks like the most probable outcome will be that a network of private ledgers will develop, each made up of a group of trusted parties. But even this requires an enormous leap forward in terms of collaboration between the technology providers who will build these private ledgers and the financial institutions who will use them for different purposes. Technology innovation company R3 is at the forefront of pushing for greater industry collaboration – managing director Charles Cooper explains some of the opportunities and hurdles.