Wall Street has been keeping a close eye on the evolution of distributed ledger technology in recent years. The Wall Street Blockchain Alliance, launched in 2015, announced a certification program. The primary goal is attracting Distributed Ledger Technology developers.
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Education is an important aspect of blockchain technology. While the possibilities of this technology seem endless, very few people seem to understand how a blockchain works. As Andreas Antonopoulos recently stated, the open blockchain and a private distributed ledger are two very different things.
The Wall Street Blockchain Alliance Plans
Wall Street Blockchain Alliance (WSBA) will focus their attention on Distributed Ledger Technology – also known as DLT – in the financial sector. Their certification program is designed to attract blockchain experts so they can work on this new infrastructure. But there is more, as the Alliance wants to increase the availability of cyber security and system migration experts.
Wall Street Blockchain Alliance Chairman Ron Quaranta stated:
As we have often noted throughout the financial markets, one of the industry’s greatest challenges is the lack of a large pool of technical and business expertise regarding blockchain or distributed ledger technology. As this technology expands into more significant use cases in financial markets, the ability to train and maintain knowledge in this evolving field will continue to become ever more important.
The Certification Framework is a joint effort between the WSBA and Positrust LLC, a well-known technology company. WSBA Certification Framework – or WCF – as this initiative is called, has opened up applications for a pilot program. If everything goes according to plan, the first “full cohort” of applicants will launch in Q4 of 2016.
Admitting a Lack of Understanding
While it is positive to see financial institutions acknowledge there is a need for more talent, blockchain technology remains a niche product. Throughout the past two years, there has been a lot of hype surrounding this technology, yet the financial sector has very little to show for it. Part of this lackluster result stems forth from hardly anyone understanding what makes a blockchain tick in the first place.
It seems evident the blockchain will play a role of significance in the financial sector. However, Distributed Ledger Technology as the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance (wsba.co) sees it, is not your average open blockchain. These particular types of distributed ledgers are either private, or permissioned, maintaining the role of “trusted” intermediaries, i.e. banks, as the gatekeepers.
A lot of financial institutions seem to assume that building a closed blockchain will do the trick. But there are other aspects to worry about, such as a consensus algorithm, decentralization, and being censorship-resistant. Private and permissioned blockchains do not share these traits so far, as financial players prefer firm control and a select few people in charge.
What are your thoughts on this new certification program? Will financial institutions finally understand private blockchains are not the way to go? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, WSBA