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Andrea Pinna

22 April 2016
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 172
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Abstract
Over the last decade, information technology has contributed significantly to the evolution of financial markets, without, however, revolutionising the way in which financial institutions interact with one another. This may be about to change, as some market players are now predicting that new database technologies, such as blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies (DLTs), could be the source of an imminent revolution. This paper analyses the main features of DLTs that could influence their potential adoption by financial institutions and discusses how the use of these technologies could affect the European post-trade market for securities. The original protocol underlying DLTs has its roots in the anarchic world of virtual currencies, which operate outside the conventional financial system. The public debate on DLTs has also been very much focused on the revolutionary potential of the technology. This paper concludes that, irrespective of the technology used and the market players involved, certain processes that feature in the post-trade market for securities will still need to be performed by institutions. DLTs could, however, stimulate a reorganisation of financial markets, which could in turn: (i) reduce reconciliation costs, (ii) streamline the post-trade value chain, and (iii) allow more efficient use to be made of collateral and regulatory capital. It should, nevertheless, be remembered that research into DLTs and their uses is at an early stage. The scope for financial institutions to adopt DLTs and their potential impact on mainstream financial markets are still unclear. This paper discusses three potential models of how market players could adopt DLTs for performing core post-trade functions. The DLT could be adopted either: (i) in clusters, (ii) collectively, or (iii) peer to peer. The evaluation of the three adoption models assumes that they are all equally compatible with the regulatory framework. It shows that, assuming this to be the case, they would each have different advantages and costs.
JEL Code
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G23 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Non-bank Financial Institutions, Financial Instruments, Institutional Investors
L15 : Industrial Organization→Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance→Information and Product Quality, Standardization and Compatibility
O33 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Technological Change, Research and Development, Intellectual Property Rights→Technological Change: Choices and Consequences, Diffusion Processes
7 August 2019
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - ARTICLE
Economic Bulletin Issue 5, 2019
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Abstract
This article discusses the crypto-asset phenomenon with a view to understanding its potential risks and enhancing its monitoring. First, it describes the characteristics of the crypto-asset phenomenon, in order to arrive at a clear definition of the scope of monitoring activities. Second, it identifies the primary risks of crypto-assets that warrant continuous monitoring – these risks could affect the stability and efficiency of the financial system and the economy – and outlines the linkages that could cause a risk spillover. Third, the article discusses how, and to what extent, publicly available data allow the identified monitoring needs to be met and, by providing some examples of indicators on market developments, offers insights into selected issues, such as the availability and reliability of data. Finally, it covers selected statistical initiatives that attempt to overcome outstanding challenges.
JEL Code
E42 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Monetary Systems, Standards, Regimes, Government and the Monetary System, Payment Systems
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G23 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Non-bank Financial Institutions, Financial Instruments, Institutional Investors
O33 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Technological Change, Research and Development, Intellectual Property Rights→Technological Change: Choices and Consequences, Diffusion Processes
C18 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General→Methodological Issues: General
29 August 2019
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 230
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Abstract
Stablecoins claim to stabilise the value of major currencies in the volatile crypto-asset market. This paper describes the often complex functioning of different types of stablecoins and proposes a taxonomy of stablecoin initiatives. To this end it relies on a novel framework for their classification, based on the key dimensions that matter for crypto-assets, namely: (i) accountability of issuer, (ii) decentralisation of responsibilities, and (iii) what underpins the value of the asset. The analysis of different types of stablecoins shows a trade-off between the novelty of the stabilisation mechanism used in an initiative (from mirroring the traditional electronic money approach to the alleged introduction of an “algorithmic central bank”) and its capacity to maintain a stable market value. While relatively less innovative stablecoins could provide a solution to users seeking a stable store of value, especially if legitimised by the adherence to standards that are typical of payment services, the jury is still out on the potential future role of more innovative stablecoins outside their core user base.
JEL Code
E42 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Monetary Systems, Standards, Regimes, Government and the Monetary System, Payment Systems
L17 : Industrial Organization→Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance→Open Source Products and Markets
O33 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Technological Change, Research and Development, Intellectual Property Rights→Technological Change: Choices and Consequences, Diffusion Processes