“Blockchain” is frequently mentioned at financial services industry conferences as a transformative technology with the potential to “disrupt” the private funds industry, but uncertainty about it persists. This three-part series serves as a primer about the technology and its interplay with the financial services industry going forward. This first article provides an overview of how blockchain functions and examines how the finance industry is already using it. The second article
will describe potential ways private funds and service providers can adopt blockchain technology to enhance fund operations and compliance practices. The third article
will explore some of the risks impeding the growth of blockchain and address the most plausible timing and manner for it to be eventually adopted in the industry. See “How Financial Service Providers Can Address Common Cybersecurity Threats
” (Mar. 16, 2016).