Blockchain and the Private Funds Industry: Potential Impediments to Its Eventual Adoption (Part Three of Three)

Although excitement about the potential use of blockchain technology – an immutable, time-stamped and decentralized digital ledger of transactions – in the private funds industry has been growing, numerous impediments to its large-scale adoption remain. Issues ranging from a lack of regulatory support of blockchain to basic concerns about the resources required to implement the technology could slow its growth in the private funds industry. Consequently, it will likely be several years before the industry fully uses this technology, with the adoption driven by large organizations and service providers rather than fund managers. To assist our readers with comprehending the nature, uses and future of blockchain, this three-part series provides an overview of the technology through the lens of the private funds industry. This third article details issues that could stymie the spread of blockchain, while also setting forth a realistic timeline and manner for its likely adoption by the private funds industry. The first article provided a primer on the technology and detailed several financial industry uses that are already being explored. The second article explored potential private fund back-office functions (e.g., regulatory reporting and maintaining shareholder ledgers) that could be optimized using blockchain technology. For more on how fund managers can utilize technology, see Can Private Fund Marketing Be Automated?” (Aug. 7, 2014); and our two-part series on “Key Considerations for Hedge Fund Managers in Evaluating the Use of Cloud Computing”: Part One (Oct. 18, 2012); and Part Two (Oct. 25, 2012).

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