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This curated collection of research papers is recommended reading, for those wanting to have a reasonably in-depth understanding of the Bitcoin, Blockchain & the wider Payments & Financial Technology industries mega trends. 

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These are publicly available documents from major corporations, foundations, banks and/or government bodies and all copyrights go to the respective authors/organisations of each paper. If you would like to contribute to our research by suggesting a relevant paper, or to leave feedback, drop us a note on [email protected]Alternatively, you can submit your research here.

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The Pulse of Fintech, 2015 in Review

2015 | KPMG

The Pulse of Fintech report gives a detailed look at trends and data covering equity transactions to venture capital backed fintech companies globally.

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National Security Implications of Virtual Currency - Examining the Potential for Non-state Actor Deployment 

2015 | Rand

This report examines the feasibility for non-state actors, including terrorist and insurgent groups, to increase their political and/or economic power by deploying a virtual currency (VC) for use in regular economic transactions.

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Blockchain in the Investment Bank

2015 | Accenture

What does crypto technology mean for the investment bank?

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Sharing Ledgers for Sharing Economies: an exploration of mutual distributed ledgers (aka blockchain technology)

December 2015 | EY Global Financial Services Institute

The InterChainZ project was a consortium research project to share learning on MDLs during the summer of 2015. The study found that InterChainZ showcased several distributed ledger configurations and numerous variants, exploring how they might work in a set of agreed “use cases.” The outputs were a series of functioning, interlinked MDLs along with software, explanatory materials and website information. The research consortium concluded that MDLs incorporating trusted third parties for some functions had significant potential in financial services, such as know-your-customer (KYC), antimoney-laundering (AML), insurance, credit and wholesale financial services. 

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Blockchain 2015: Analyzing the Blockchain in Financial Services

December 2015 | Virtual Capital VenturesWilliam Mougayar

Review of the blockchain within financial services. A strategic analysis by William Mougayar

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Regulatory Treatment of Virtual Currencies under the Tennessee Money Transmitter Act 

December 2015 | Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions

Virtual currencies, including cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, have raised questions in relation to money transmission and currency exchange. This memorandum outlines the policy of the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions with regard to virtual currencies. It expresses the Department's interpretation of the Tennessee Money Transmitter Act, and the application of its interpretation to various activities involving virtual currencies. This memorandum also seeks to establish the regulatory treatment of virtual currencies under existing statutory definitions. 

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GoldmanSachs - What if I Told You

December 2015 | Goldman Sachs

This report examines the feasibility for non-state actors, including terrorist and insurgent groups, to increase their political and/or economic power by deploying a virtual currency (VC) for use in regular economic transactions.

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Instant revolution of payments - The quest for real-time payments

December 2015 | Deutsche Bank Research

Traditional retail payment systems do not match the immediacy and ubiquity of digital processes in commerce and social life. In several countries, instant payment systems have been introduced to bring payments up to the speed of digital processes, but also for more general economic reasons like infrastructure modernisation or financial inclusion.

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Blockchain: A Fundamental Shift for Financial Services Institutions

November 2015 | Capgemini

In this paper, Capgemini looks at blockchain technology and how it can transform financial institutions. The paper also explores how to evaluate this new technology and what to consider when looking at blockchain as a transformational opportunity.

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Innovation, Central-Bank Style Report

November 2015 | Bank of Canada

The Bank of Canada was itself an innovation when it was created during the Great Depression to support the economic and financial well-being of Canadians. Over the past 80 years, the Bank has done exactly that by carrying out four main lines of business.

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Banking on the Blockchain - Reengineering the Financial Architecture 

November 2015 | Institute of International Finance

This paper will explore the immense potential of blockchain technology, as well as some of the challenges it poses to the industry and regulators.

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Should Cryptocurrencies Be Included In The Portfolio Of International Reserves Held By The Central Bank Of Barbados? (Working paper)

November 2015 | Central Bank of Barbados

This paper examines the potential role of cryptocurrencies as part of the portfolio of external assets held by a central bank. Using the case of Barbados, the paper also provides a simulation of the effect holding some proportion of their asset base would have had on the stability of the foreign reserves as well as the return on the portfolio of assets.

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About digital currencies and using Block Chain in the financial industry

November 2015 | BSK 

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Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures Digital Currencies Report

November 2015 | BIS

This report responds to the CPMI mandate and provides an initial analysis of the main factors influencing the development of digital currencies and distributed ledgers, as well as an overview of the potential implications, with a particular emphasis on the payment system implications.

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Smart contracts: The ultimate automation of trust?

October 2015 | BBVA 

The materialisation of contracts capable of enforcing themselves is now facilitated by blockchain technologies. The ability of smart contracts to alter the way in which many traditional processes are performed is potentially immense. However, standardisation and wider adoption of the blockchain is needed to turn this potential into reality.

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Regulation Of Virtual Currencies Act - (Draft discussion only)

October 2015 | National Conference Of Commissioners On Uniform State Laws

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Virtual Currencies are not Threat to the Euro Area, says ECB President

October 2015 | ECB

Letter from the ECB President to Ms Eva Kaili, MEP, on virtual currency schemes and alternative forms of payment.

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UK to lead on big data research, says Harriett Baldwin 

October 2015 | HM Treasury

£42 million will be invested in research, the Economic Secretary said in a speech to the Alan Turing Institute for Data Science.

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Poland Ministry of Finance Calls for EU-Level Bitcoin Regulation

October 2015 | Polish Ministry of Finance

Poland’s Ministry of Finance provided a written statement in response to a request for information filed by two Polish Members of Parliament (MPs), Jan Warzecha and Bogdan Rzońca.

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US Advisory Bitcoin Regulation DCRS

October 2015 | Deliotte

Three reasons why global policy makers and regulators may want to consider giving bitcoin more time develop.

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Innovation in payments the future is fintech

October 2015 | BNY Melon

This paper examines the growing capabilities of fintech in both the consumer/retail and wholesale/corporate payments arenas, and discusses the monumental role fintech – and the array of solutions it presents – will play in shaping the course of the payments industry as a whole.

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Payments Disrupted - The emerging challenge for European retail banks

September 2015 | Deliotte

Payments are a key revenue stream for European banks. Deloitte estimates that retail payments will account for €128 billion in revenues in 2015, or around a quarter of total European retail banking revenues.

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The Evolution Of Third Party Payment Providers And Cryptocurrencies Under The Eu’s Upcoming Psd2 And Amld4

September 2015 | Swift

This paper critically assesses current legislation and ongoing legislative initiatives for their inclusion of TPP's. It also sets out the potential for the regulation of cryptocurrency in terms of combatting money laundering and terrorist financing.

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Press Release - Announcing Secco

September 2015 | Secco

PRESS RELEASE. Announcing Secco – Banking Rebooted. Secco is a new UK pre-licence challenger bank – where data is the new money.

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ScotPound - digital money for the common good

September 2015 | New Economics Foundation

This report outlines the creation of a new national digital currency, ScotPound, and free-at-point-of-use payment system, ScotPay, for Scotland. Our proposals draw on over two decades of research into top-down reform of existing national currency systems and bottom-up local and complementary currencies.

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Bitcoin Blockchain and the Future of Financial Transactions

September 2015 | itBit

This presentation comes from the 68th CFA Institute Annual Conference held in Frankfurt, Germany, on 26–29 April 2015 in partnership with CFA Society Germany.

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Commonwealth Virtual Working Group Meeting London, United Kingdom: 24-26 August 2015

September 2015 | The Commonwealth

The first meeting of the Commonwealth Working Group on Virtual Currencies took place on 24-26 August 2015 in London, UK.

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How Low Can You Go?

September 2015 | Bank of England Andrew G Haldane

How low can you go? A Speech given by Andrew G Haldane, Chief Economist, Bank of England.

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Design To Disrupt: Blockchain: cryptoplatform for a frictionless economy

August 2015 | Sogeti

“Disruption is the New Normal.” This is the key message from the executive introduction to this series of reports. The first report outlines the exponential growth of digital opportunities.

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Bitcoin: A Disruptive Currency

August 2015 | ARK INVESTIn Collaboration With Dr. Arthur B. Laffer, And Laffer Associates - Chris Burniske, Thematic Research Analyst

This paper investigates whether bitcoin is a currency, serving the three main functions of money: a means of exchange, a store of value, and a unit of account. In order for bitcoin to take on the role of other currencies, it must satisfy all three functions.

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Bitcoin: Securing the Network

August 2015 | ARK INVEST - Chris Burniske, Thematic Research Analyst

In the coming decades the mining incentive structure of the Bitcoin network is set to shift from block rewards to transaction fees. For this transition to be effective, the network needs to remain robust enough to prevent a 51% attack, while continuing to facilitate transactions at a low cost. Once block rewards phase out, ARK Invest’s research demonstrates that a transaction fee of 1.2% would be sufficient to incentivize the buildout of a network that is secure from an economically profitable 51% attack, regardless of bitcoin’s market cap and the capital allocation of a nefarious miner. 

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Blockchain 2.0

August 2015 | SATO

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Digital currency — Game changer or bit player

August 2015 | Parliment of Australia

The inquiry was established to examine how best to define digital currency within the regulatory frameworks in order to support innovation and the needs of the growing Australian digital currency industry. 

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Money is no object - Understanding the evolving cryptocurrency market

August 2015 | PricewaterhouseCoopers

The goal of this paper is to provide an overview of what cryptocurrency is and how much consumers know about it. In addition, we discuss potential positive uses of this new instrument. 

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Blockchain - attack is probably the best form of defence

July 2015 | Deutsche Bank Research

Debate over blockchain technology is raging in many online and offline media at present. In principle, the technology constitutes a decentralised ledger system that can be coordinated via peer-to-peer (P2P) networks.

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Blockchain: understanding the potential

July 2015 | Barclays

Bitcoin, heralded by many as the single biggest breakthrough since the arrival of the internet, has proved to be something of a moving target since its launch in 2009. 

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Blockchain Technology - The Ultimate Disruption in the Financial System

July 2015 | BBVA 

Blockchain ledgers bypasses centralized financial infrastructure. This leads to the development of new businesses and the overhaul of existing ones. For the financial sector it could imply the biggest disruption to date.

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Emerging Risk Report - Innovation series

June 2015 | Lloyds

This report presents two expert contributions which investigate the key risk factors for the insurance of Bitcoin operations. 

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Cryptocurrencies: New Opportunities for Postal Financial Services

June 2015 | Swiss Economics - Christian Jaag, Christian Bach

Swiss Economics has supported the Office of Inspector General of the United States Postal Service in a study that explores the possibilities of Blockchain technology for the USPS and other postal operators.

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The Future of Financial Services - How disruptive innovations are reshaping the way financial services are structured, provisioned and consumed

June 2015 | World Economic Forum

The creation of this report involved extensive outreach and dialogue with the financial services community, innovation community, academia and a large number of financial technology startups. The dialogue included numerous interviews and interactive sessions to discuss the insights and opportunities for collaborative action.

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Digital Currency: You Can’t Flip This Coin! - Report Of The Standing Senate Committee On Banking, Trade And Commerce

June 2015 | Senate of Canada 

Digital currencies can be simultaneously viewed as a new currency, a new payment system and a new technology.  The Committee examined virtual currencies from all three perspectives. The Report, which is the result of testimony from 55 witnesses at Ottawa Committee meetings and a fact-finding trip to New York City, contains eight recommendations.

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The Fintech 2.0 Paper: rebooting financial services

June 2015 | Santander

The Fintech 2.0 Paper identifies some of the key opportunity areas within the banking sector, and calls for banks and fintechs to work together to deliver these fundamental improvements.

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Guidance For A Risk-Based Approach Virtual Currencies 

June 2015 | Financial Action Task Force

The FATF has developed this Guidance focusing on the points of intersection that provide gateways to the regulated financial system, in particular convertible virtual currency exchangers.

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Nydfs Grants First Charter To A New York Virtual Currency Company

May 2015 | NYDFS

Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, announced that the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) granted a charter under the New York Banking Law to itBit Trust Company, LLC – a commercial Bitcoin exchange. ItBit, which is based in New York City, is the first virtual currency company to receive a charter from NYDFS. 

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McKinsey on Payments

May 2015 | McKinsey & Company

This issue looks beyond the headlines on several exciting trends to uncover the deeper implications and opportunities for industry players.

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Conditions of issue of AS LHV Pank's certificates of deposit (cuber)

May 2015 | LHV Bank

This document might not contain the entire information considered important by the interested parties. Since the blockchain technology is relatively new, and, as far as we know, this is the first time it is ever used in the financial sector, LHV will start testing the new securities carefully, on a limited scale and by using a design that serves to minimise security risks. The target group of the test is limited.

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Digital Revolution in Banking

May 2015 | ING Bank

On 13 May 2015, ING’s Director of Corporate Strategy, Dorothy Hillenius, addresses the Digital Banking Revolution conference organized by Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London. She elaborates on how technology and changing customer behaviour are transforming the banking industry, with customers increasingly using different channels in their search for reliable and easy solutions. In addition, she talks about ING’s strategy to earn the primary relationship with the customer and how the bank creates a differentiating customer experience in today’s digital era.

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Cryptotechnologies, a major IT innovation

May 2015 | Euro Banking Association

The paper presents an analysis of crypto technologies in four relevant application categories. These categories are: 1. currencies, 2. asset registries, 3. application stacks and 4. asset-centric technologies. 

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Blockchain manoeuvres: applying Bitcoin's technology to banking 

May 2015 | Innovalue

Bitcoin’s blockchain is being hailed as revolutionary. But will the likes of UBS, ING and Nasdaq, who are exploring the potential of the technology, be able to overcome the challenges that remain, not least security and regulatory issues? 

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Virtual currency schemes - Chief Economists Workshop

May 2015 | ECBLuc Laeven ,Director-General DG Research

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Cryptocurrencies Bitcoin & co – new applications and regulatory challenges

May 2015 | Brandl & Talos AttorneysArthur Stadler

Gaming regulators in jurisdictions such as Malta or the Isle of Man continue to assess wheth-er or not to allow digital currencies in a gaming environment, in particular within the li-censed off er under their respective gaming legislation.

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Call for evidence - Investment using virtual currency or distributed ledger technology

April 2015 | ESMA

ESMA has been monitoring and analysing virtual currency investment to understand developments in the market, potential benefits or risks for investors, market integrity or financial stability, and to support the functioning of the EU single market.

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The Internet of Finance - Unleashing the Potential of Blockchain Technology

April 2015 | Institute of International Finance

Blockchain technology in effect removes the need for a clearing house or financial establishment to act as intermediary during a transaction and in doing so transfers control and power from a central authority to the many, facilitating quick, secure, and inexpensive exchanges of value.

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A Scenario Planning For Interbank Payments And Decentralized Ledger Platforms

April 2015 | University of Twente, (Rabobank)

Cross-border payments nowadays take place through slow and expensive correspondent banking. Decentralized Ledger Platforms (DLPs) might bring change by offering a payments backbone which requires no central trusted party.

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ING Mobile Banking 2015 Report

April 2015 | ING Bank

The ING International Survey aims to gain a better understanding of how retail customers and potential customers.

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Blockchain Technology and Legal Implications of ‘Crypto 2.0’ 

March 2015 | BNA’s Banking Report™

Washington, D.C. partner Judith Lee, New York partner Arthur S. Long, Washington D.C. counsel Jeffrey L. Steiner, associate Stephenie Gosnell Handler and Palo Alto associate Zachary Wood are the authors of "Blockchain Technology and Legal Implications of ‘Crypto 2.0’" published in the March 31, 2015 issue of BNA’s Banking Report.

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Challenges Australias tax system

March 2015 | Australian Treasury

This report sets out the major challenges that confront the Australian tax system.

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Digital Currencies Response To Call For Information Final Changes

March 2015 | UK HM Treasury

This document summarises the submissions received in response to the call for information questions and, in light of the evidence gathered, outlines the government’s views and proposed next steps.

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FinTech Futures - The UK as a World Leader in Financial Technologies

March 2015 | UK Governemnet Office For Science

This report builds on the current work of HM Treasury and other parts of the Government to provide a longer-term vision for the UK FinTech sector. Its recommendations are intended to provide a firm foundation to support and catalyse the growth of the sector out to 2025. In particular, it makes the case that the Government, regulators, business and academia must work together closely and in innovative ways.

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Virtual currency schemes – a further analysis

March 2015 | ECB

Virtual currency schemes (VCS) have experienced remarkable developments over the past two years. As announced in its October 2012 report, the ECB has been examining these developments, partly in order to understand their potential relevance for retail payments.

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One Bank Research Agenda - Discussion Paper

February 2015 | Bank of England

The Agenda aims to improve the coordination and openness of our research across all policy areas, to ensure the Bank makes the best use of our data, and to cultivate an extensive research community that spans the Bank and beyond.

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Wedbush Equity Research Bitcoin Overview

January 2015 | Wedbush

2014 Saw Bitcoin Go (Quietly) Mainstream as Blockchain Tech Unbundled from Bitcoin Currency Prices; 2015 Will be About Enterprise-Class Infrastructure 

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Financial Services in the Digital Age - Leveraging Technology and Regulation to Achieve a Stronger Capital Markets Union

2015 | European Digital Forum

The paper examines the spread of digital technology throughout the financial-services arena and the rise of new and innovative services such as crowdfunding, blockchain technology and data analytics.

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2015 Banking Outlook: Boosting Profitability Amidst New Challenges

2015 | Deliotte

The outlook, produced by the Deloitte Center for Financial Services, provides an analysis of industry priorities and anticipated trends based on interviews with our leading banking practitioners to predict what's coming in 2015.

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