Tech & Tonic: Blockchain biz, steeled for disaster and a motley 10

Singing, ‘Ding, dong, the… ‘ (image by Marcus Spiske)

Singing, ‘Ding, dong, the… ‘ (image by Marcus Spiske)

News story of the week: New trades on the block

Multrees, 7IM and Bravura Solutions are among the wealth management and investor tech service providers to have adopted a new pioneering platform built on a blockchain ledger said to encompass “the largest group of financial services organisations ever to connect and transact on a live distributed ledger”. We’re sure that braggadocious claim is true, but we’re bearing in mind the quote comes from the architects of the ledger itself, Calastone.

Calastone’s ‘distributed market infrastructure’, or DMI for short, is presented as a one-stop shop solution for fund managers and traders who will benefit from faster updates and market intelligence.

Speaking with FinExtra, Leo Chen, who heads up Calastone’s Asian ops, offered context : “Fund managers and banks in Asia are seeing more disruptions than ever before amid rapid developments, including the arrival of virtual banks in Hong Kong.” Chen went on to shame the luddites into buying submission: “Only those who can keep up with digital transformation, including advances in blockchain technology, will stay on top of the highly competitive Asian funds industry."

Comment piece of the week: Computer says ‘no’, we can’t (won’t) save British Steel

The Guardian’s Prem Sikka criticises the Government’s decision to refuse bailout money to British Steel, on the basis that it claimed European Union laws prevent them from doing so. Sikka also lists the other bailouts (banks included, of course) that were squeezed through on technicalities and the hypocrisy therein.

Your average British CEO probably doesn’t even have the option to ask a mate, on the off-chance, if they could lend them £300 million-odd quid to save a failing venture, so we’re inclined not to feel that much sympathy, especially in the wake of apparent fund mismanagement.

That said, we do see Sikka’s point about the elitist cherry-picking by the Government here. Ultimately, the decision to allow ‘blue collar’ employees (through no fault of their own) to join the breadline whilst others have been allowed to continue taking boozy two-hour lunches at Gaucho on the tax payer’s dime, has not gone unnoticed.

Number of the week: One down, 10 to go

No fewer than 10 Tory leadership hopefuls are now preparing to battle it out for the portcullis-embossed chair, in what will inevitably become another great national Game of Moans bound to last weeks. This morning (Saturday), health sec Matt Hancock announced his bid, which was the tenth such gauntlet thrown since May bottled it.

So, which House will prevail - Hancock, Truss, Stewart, McVey, Leadsom, Hunt, Gove, Raab, or Father forbid, Johnson or Javid? Stay tuned for the next dramatic episode!

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