The Institute of International Finance (IIF) is a global trade association devoted to supporting the financial services industry in its industry practices and regulatory relationships.  During spring 2019, the IIF partnered with a team of graduate students Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) to explore how two emerging technologies - Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and Quantum Computing (QC) - could impact the financial services industry, specifically value chains in capital markets.

The final report addressed four key questions: Where are we on the on the development curve and capital markets application for these two technologies? What are the hurdles for their adoption? What are potential changes to security, legal, and regulatory frameworks that should be considered? How can the public and private sectors work together to develop new approaches to keep pace with the accelerating changes caused by this innovation?

To investigate these questions, the team conducted multiple field interviews and consulted industry literature and academic research reports. The report explored select use cases for DLT and quantum computing in capital markets identified to date by industry and academia. The DLT use cases were mapped against a development curve to evaluate existing and future point of impact. Because quantum computing is still in the early-stage of development, the report relied on theorized and early-stage use cases of its financial applications. Both of these sections were accompanied by a high-level explanation of the technology itself as well as an analysis of the hurdles to the adoption of these technologies, and how private and public sector should prepare and integrate them.