Week InAdvance: January 25, 2016

Blockchain, the secure transaction ledger database that underpins bitcoin and similar digital payment networks, is on the CFTC's agenda Tuesday for consideration of "blockchain and the potential application of distributed ledger technology to the derivatives market." In Chicago two months ago, CEOs of the world's largest futures exchanges endorsed the efforts of Wall Street banks, exchanges, and Silicon Valley startups to decentralize clearing and settlement to save time and cut risk. Blockchain, a database shared by parties in an established network of computers that records and stores every transaction in the network, essentially eliminates the need for trusted third parties such as payment processors. On Friday, the blockchain startup run by former JPMorgan Chase & Co. banker Blythe Masters raised $52 million from investors and won a contract to speed settlement in Australia's stock market.

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