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英国央行:分布式账本证券结算可能导致服务垄断

近日,英国央行发布了一份名为《分布式账本技术的证券结算经济学》的文件。文件指出,尽管基于分布式账本技术(DLT)为证券结算带来了积极的影响,但如果得不到合理监管监管,那么这种技术反而会导致证券结算服务出现垄断。

在这种情况下,基于DLT的服务可能会被“集中到少数提供商的手中”,市场参与者可能会更加容易遭受价格歧视或效率低下的定价,而服务提供商“可能会占领大量市场剩余“,因为这个行业本身就很容易受到垄断结构的影响。

这就是说,这份研究文件采用一种谨慎但乐观的语调,认为这种技术能够重写目前结算流程的工作方式。

此外文章作者还认为,分布式账本能够“可能会为整个交易后流程带来一种完全的非居间化,从证券发行到结算,实现一种纯粹的P2P交易结构。”

事实上,英国央行英格兰银行是在分布式账本技术和区块链技术方面最主动的央行之一,该行此前已经表示他们下一代的结算系统将兼容分布式账本技术。

 

Researchers for the UK's central bank have argued in a new paper that, if left unregulated, securities settlement services built on distributed ledger tech (DLT) could turn into monopolies.

In a new research paper, entitled "The economics of distributed ledger technology for securities settlement", Bank of England staffers Evangelos Benos, Rodney Garratt and Pedro Gurrola-Perez posits that such an outcome is a possibility, even if the tech itself brings positive changes to the overall structure of the securities settlement sector.

The authors of the paper reason that, as with the current settlement industries, DLT-based services have the potential to become "concentrated among [a] few providers]". Under this scenario, market participants could become more susceptible to price discrimination or inefficient pricing. Service providers, the authors argue, could wind up "capturing much of the market surplus" simply because the industry itself is more naturally susceptible to monopolistic structures.

That said, the research paper does strike a cautiously optimistic tone, positing that the tech could rewrite how the settlement process works for those involved in its day-to-date operation.

The authors wrote:

"...DLT has the potential to improve efficiency and reduce costs in securities settlement, but the technology is still evolving and it is uncertain at this point what form, if any, a DLT-based solution for securities settlement will ultimately take..."

They go on to state that distributed ledgers could "potentially allow for a complete disintermediation of the whole post-trade process, from security issuance to settlement, enabling a pure P2P transaction structure."

Indeed, the Bank of England is one of the most proactive central banks on distributed ledger and blockchain technology, and has previously said that it will build the next version of its official settlement system to be compatible with distributed ledger tech.

Notably, the bank's governor, Mark Carney, said in January that the technology could "reshape" the banking industry.


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