Earlier today, Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard gave a speech at the annual meeting of the Institute of International Finance on distributed ledger technology.  She noted that the Federal Reserve has created a working group to conduct a 360-degree analysis of financial innovation, including the impact that distributed ledger technologies may have on payment, clearing, and settlement services.  Consistent with the banking agencies’ approach to fintech issues, Governor Brainard highlighted potential use cases of distributed ledger technology, such as cross-border payments, trade finance, securities issuances, trade clearance and settlement, and smart contracts, while highlighting the need to appropriately manage the technologies’ operational, information security, and reputational risks.

The Federal Reserve is expected to publish a research paper later this year summarizing its key findings on distributed ledger technology.