Introduction

Ron Quaranta

It is nearly impossible to find anyone, particularly in financial markets, who has not heard the word “blockchain” tossed about in alternating patterns of dismissiveness or wild-eyed exuberance. A lot has happened in the world of financial services and beyond since the now famous (or infamous, depending upon your point of view) Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper of 2008 that kicked off the Bitcoin, cryptoasset and blockchain explosion (or hype cycle, again depending upon point of view). Indeed, if investment dollars are any indication, we may be subjected, happily or not, to hearing this word repeated for many years to come. It is against this backdrop that the multitude of contributors to this book present an overview and analysis of what blockchain means for financial markets and in a wider context.

From a career perspective, every contributor here has been deeply involved in the financial markets, in some instances for over three decades. All have witnessed memorable things, from the stock market crash of 1987, to the full electronification of trading, to the dotcom bubble and much more (even the “Y2K bug”, in all its relative non-event splendor).

Given the background of these yea

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