Blockchain Q&A: Duncan Johnston-Watt, BTP

Although they do not carry the same cachet that they did a couple of years ago, distributed ledgers have established firm footholds in the financial services community. It is only a matter of time before buy-side and sell-side firms will need to integrate their workflows across multiple distributed ledgers that support different digital assets and front-, middle-, and back-office processes.

Markets Media caught up with Duncan Johnston-Watt, co-founder and CEO of DLT-management platform provider Blockchain Technology Partners, to discuss when and how these new challenges will wind up on the Wall Street CIO’s plate.

How close are asset managers and broker-dealers to needing to manage financial instruments and workflows across multiple distributed ledgers? Is it an actual thing yet?

Duncan Johnston-Watt,
Blockchain Technology Partners

The ability to manage financial instruments and workflows across multiple distributed ledgers is rapidly emerging as a challenge for asset managers and broker-dealers given the lack of standardization in the permissioned distributed ledger space.

Therefore this is definitely something that they need to be aware of and factor into their thinking in much the same way that they have had to learn to handle the plethora of market data platforms and liquidity pools in the past.

However, this is also an opportunity for fintech firms to develop tools to help asset managers and broker-dealers handle this complexity just as they have done so historically in, for example, the order management space.

Finally, while there is lack of standardization when it comes to distributed ledger technology, interoperability is possible with the right level of abstraction as exemplified by DAML, the smart contracts language, which Digital Asset open-sourced earlier this year. In the derivatives space, Digital Asset have teamed up with ISDA to create a reference implementation of the ISDA Common Domain Model (CDM). Written in…

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