Foreword Foreword

February 6, 2019

“This technology holds tremendous promise for anyone willing to test its limits.”

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is pleased to present “Beyond Theory: Getting Practical With Blockchain.” This report is a resource for business professionals and technologists looking to experiment with blockchain, also known as distributed ledger technology.

Blockchain has the potential to impact many industries—including financial services—so the Boston Fed sought to understand its foundational technology with first-hand research. We wanted practical experience, the kind only trial and error can bring.

The report goes beyond the basics of distributed ledger technology and tells the story of the Boston Fed’s journey to understand how a blockchain platform could help us perform specific functions within our operations. Our journey involved developing two use cases for learning purposes only—we don’t intend to move them into production. This report describes the use cases, the technology we employed, and the insights we gained.

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We would like to acknowledge the contributions of the Boston Fed’s innovative and cross-functional blockchain team, which made this white paper possible. Its expertise in app development, information security, payments technology, and other underlying advanced infrastructures was invaluable. We would also like to offer a special thanks to our Federal Reserve colleagues—notably in Minneapolis—for their collaboration and insights.

We hope that readers will gain a better understanding of blockchain from this report and perhaps be inspired to develop their own proof of concept or use case. This technology holds tremendous promise for anyone willing to test its limits.

James S. Cunha
Senior Vice President
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent positions of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston or the Federal Reserve System.

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