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Prof Michael Mainelli on Smart Ledgers


Prof Michael Mainelli, Emeritus Professor at Gresham College, will speak about the potential for blockchain technology. 

Since before the time of the Sumerians, ledgers have been one mechanism to prevent economic cheating.  Ledgers maintain a record of transactions, be they land, financial, social, or qualifications.  Traditionally, a central third party preserves the ledger, safeguards transactions from being changed, and adds new ‘validated’ transactions.  Successful central third parties frequently become natural monopolies, exposing them to two temptations, corruption and indolence. Mutual distributed ledgers (MDLs, aka blockchains) are multi-organisational databases with a super audit trail.  MDLs move much safeguarding and preservation into the technology, in the process reducing the ‘switching costs’ for the community of moving to a new central third party. Both the technology and the reduced switching costs reduce the likelihood of overly powerful natural monopolies.

Prof Mainelli co-founded Z/Yen in 1994, the City of London’s leading think-tank, to promote societal advance through better finance and technology. 

To RSVP, please email events@adamsmith. We open doors at 6pm and the talk itself will begin at 6.30pm.

Earlier Event: 9 January
January TNG with Tim Shipman
Later Event: 6 February
February TNG with Helen Dale