Distributed Ledgers

Distributed Ledgers

Design and Regulation of Financial Infrastructure and Payment Systems

Robert M. Townsend


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An economic analysis of what distributed ledgers can do, examining key components and discussing applications in both developed and emerging market economies.

Distributed ledger technology (DLT) has the potential to transform economic organization and financial structure. In this book, Robert Townsend steps back from the hype and controversy surrounding DLT (and the related, but not synonymous, innovations of blockchain and Bitcoin) to offer an economic analysis of what distributed ledgers can do. Townsend examines the key components of distributed ledgers, discussing, evaluating, and illustrating each in the context of historical and contemporary economics, and reviewing featured applications in both developed economies and emerging-market countries.


Robert M. Townsend:
Robert M. Townsend is Elizabeth & James Killian Professor of Economics at MIT and the coauthor of Chronicles from the Field: The Townsend Thai Project (MIT Press).