Slide 1

Distributed Futures

Distributed Futures was initially created as a quadrennial forum for senior people to meet and share intelligence on mutual distributed ledgers, cyrptocurrencies, FinTech, RegTech, and other interesting topics where disruptive technology meets finance. With a focus on issues relating to new ways of doing business and a respect for the need for pragmatic, sensible solutions based on unbiased assessments, the forum looked to analyse the effects of new technology on finance and society, and worked on identifying ways in which organisations can make decisions that enhance rewards, reduce risks, and/or increase long-term certainty.

From a forum for the select few, Distributed Futures has now developed into a fully-fledged, open source research programme in new technologies, with Smart Ledgers as its main focus.

Smart Ledgers are the "next big thing" in technology. They are based on a combination of mutual distributed ledgers (MDLs, aka blockchain), intelligent agents, and sensing technologies. MDLs are multi-organisational databases with a super audit trail that started becoming more widely known in 2009, mostly because of the role they played in the development of cryptocurrencies. Smart Ledgers are MDLs with embedded programming and sensing, which permit for semi-intelligent, autonomous transactions. They are a technology for fair play in a globalised world.

Our research is structured around four main themes:

  • Politics
  • Economics
  • Society
  • Technology

These aspects of modern life are inextricably interwoven and, therefore, any serious attempt at understanding and supporting the development of Smart Ledgers and other new technologies has to address all four.

As our research programme is not a meta-analysis, but an active, forward looking, and productive investigation, we are working towards four clearly defined outcomes:

  • Expanding frontiers
  • Changing Systems
  • Delivering Services
  • Building Communities

To this aim, our programme includes a wide variety of activities, ranging from the development of new technologies, proofs-of-concept, demonstrators, and pilots, to the production of research papers and the realisation of seminars, lectures, online fora, and other events.

This is an ambitious two-year-long research programme with the aim to understand and help built the infrastructure needed to make Smart Ledgers a success.

Responsibility Without Power? The Governance of Mutual Distributed Ledgers
by Simon Mills and Bob McDowall
July 2017, 48 pages.

The Missing Links In The Chains? Mutual Distributed Ledgers (aka blockchain) Standards
by Michael Mainelli and Simon Mills
November 2016 74 pages.

 

For more Long Finance Publications, click here.  

For a list of articles and publications on Mutual Distributed Ledgers, click here.