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April 18, 2016


Laurette DelGuercio

Irving, Thank you for this and all your insightful posts. For the past two years I have closely watched the blockchain ecosystem develop and am quite bullish on the prospects.

This week I attended the Empire FinTech Conference as I did last year. Two major themes emerged that were quite different from twelve months ago: Transparency in Capital Markets (Matt Harris of Bain Ventures) and the Circle of Collaboration. Regarding the latter, last year the financial regulators were compared to the Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC), which experienced bankers viewed as an understatement. This week the tone was noticeably different, bank disruption has quickly shifted to collaboration and the circle of collaboration includes start-ups, banks and regulators. In the case of The Hyperledger Project this circle is extended to include established tech companies (Microsoft, IBM), The Linux Foundation and clearing houses (DTCC, Swift).

The regulators are learning to collaborate (and learn from) with start-ups. A panel of entrepreneurs (with traction) were encouraging those entering the FinTech arena to "ask early, engage and collaborate" with regulators for success. Disruption = regulation from the bottom up. May 9, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will launch a 'regulatory sandbox' which according to the WSJ April 11, 2016 "will allow both fintech startups and established companies to roll out a new product or business model on a limited basis without having to wade through the process of getting full authorization." Certainly a new model which if successful and replicated globally could accelerate the evolution, maturation and adoption of the blockchain and all "Next Big FinTech Things".

It appears FinTech is pushing all the established players to the "Tipping Point".

All my best,
Laurette DelGuercio

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