Michael Bodson
President and Chief Executive Officer
Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.

Much commentary about blockchain has centered on the posttrade, or back end, of transaction processing and has seemed to spell the demise of clearing and settlement — or, at least, the way it has historically been done by Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. “Headlines about the DTCC disappearing overnight were annoying the hell out of me,” says Michael Bodson, president and CEO of the premier industry-owned posttrade utility, which processes some $1.6 quadrillion in securities trades annually. Apparently deciding that if he couldn’t beat blockchain, he’d join it, Bodson set out to find the best fit for his operation. In January, DTCC joined in a round of funding for Digital Asset Holdings (see Blythe Masters, No. 17) that eventually exceeded $60 million, along with the likes of Accenture, Citi, CME Group, Goldman Sachs Group and JPMorgan Chase & Co. “We thought Digital Asset was one of the strongest — if not the strongest — blockchain providers out there,” says Bodson, 58. In March, DTCC and DAH, both New York–based, announced a plan to develop and test distributed ledger technology for the $2.6 trillion repo market. DTCC also joined with four global banks, technology developer Axoni and Markit (see Lance Uggla, No. 3) in a test of smart contracts for processing single-name credit default swaps. “No one survives by putting their head in the sand,” says Bodson, who also maintains that “the U.S. cash security markets are the most efficient. We have the best posttrade processing in the world.” Although there will be initial rollouts and use cases bringing improvements in the near term, blockchain will not “negate or replace the current infrastructure for seven, ten or even 15 years.”

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